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Help with Chicken Coop Interior

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Jeff C, Sep 27, 2012.

  1. Jeff C

    Jeff C New Egg

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    Sep 27, 2012
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    I would greatly appreciate advice on several questions I have about the interior of my chicken coop for 3 chickens.

    1) Height of roost: Is the current height (2-3 feet) sufficiently high? I have been told that that chickens like to/need to roost high; others said that it's better to have a low roost so that the chickens don't get injured descending. (Note: Currently, our chickens wings are not clipped; I understand that if they are clipped they would likely require a walkway to access a higher roost.)

    2) Nesting boxes: We currently have three nesting boxes on the floor, beside the roost, as shown in the photo. Is is acceptable to have it on the floor like this?

    3) Elevation of food and water: Is it fine to have them on the ground? I have been told that they should be raised to avoid dirt getting in (and have read that raising is to keep away from mice). But I've also been informed that modern water dispensers aren't even made to be able to be hung because of the excessive weight.

    4) Flooring: Is it preferable to cover the floor with hay/straw or anything else, or simply leave the current wood floor as is?

    Thanks for any advice on these issues!!

    Jeff
     
  2. JackE

    JackE Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Looks like you have a nice start going on there.The roost height sounds good, although I would go with a beefier piece of wood to use as a roost, I use 2X4s wide side up. IMO, it's just more comfortable for the chunky chickens. Nesting boxes are OK on the floor. That's where mine are, kind of a pain to reach down in there for eggs sometimes, but, the nest boxes have to be lower than the roosts, or the birds will roost in the boxes, and you don't want that. It is a good idea to raise the food and water containers up off the floor. Helps keep debris out of the water and helps prevent the chickens billing out and wasting a bunch of food. I hang my feeder, and I put my water fount up on cement blocks. Getting the feeder and water founts up about chicken back high seems to work well. As far as bedding goes, I've read that straw can get matted up and stink. I use pine shavings from 4ins deep on up, depending on the time of year between coop cleanings. Goodluck to you and your birds and welcome to BYC.
    Jack
     
  3. alohajackie

    alohajackie New Egg

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    Sep 27, 2012
    Jack, I totally agree with everything you said here - good advice. One question, tho. I was thinking that 4" was too wide for their feet on their roost. Don't you think they'd rather have a little shorter roost bar so their toes could wrap, or grip the bar a little?
     
  4. Acefit411

    Acefit411 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I understand that the 4" roost is best for their feet along with it (I'm not sure where you live) keeping the chickens feet from freezing in the cold weather.
     
  5. pokernut

    pokernut New Egg

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    Sep 30, 2012
    i used 1.5 ' boards for my roost they seem to like it also my feeder is off the floor about 2 " my watering can is on the floor
     
  6. Our Roost

    Our Roost Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Judging from your coop pictures you have a pretty good start. Even with wings clipped, chickens can find their way atop a roosting perch. 2 to 3 feet off the ground is fine. Just dont put it on top of your nesting boxes! I have my nesting boxes about 2 feet off the ground also. Some will nest and roost there in the winter also at times. Keep in mind that the floor most definitely will be colder as warm air tends to rise. There is a great post on here using a 4 inch PVC pipe for a feeder that works really great and requires less filling constantly. I believe it falls under feeding and watering your flock. Try to keep both your feeders and waterers off the floor and suspended or they will get full of everything from soup to nuts. That means poop too! Hay is for horses but straw works fine and is a good and absorbent bedding. Save the pine shavings for the nesting boxes. Straw like most other beddings needs to be cleaned out. I have 23 birds and 2 ducks. Every 2 or 3 weeks is my schedule to replace it. Coop size and number of birds may be less frequently. I lay it in there thick in the winter. A 2 x 4 is not 4 inches wide! Best to keep their feet flat so their body feathers cover their feet when they roost. exposed toes can get frost bitten. Good luck and hope the tips you got help.
     
  7. alohajackie

    alohajackie New Egg

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    The coop Jeff C is talking about is in Walnut Creek, CA. But I think their feet would still get cold in the winter. JackE said the 2X4's would have the wide side up. So is that 4" side about 3" really?
     
  8. coolcanoechic

    coolcanoechic Chillin' With My Peeps

    A 2 x 4 actually starts out as 2" by 4" until it is planed down to make it smooth and straight for sale. The final measurement is 1 1/2' by 3 1/2". A 2 by 4 on it's side works very well for roosting.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Our Roost

    Our Roost Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Great explanation! Also a great picture and carpentry. Carpentry for some is a trade and for others like me, Drafting and woodshop classes in high school has been a fantastic aide to be able to work with my hands. Amazing what can be created!
     
  10. alohajackie

    alohajackie New Egg

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    Sep 27, 2012
    thanks to all of you for all the help and advice. very appreciated!!!
    Jackie
     

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