interior design

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by suburban, Jan 23, 2011.

  1. suburban

    suburban Out Of The Brooder

    92
    0
    39
    Dec 13, 2010
    Perth, western Australia
    I've just about finished the coop. It is about 6 1/2 feet long by 4 1/2 feet wide and 4 feet hight on the sides. The roof is pitched and almost 6 feet at it's highest point.

    One end will open completely for cleaning out and the other end has the little door leading to the run.

    I will be getting 3 Australorp pullets.

    So my questions are...

    1. how many nest boxes do they need?
    2. do they (nest boxes) need to be raised off the floor? I was thinking of putting them on a shelf and having an opening in the wall behind to check for eggs. Also on the shelf will be some food and water.
    3.If they go up off the floor I understand that the roost needs to be higher. Will they need a ramp to get up about 3 feet? My concern is that the coop is quite narrow and I'm thinking a ramp will be quite steep if it's opposite the nest boxes.

    Sorry if that is completely confusing.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2011
  2. Dogfish

    Dogfish Rube Goldberg incarnate

    Mar 17, 2010
    Western Washington
    1. I would make room for 2 nest boxes, as you have room for more chickens than just 3. They'll choose to lay in only on or two, or on the floor, just to confound you.

    2. Nest boxes should be between the floor and the roosts. (My birds will lay on the floor more than in the nest boxes, most days)

    3. I built them a bit of a stairway with two steps to get them up 3' in a similar sized space.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Depending on the size of your run, attached to the coop that the hens will have free access to, you could actually expect to house as many as 16 hens in a coop that size as long as you provide adequate roost space. I know this goes against "convention", but if you clean it regularly, and they have a large run, a smaller coop is workable. My coop is 4x8 on the interior, but the birds have access to a 1200 SF secure run when the auto-door opens. Without a large secure run, you might be able to fit as many as 6 hens.

    Enjoy your Austrolorps. Mine are docile and great layers. They are also more broody than my other birds.

    BTW, there is a lot more poop on that ladder now, I made a platform for the first step later, and I moved the feed outside after my girls grew up a bit. These photos were taken prior to my birds moving in.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2011
  3. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    I would opt for two nest boxes. With three birds, you'd technically only need one, but I always like to be prepared in case a hen goes broody and hogs the nest box. Raising the nest box leave more floor space (living space) open, so I always prefer them raised if possible myself.

    Keep in mind, that to conserve floor space, you really only need maybe 16-18 inches of clearance. So if your nest boxes were elevated that high, your roosts would really only need to be maybe 24 inches high, if that helps. I think at that height, australorps would not even need a ramp.
     
  4. AnimalFriend<3

    AnimalFriend<3 Out Of The Brooder

    73
    2
    41
    Jan 21, 2011
    I would use two nesting boxes as well. A good rule of thumb is 18in off the ground for the nesting boxes and then the roosts can be just above that. Your pullets should be able to get to the roost at 3ft. I put a roost a little lower than the highest roost because they tend to like to jump up from one to the other. Are you planning on putting the food and water on top of the shelf? If so I caution you because that can turn into a big mess (poop on top of the shelf). I think it is better to have it slanted at the top so your chickens wont roost on top of the nesting boxes.
    I hope I was helpful and not just repeating what others have said. Good luck! [​IMG]
     
  5. suburban

    suburban Out Of The Brooder

    92
    0
    39
    Dec 13, 2010
    Perth, western Australia
    Animal friend, do you mean the shelf should be slanted so the chickens don't roost there? So would this mean the nest boxes would be slanted forward too?

    Ok my mind is slowly ticking over (and I've been looking at all the photos)
    So the top of the nest box should be slanted so they don't roost there and the shelf the food and water are on should be slanted for the same reason?
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2011
  6. AnimalFriend<3

    AnimalFriend<3 Out Of The Brooder

    73
    2
    41
    Jan 21, 2011
    Quote:Okay, just the top of the nesting boxes should be slanted. If you are putting the feed and water on a shelf then the shelf doesn't have to be slanted (the water and feeder would slide off). Instead of putting the feed and water on a shelf I recommend hanging the feeder and water from the ceiling of the coop. Either way would work.

    I hope I haven't been too confusing!
    Good luck!
     
  7. suburban

    suburban Out Of The Brooder

    92
    0
    39
    Dec 13, 2010
    Perth, western Australia
    No your not confusing. I'm just rtying to get it right so I don't have to rebuild things.

    Ok so I'm going to hang water and feed. At about chicken chest height right?
    and I'm going to put sloping tops on the 2 nest boxes.

    Stay tuned for more questions...

    Here's one... why are the pop doors so small?
     
  8. AnimalFriend<3

    AnimalFriend<3 Out Of The Brooder

    73
    2
    41
    Jan 21, 2011
    Quote:Yep, hang it just below their heads or a little lower so it is easy to access for them.

    I don't think the pop door "has" to be any size but I think it is small to avoid drafts and easier to incorporate in the coop. Typically I would say a pop door should be 8"x10". Also I have found chickens almost are able to fit through anything (even a small dog door [​IMG] ) so I wouldn't worry about it being too small.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by