Inside the coop

sarahbear9

In the Brooder
5 Years
Mar 2, 2014
17
0
22
Fowlerville mi
Good morning everyone my husband and I are new to chickens and we have converted our shed in to a coop and added a run 16x8 we are going to add another 8 feet so it will be 16x16 my shed is clear and there is a window and we are venting more but my question is the inside not sure how to design the inside we have 12 hens I think the can use 1 nesting box for 4 girls right? They seem to like to sit on there water and feeder so I was going to put branches so they can hang out . Any help and advise would be great thanks all
 

jetdog

Songster
6 Years
Jun 18, 2013
1,282
138
148
Massachusetts
3 nestboxs will be fine if you can make them so they are external it will keep you from having to go in and getting poopy feet, hang the feeder and waterer about chest high with them hanging if they try to get on it it will swing and they won't try again, keep them far enough away from the roost so they don't poop on them, branches are ok for a roost but I prefer a 2x4 laying flat keeps the toes warmer in the winter.
 

chickencopper

Chirping
5 Years
Apr 18, 2014
104
5
60
GA Chicken Rancher
You could have ten boxes and they would still share just a few. Always have an extra two or so in case they get a wild hair or feather to start laying alone.And, yes, keep those roost away from food and water and over nesting areas.
 

Hokum Coco

Crowing
7 Years
Dec 6, 2012
4,241
3,463
467
New Brunswick,Canada
Any help and advise would be great thanks all
In Canada I am subject to -40º cold snaps. I do NOT heat my coop. Murphy's law says my birds will find out what -40 is all about when my hydro goes out. Regardless what you decide feed extra Corn over the winter you will not be sorry.

Or something like this may help also; You could even knit a hoodie for those extra cold days..




Acclimatize
Chickens will die from cold if not given the chance to acclimatize. Hydro is more apt to go out in an ice storm or blizzard when subject to below 0º temperatures in my opinion.

How would you supply heat then to your un-acclimatized birds ???

Diary of last winter cold snap check out the link:

https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/738994/chickens-arctic-conditions-prolonged-period

Watering
For along time I used heater tape around a bucket with chicken watering nipples. It worked excellent. However me being me I neglected to change the water as often as I should. This is what it looks like and it thermostatically controlled to come on at just above the freezing temperature. You would have to wrap it to suit your particular application if it is viable for your set up. It is available at Home Depot in Canada.




Last year I switched to white rubber contains the wife found somewhere. The freeze solid every night but the ice just pops out of them in the morning and I replenish them with fresh warm water. They have black ones at the feed store that are similar but large than mine.

The chickens congregate around them like people having their morning coffee. The only draw back is my yard is pepper with small ice bergs the size of the buckets.

April looks after that however..


My Coop is a salvaged 4x8 metal shed here are a few tips and a quick look at my set up.
My floor are planks with a layer of tin for rodent proofing. On top of the tin I have a piece of vinyl flooring cut one foot longer than the length and width of my coop (roughly). Six inches squares are cut out of the 4 corners of the vinyl flooring. This allows the friction fitted flooring to travel up the walls six inches around the perimeter of my 4x8 salvaged metal coop. Shovel out the heavy stuff into a wheel barrow. Pop out the vinyl flooring hose it off pop it back in.
Easy Peasy!

Bedding
I have used all types of litter for coops.

I have not tried sand (sand gets good reviews on this site).

Of all the things I tried to date wood pellets have been the best. (I tried wood pellets as a last resort when pine shavings were not available.) They are super absorbent and swell up and eventually turn to saw dust. The droppings just seem to vanish and turn to dust when it comes in contact with wood pellets .

Replace my litter and clean my coop every October after I harvest my garden.


Works for me in my deep litter method.

I do add to pellets from time to time.

I have anywhere from 10 to 15 birds housed in my 4x8 coop.

Through the winter months the pellets froze harder than concrete with -40º temperatures. The poop froze before it could be absorbed by the pellets and there was like a crusty layer of poop in certain areas where they collectively took aim (no smell, messy feet or flies @ -40º). Come April things started to look after themselves.

Nest boxes
In my nest boxes I fold a feed bag to fit (nest boxes are 1 ft³). When a bag gets soiled; fold a new one; pop out the soiled; pop in the new.

POOP BOARDS are the "BEST" addition yet. Handles well over ½ of the poop in my set up keeps ammonia smell in check 3½" below roost excellent for catching eggs laid through the night (roost are in cups for easier removal and cleaning). I recently friction fit a piece of vinyl flooring over my poop board.it makes clean up even easier; Pop out; Scrap; Hose; Pop in.

Winter months even easier flex over compost bin DONE!

Easy peasy!.



 

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