improving my coop

HannahinOly

Chirping
6 Years
Sep 2, 2013
91
13
53
Olympia, WA
so this is the coop i started with. its an old rabbit hutch i got for free off craigslist.



and this is the coop and run I'm using now.




the coop is 4.5 feet by 3 feet with a run beneath and the run then extends 6x4x4 feet.

i want to really maximize the number of hens i can keep in my little coop and run. I'm thinking about adding a 1x2 foot external nesting box on the side of the coop you can see in the second photo.

thoughts on that or any general improvements I can make to my coop? I would love to roof the run as well, I just made it a little tight and havent quite figured that out yet
 

jetdog

Songster
6 Years
Jun 18, 2013
1,282
152
148
Massachusetts
Boxes on the outside will definitely give more room just make sure the boxes are lower than the roost or they might want to sleep in them.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
99,882
141,023
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
Could you raise the roof on the coop?
That would allow you to raise your roost and give room for a roof on the run.

How many birds do you have in there?
 

HannahinOly

Chirping
6 Years
Sep 2, 2013
91
13
53
Olympia, WA
i have 7 little ones in there, but i think 4-5 of them are roosters!!! lol, such is life when you buy unsexed chicks.

I'm hoping to have 3 full grown hens? if the coop permitted, 4. I'm going to build them a new fancy larger coop in the spring but just ran out of time this summer :(

They spend the late afternoons/early evenings free ranging.

So yes, external nesting box then! I will do it. Should i wait to add it until they're closer to laying age? Theyre about 2 months now.
 

thomasboyle

Songster
7 Years
Feb 28, 2013
935
320
186
NW Hills of CT
You've done a really nice job converting the rabbit cage to a coop. I would add the nesting boxes now. It will give them more room inside the coop, and you'll be ready when they start laying, so they can start laying in the nesting boxe from day one, and you won't have to re-train them. Put some fake eggs in there so they know what the box is for, and they will lay where you want them to.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
99,882
141,023
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
You can block the nest boxes off, while you raise the roof (it doesn't matter what it looks like if it works), until they get close to laying age.
 

HannahinOly

Chirping
6 Years
Sep 2, 2013
91
13
53
Olympia, WA
I went ahead with the external nestbox and roof raising, using mostly found materials from a pile in my garage and some materials from a recycled construction store. So far so good! I'm going to wrap both projects up tomorrow and post photos.

While I'm working tomorrow, is there anything else I should think about doing?

My next big renovation to the coop will be changing the bottom from hay to sand.
 

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