More Roosting Bar Space = More Chickens? (Just Sleeping & Nesting)

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by HollywoodHillsHens, Jun 27, 2011.

  1. HollywoodHillsHens

    HollywoodHillsHens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 24, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    We have plans to expand our flock of 4 Large Fowl to ~10 or 12, so I just built a Mid-Century Modern "post and beam" coop out of an IKEA bunk bed and storage unit (a modificaiton of THIS: http://www.ikeahackers.net/2009/06/ikea-home-for-chicks.html ).

    Now that it's done, I'm in a slight panic thinking our coop is too small!!

    Dimensions & Details
    The coop overall is ~8'x3' with a height between 5-5.5'. Each of two roosting bars has 45 inches of space, with one 30inch perching bar in front of the 3 elevated nest boxes. Food and water is beneath the nest boxes so as to remain clean from nightly poops. Our chickens range in a ~300 square foot yard area during the day, so this coop is JUST for sleeping and nesting.


    Regarding capacity....

    1) Can 10-12 hens comfortably live in such a setup? I have heard the "4 square feet per chicken in a coop" rule of thumb (in our 8'x3' coop that's 6 birds), but have seen some posts saying in general that a given coop size can house more chickens if it's just a nightly "crash pad."

    2) There's space above these roosting bars - several feet of it, in fact. In theory I can install a second story of roosting bars over the first, with poop trays beneath them to protect the ladies below. Is this a good idea for increasing my coop capacity - building "up" additional accessible roosting space - or would it still stress the birds?

    Note that I can increase nesting box capacity by 1 if necessary, bringing the total to 4.

    THANK YOU FOR YOUR HELP!!
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2011
  2. chickyboomboom

    chickyboomboom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 14, 2011
    I'm new to chickens so won't be of too much help... But I bought a prefab coop- one that said for 4-6 chickens. I have 5 and thought it would be great. After it was built and after reading these forums, I realized it was WAY too small. So, I ended up basically adding a story to it. It was pretty simple to do. Raised it up on some sturdy posts and added another ramp. So, now my 5 girls have a 2 story villa! Maybe you could do that?
     
  3. Tenmore

    Tenmore Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 2, 2011
    Ogden utah
    Mine is alittle bigger but not much 51 inches wide 8 feet long 8 ft high this is how I did my roosts I have 3 roosts 51 inches long for 14 chickens pleanty of room for them all but of course 12 of the 14 have to be on the top one.[​IMG] [​IMG] this is still a work in progess but as you can see I staggered the roosts up and back.. boxes were inside but things were getting cramped in there so I built them on the out side with the outside access. You cant see it but under roosts is poop board and under that is water and food. Poop board is built so food and water stays clean. Hope this helps just so you know the layout has changed about 5 times in the coop but I think this will work good luck [​IMG]
     
  4. Tenmore

    Tenmore Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 2, 2011
    Ogden utah
    Now that i looked at the pics you might want a second level but if you have the space stagger the roosts like I did pics above and they will be ok if its just a bunk house and not a full time coop.[​IMG]
     
  5. HollywoodHillsHens

    HollywoodHillsHens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 24, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    Thanks guys! I am already planning out how I will make the mods. Fortunately the main doors open wide enough for me to crawl all the way inside....

    If I did the bars directly on top of each other (with poop protection) how much headroom do they need/
     
  6. kngGA

    kngGA New Egg

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    Jun 27, 2011
    Keep in mind that chickens will seek the highest point to roost. Make sure your highest point can accommodate all the chickens or they will fight for a spot.
     

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