Logical Layout For Coop


10 Years
Mar 8, 2010
Mid-Coast Maine
I am having some trouble trying to decide on the best layout for my coop. I will have 6 birds total: 3 RIR & 3 Barred Rock. My coop will be 4' x 5' x 5'h.
Should I have one sharing nest 12" x 24" or (2) 12" x 12" ? Roost placement/height? How high should the nests be off the floor if any? Roost hight? Also, should I have food and water in the coop as well as the run? I am waiting on my copy of Chickens for Dummies to arrive, but am eager to know these things as I am planning my coop design now. I know I'm asking a lot, so any input appreciated.
I am looking for advice on an effective logical placement for these items and what needs to be considered. I have tried searching these forums, but the info is scattered...
Steve the Newb


10 Years
Mar 3, 2009
At my computer, where are you?
Hi Steve,
Some of these are subjective, so here's my $.02

Two nest boxes 12x12.
Nest boxes 18" off the floor (so you're not losing floor space), with the top being the poop board for the roost which is directly above.
If you don't want them stacked, make sure the roost is a good foot higher than the top of the nest boxes so they don't roost in the boxes.
I only do food and water in the coop. Mine hang and I don't get too much waste. Put them as far away from where the chooks will be exiting the the roost and boxes as possible (or under the nest boxes could work).

I made the mistake of putting my nest boxes under a window; too bright and the birds sat there all the time LOL, try to tuck them away.

Hope that helps


11 Years
Apr 9, 2008
Minneapolis, MN
My Coop
My Coop
I have 4 chickens and went with the single, long nest box. It has worked out really well *except* for when someone went broody. She didn't like to share the box and then the rest started laying on the floor under the box. Once she was out of her funk they all went back to using the nest box again. Not a big deal.

I agree that the nest box should be 18 inches off the floor with the roost higher than that to discourage sleeping in the nest box. My roost is along the back wall, opposite from the door. It's 18 inches off the wall to discourage pooing down the wall. Put your nest box as close to the people door as you can. My nest box is open on the top, but I have heard other say that the darker you can make it, the better. If you top it, make it on a steep angle to discourage roosting on top.

I do food/water in the coop. I use cereal bowls and have very little spillage but they have to be refilled daily. I don't mind. Outside would work as well, as long as you don't mind feeding the resident mouse/squirrel/chipmunk population too.


Love My Chickens
10 Years
Jul 28, 2009
Floyds Knobs, Indiana
My Coop
My Coop
Definitely raise your nest box(es), since you're already really tight for space (a general rule of thumb is 4 sq. ft. per standard sized bird). That way they have the entire floor for living/moving about space.

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