I think I know what I'm doing (Maybe)

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by crazyfeathers, Jan 24, 2014.

  1. crazyfeathers

    crazyfeathers Chillin' With My Peeps

    833
    61
    138
    Aug 24, 2013
    Auburndale, Wi
    Hello,
    After tirelessly cleaning my coop everyday I thought there had to be a better design, so I started reading the information on BYC. I realized I did many things wrong when designing my coop except for ventilation and insulation. I had a problem with my girls pooping in the nesting boxes and laying eggs on the coop floor. So here is a picture of the way the coop was before I remodeled it. The coop is built inside of the barn on the SE corner as we have other animals housed in the barn along with another flock of pullets who right now free range in the barn,I will eventually be adding them with the older girls in a few weeks. Our automatic chicken door consists of me opening it up and propping it open with a piece of wood and then closing it at dusk lol. Their outside run is large and sectioned off into 4 quadrants so they always have fresh grass in the summer.
    [​IMG]
    As you can see my roosts were lower than the nesting boxes. Before I remodeled I actually removed 7 nesting boxes because like most of you I realized the girls only lay in 2 or 3 of them. I have a heating lamp and a light as well as a heated water dish and wall mounted fan that blows air out. There is also a window in the coop but I didn't get a picture of that.
    Now here is what it looks like after.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I tore out the old nesting boxes (down to 5 now) and stand as well as the old roosts. As you can see the girls are roosting like they should be and not pooping in the nesting boxes. I just used scrap wood for the roosts and some brackets to keep them away from the wall a bit. I did all of this by myself and am very proud! Eventually I will be mounting my nesting boxes to the outside of the coop and insulating them, had too many frozen eggs so far this winter. The only way to learn is by error and I have made errors but am learning slowly but surely. It is very important to me to have happy chickens.
     
  2. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

    3,495
    547
    318
    Mar 6, 2008
    Northern California
    Roosts and nest boxes should be easy for standard breeds to get upon. The nests are uncovered and too bright, so hens will be uncomfortable with no privacy, and lay eggs in other areas. Roosts are best about 2' off the floor. A roost in front of nests placed about the same height makes it easier to get in nests also. If you could raise the floor level closer to the exit door pictured, that would be beneficial also. Either that or lower roosts and nests.

    Don't place roosts directly over each other either. Too hard for them to get higher if they want to, or avoid droppings from the hen above. Large fowl aren't like some Bantam breeds which are light bodied and have no problem flying from place to place. Making life easy and practical for them will change behavior for the better. I'd get that straw out of there and use pine shavings also. Straw has poor absorbancy, and raises humidity in a closed environment. I think it attracts mites too.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2014
  3. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

    17,687
    507
    461
    Sep 6, 2007
    spring hill, florida
    I think you're getting the hang of it. I've remodeled the inside of my coop probably 8 times in 7 years. [​IMG] How many chickens do you have?
    I hope you turn off the fluorescent light at night. I have my nests on the ground in a dark corner and no traffic in that corner during the day. Make sure the nests are big enough for big birds. Lay a few golf balls in the nests-hens like to lay where other hens have laid.

    I think it's cool the way you said you have different runs to save the grass.
    I'll post some pics to maybe give you an idea of what I'm talking about that will easily fit in your coop. But I have to say you've got all the bases covered!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2014
  4. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

    17,687
    507
    461
    Sep 6, 2007
    spring hill, florida
    Michael, good to know about straw. Down here they really don't sell straw because coastal hay is cheaper. I had to buy some for my geese, and bedded my coop with it, but I'll go back to shavings.
     
  5. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

    3,495
    547
    318
    Mar 6, 2008
    Northern California
    My Dad always used straw in the geese pens. Ever notice geese and ducks never get mites? I think it is due to their oily skin and tighter feathering.

    I just don't like straw in the coop for those reasons mentioned earlier.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by