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Help me with roost planning please

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by dreiman9, Jan 26, 2016.

  1. dreiman9

    dreiman9 Out Of The Brooder

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    Here is the current theoretical layout of my future coop. Making it 4x8, and 6 feet tall. Dimensions in image are the interior inches between studs. Interested in doing a poop board full of pdz on the opposite side of the nest box below the roost. I have 6 birds coming in April (BO, BR and EE). 41 inch interior width is what is making this complicated, I want to give all the girls enough space. From reading the forums, seems like 18 inches from the wall is the preferred roost distance, but not sure if that is possible with my current layout. Any suggestions? 30 inch mark is the proposed door as of now.


    Thanks for the help!
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2016
  2. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think you could do ~15" from the wall and you'd be fine. I have BOs and BRs and I know mine are less than 18" from the wall and my birds have room. Some roost facing the wall and some face the center of the coop. My poop tray is 24" and it catches all the poop with an inch or two to spare.

    Where you are going to have more trouble is that you don't have near the recommended roost length of 1 linear foot/ bird. I think you'll need to add another roost. Unfortunately, you really can't run the roost along the long wall because that doesn't give them enough space in front of the roost to jump on and off. If your nest boxes are easily accessed from the outside then you could always put a second roost on the other side too. One 24" poop board centered under a roost 15" from the wall on each side would still leave you with ~35" of space in between them. There won't be loads of space for you to maneuver in there, but plenty of room to walk in and stand there and scoop the boards.

    Maybe since you're still in the planning stage, you design a floor plan that's a little bigger and see if the options that it gives you make changing your plans worthwhile. Bigger is always better when it comes to chickens.
     
  3. dreiman9

    dreiman9 Out Of The Brooder

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    Yea I overlooked the option of going above the nest boxes. Thanks! If I stick with the 4x8, that's probably how I will lay it out. Would like to up it to 6x8, but will have to see what the additional expense will look like first. Thanks for the help
     
  4. dreiman9

    dreiman9 Out Of The Brooder

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    Think the 35 inches in the middle is plenty for them to jump up and down? Poop board edge would probably be 30 inches high
     
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    You’ll see all kinds of different numbers thrown out for required and preferred dimensions. A very common recommendation for breeds your size is to put the first roost 12” off the wall and use 12” separation for the next. I have some like that in one of my coops and they use them, but it does look crowded. Keep your current layout but move the door down toward the nest end. You can fit two roosts and a droppings board in.

    You’ll often see people warn about heavier chickens hurting their legs by jumping down from the roosts. I find that if mine can spread their wings and fly down they don’t land that hard. If that space is too tight or filled with feeders, waterers, or other stuff, I can see that being more of a problem. I’m not sure where you are getting your 35” in the middle but if it is clear, that’s probably enough. If is full of stuff, nope.

    You’ll often see people giving all kinds of magic numbers for how much space you need per chicken. I don’t believe any of them. What’s important is usable space, not just for the chickens but for you. I think you are making a walk-in coop so I’d make it big enough for me to walk in and do things. That will make it plenty big enough for six chickens.

    I don’t know your stud spacing but the basic difference for the walls between a 4x8 and 6x8 is you buy one extra sheet of plywood or whatever 4’ x 8’ paneling you are using and split it down the middle. You may need one extra stud on each end.

    Consider how you are doing the floor. If it is dirt you just need to adjust your foundation. If you are flooring it you will probably need more material.

    I’d make one narrow end of that eight feet tall instead of six. 2x4’s and paneling come standard in 8’ lengths. Make the other end at least six feet. You and others need to be able to stand up in there without banging your head. That hurts, I know. That gives you a good slope so rainwater runs off instead of pooling on a flat roof.

    I’d use 8’ 2x4’s across the top of that to give a foot overhang on each side. That way you can leave the top of the side walls open (covered in hardware cloth for predators) for good ventilation up high and keep the rain out. Slope it so the runoff flows away from your run. Put your door where the runoff from the roof is not hitting you when you open the door.

    Yes, your costs will go up some, but you will have a much more usable coop. Most of that is for your benefit, not the chickens, but the chickens will not complain about having extra room.
     

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