1. k15n1

    k15n1 Out Of The Brooder

    12
    1
    24
    Jun 7, 2013
    I have a coop that's about 7' square and 8' high. That's only enough space for about 5 birds by my calculations. I'd like 10 layers, if possible. Could I add a loft to increase the usable space? Or am I better off with more roosting real estate?

    If I go to the trouble of making a loft, will the ladies actually use it? If they don't, is there a way to entice them? Do they need ramp? Or are they happy to jump/fly between levels?

    Also, my roo is giant and his wings are tiny. I honestly don't know how he gets up on the roost. It's, like, 2' off the floor. Do I need a ladder? Should it be a board with slats? Once I saw one that was lashed-together sticks.
     
  2. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

    5,573
    1,065
    311
    Dec 25, 2012
    Better to extend it 7 feet in one direction.

    I doubt that a "attic" in a chicken coop will get much use except as a sleeping area.

    If your roo is that physically challenged do not, I repeat do not force him to climb up any kind of ladder to roost higher. Chickens are bird brained.

    This is normal because chickens are birds. But being a bird your rooster as the macho-man he is will fly down from his roost in the morning resulting in lameness and maybe bumble foot.
     
  3. CrazyTalk

    CrazyTalk Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,384
    305
    148
    Jun 10, 2014
    I'm a bit confused when you say "7' square and 8' high".

    Are you talking the coop is 7x7x8 (in which case you have 49 sqft, and could fit a dozen birds), or are you talking that its something like 2x3.5x8, in which case you can fit a bird.
     
  4. ECBW

    ECBW Chillin' With My Peeps

    812
    34
    133
    Apr 12, 2011
    NJ
    7x7 is plenty floor space for 10 birds as you wish. 8ft is a lot of air space that can be put to good use. Build lofts, nests, roosts, etc. Just keep the nests at the lowest and subsequent level no more than 2 feet higher. The birds will just hop up and down, no ladder necessary.

    A suggestion, make things removable and adjustable so it is easier when human has to get in there to clean or repair.
     
  5. k15n1

    k15n1 Out Of The Brooder

    12
    1
    24
    Jun 7, 2013
    I gutted the chicken coop and built 2 tiers of balconies. Sort of a U-shape. So much more space. I threw the scratch up on the first tier but the girls couldn't find it. They could hear the noises but they were looking down. So I put a few of them up there and it didn't take long for the rest to catch on. Water's on the first tier, feed on the second. That should be motivation to explore.
     
  6. k15n1

    k15n1 Out Of The Brooder

    12
    1
    24
    Jun 7, 2013
    Well, they didn't enjoy the construction process but apparently they're all happy with 2x the floor space. I haven't had 3 eggs in a day since the first day I got them---but I did today. Maybe it's chance. Anyway, when I checked on them this evening they were all clucking around on the middle level, basking in the glow of the heat lamp. They had obviously been drinking (middle level) because it was wet. (I thought the vertical nipples were leaking but it turns out they're just messy drinkers.) They had obviously been in the feed (top level), which means this new setup could work. Obviously the first 24 hours still falls in the category of beginners' luck.
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    35,649
    9,133
    656
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    How do they fly down without crashing into a wall?

    Can you post pics?

    8' height is good for ventilation.
     
  8. k15n1

    k15n1 Out Of The Brooder

    12
    1
    24
    Jun 7, 2013
    Oh, of course. Here's the chicken hut (first image). Probably too fancy for chickens but I like it. The second image is looking in. I'm standing on the ground, so it looks like I'm shooting from the floor. Then the right and left view. Sorry for the blur. Like the watering arrangement? There's a heater in the bucket. Just the other day I covered a cement-mixing tray with 2 layers of 1-cm hardware cloth. There's a 2x6 on the diagonal. Anyway, it helps with the mess. I thought the nipples were leaking but the problem is the hens making a mess. At least I won't have frozen clumps of bedding every day. I can imagine it could get a bit gross, seeing how they poo on it. I don't know if it'll be a long term solution but it's something I'm trying out.

    I've had to shovel bedding up to the tiers every day. The shelves stand away from the walls because they're attached to the inside of the studs. I've added some boards to keep the bedding contained. Still, it doesn't bother me to have to make adjustments like that. Keeps everything loose and mixed. Found an egg in the bedding today, which was a surprise.

    There's a chicken-wire ceiling, BTW, which I've staped some scrap 6-mil plastic over.

    The girls were flying across the coop from one side of the top tier to the other. It was a disruption. They were tearing up the plastic, which is held on by 3 mm staples. It would bang the heat lamp. I'm worried that they'll jostle the heat lamp and be without any heat source for a full day. So I put in a bar between the sides on the top tier. I put some of their scratch on it and now they're using it frequently, after only about 20 min.

    I usually go out to the coop last thing in the evening to give them some scratch and see how things are going. It's so much fun. Today it took about an hour between watching them go about their chicken business and making improvements. It's relaxing, too---as good as a meditation session.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    35,649
    9,133
    656
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    That heat lamp is scary.....they don't really need it anyway...but if you continue to feel they do, I sure hope it's triple attached.

    Is there any ventilation in there? Looks like the eaves are blocked off?

    What is your climate? Putting your location in your profile can help folks make better suggestions.
     
  10. DOUGNASH

    DOUGNASH Out Of The Brooder

    I copied the below picture and post from a different thread

    I would get that heat lamp out of there immediately...


    [​IMG]

    So we got a call from our friend that we have lost everything [​IMG]
    seems as if while on vacation the heat lamp fell or something and it was a total loss along with all my chickens...
    we had someone watching them to make sure nothing was trying to eat them and that they had food and water.....
    she was there 5 hours before i got the call.
    I am saddened that the chickens did not make it out.... [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2014
    2 people like this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by