Let me run a few ideas by you all


In the Brooder
11 Years
Jan 20, 2009
So, I'm working on my coop design plans so we can get to work while my husband is off for spring break next week.
My first plans I drew up looked like they would be pretty costly to make, this is about half my first estimate.

I'm thinking of making the coop a two story 4x4 chicken condo. It will be elevated off the ground about 1.5 feet, the first story (with a ramp leading in from the run) will have the three nests, then inside there will be a ramp up to the "roosting loft", where the girls will have two 48" roosting sticks.
There will be an egg collecting hatch on the wall with the nests, and a clean out door on the side that is inside the run, and a big window on the south side. All in all, it will be about 6.5 feet tall.

Does this sound acceptable to chickens? How steep a ramp can they handle? Can the nest boxes be right on the floor of the first level, or do they need to be elevated?

Thanks for helping this newbie out!


14 Years
Dec 12, 2007
ID/WA border
Sounds great to me, Sarah!

I'm beginning to realize that 4' is a little far to reach across for most women and it is about maximum for most guys.

Your #3 nest may not get any use. That doesn't mean it can't be used for storage, however
. Often, hens lay all in 1 nest but even for just a few birds, it is a good idea to have "no wait" accommodations.

Nests can go on the floor but they will track things in. I have a little ramp to the nest in my coop. It was actually a little difficult for the pullets to find the nest at first because it was out of the way and above their heads. They didn't have access to it until just before they began to lay.

That's the only ramp they have to use and they learned to climb it (with a little help
). It reaches 18 inches and spans 17 inches. That makes it about 45°, right? I don't think a ramp any steeper than that would be very usable but I'm not sure.

Best of luck to you and your DH



In the Brooder
11 Years
Jan 20, 2009
Hmm, maybe I should make two nests and a storage bin (or possibly a feeder?) We will likely get more chickens in the future, probably no more than 8 or 9 at a time, so I wanted to have enough nests. Maybe I'll raise the nests 6 inches off the floor. high enough so they won't track stuff in, but low enough it's just a small hop.

Steve, just wondering why you mention the reach? I'm hoping to not have a need to reach into the coop too much, we're planning on using the deep litter method, and using a hoe or snow shovel to clear it out twice yearly, and I'm going to have either a tray or newspaper under the roosts to pull out about weekly to compost.


11 Years
Aug 18, 2008
Olympia WA
My coop has a roosting area that is 4 by 4. I think it would be totally maxed out with 6 heavy layers in it. It is a bit far to reach back for me (I'm 5'7"), but it would be a lot easier if I had made the opening the full width of the area (4'wide) instead of a little 18" door. I don't replace all the litter very often, but I do reach in and take out most of the fresh poo about every other day. In a small area like that it builds up quick. If you are really thinking about even the possibility of more hens, I would seriously think about building a bigger, walk-in coop. That's where I'm at right now, fed up with my small 4 by 8, double-decker coop.

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