Inside design: several questions please

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by DreamsInPink, Apr 14, 2016.

  1. DreamsInPink

    DreamsInPink Chillin' With My Peeps

    The walls are up, the roof is on, metal is on, I'm SO excited! But I have a few remaining questions that I hope someone can help me with.

    1. Nesting boxes are going to be on an interior wall, separating the coop and storage area, for easy retrieval of the eggs.
    • How high do I need them? I am researching dimensions as well, so if you care to share, I'd be most grateful.
    • My interior layout has the nesting box area directly across from the pop door. Will this cause a problem? Will it be too much air, especially in the winter, making them want to lay somewhere else in the coop?


    2. Roosting bars are going to all be one height, along walls, with droppings boards. How high is ideal?
    • I will have windows above the roosting areas. These windows will have the ability to open and close as well as let in natural light. How high above the roosting bars do the windows need to be to not be considered a source of drafts? I plan on leaving them open during the night in the summer for added airflow.
    • How high can chickens jump/fly to reach the roosts? Can I make them relatively low, as long as they are above the nesting boxes? I'm concerned about them jumping down and hurting their feet and legs, as I will have heavy breeds and Cornish crosses. I am NOT doing Deep Litter, so not a lot of spring to the bedding on the floor.
    • Will they use a ramp up to the roosting bars to get up and down?


    Ok, I think that is it for now... It seems like there was something else, but, I can't remember. I'm sure I'll remember it as soon as I click 'submit'. :p
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2016
  2. DreamsInPink

    DreamsInPink Chillin' With My Peeps

    Seriously? No one? :confused:
     
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    Here's my theory on the 'stack up' aspect to coop design:
    Bottom of pop door should be about 8" above floor so bedding doesn't get dragged out of coop.
    Nice to have bottom of nests about 18" above bedding to allow use of that floor space under them(doesn't count if your nests are mounted on outside of coop).
    Roosts should be about 12" higher than nests so birds won't roost(sleep) in nests and poop in them, if you use poop boards under roosts it will also 'stretch' your floor space.
    Upper venting should be as high as possible above roosts so no strong drafts hit roosts in winter...and hot/moist air and ammonia can rise and exit coop.
     
  4. DreamsInPink

    DreamsInPink Chillin' With My Peeps

    Here are a few pictures. This first one shows the high wall. The top part that's open just beneath the roof is what needs HC. The lower open spot will be closed up. [​IMG]

    This one shows the shorter side wall with the roof slant opening.
    [​IMG]

    This one isn't very good really. It's the low wall with the overhang. I don't have any pics of the outside of it yet
    [​IMG]

    @aart
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    Yeah, get some pics of the outside too.
     
  6. DreamsInPink

    DreamsInPink Chillin' With My Peeps

    I haven't posted anymore pics, but we have the hardware cloth up around the roof. I'm so happy. There are some questions in my original post up above that I still would like answers to if anyone is inclined to help. Thanks.
     
  7. Gridguru

    Gridguru Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 30, 2016
    Dallas, TX area.
    Definitely not an expert yet, but i'll weigh in on your questions.

    1) They dont need to be high, but there should be a decent "lip" between the boxes and the coop floor at least, otherwise they will scratch hay or whatever out of the nesting boxes. You do need to make sure they are lower than the roosts. Mine are directly across from the pop door as well. There shouldn't be much breeze though, as the nesting boxes are not open to the air. I plan to put "curtains" on mine made out of old dish towels. Gives them privacy, plus could be a breeze break if there is a breeze. I have closed mine off to the chickens for now. I'll open them up once i see them laying. For now, i don't want them thinking its a good place to sleep at night.

    2) You should consider the cross wind more than the height of the window. If the breeze will travel from low to high, you just want to make sure their roost is not in the path. I would think a couple feet above would work. My roost is only about 2 1/2 - 3 ft off the floor. They will roost on the highest perch, regardless of height, so there is no minimum height (except above nesting box height). My 6 week old chicks can easily jump 2 ft straight up now (they hop to the top of the brooder with ease when we take the top off). My guess is, with a little more room, they could get up 4 feet easy. Probably more.

    2b) I have a runt in my "litter" of chicks. She just isn't growing as fast. Maybe a 3rd the size of the others and cant jump as high. When we move them to the coop next week, i'll build a temporary mini ramp in the coop to help her get up there.
     

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