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Need Help/Advice on Coop Ramps & Roosts

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Enchanted Sunrise Farms, Aug 19, 2008.

  1. Enchanted Sunrise Farms

    Enchanted Sunrise Farms Overrun With Chickens

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    Apr 26, 2007
    Fair Oaks, California
    This coop had originally been used for pigeons. Scrubbed it down, and added additional hardware cloth over the chicken wire. But i'm a little confused about how to create ramps up to the nest boxes. There are 9 of them and they start a little over 3 feet from the ground. i can see i need to put lips at the bottom of each nest box section, to keep the eggs from rolling out. i think i probably need to build a ramp up to one or to each level? But i can't quite picture the best way for the hens to be able to access each box. And then, where would be the best place to install the sleeping roosts? This will be the sleeping and nesting area for my 6 red star pullets and 2 EE hens. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! [​IMG]

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  2. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

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    Wow - neat coop!

    3' up is a little high for nest boxes; I've heard they shouldn't be higher than 2', but I would think so long as you have a way for them to get up there, it would be okay. I would put a simple 2x4 board horizontally about a foot lower, so they can jump up there first, and then into the nest boxes. The biggest problem you'll have is that they will want to roost in the highest spot, so they may end up using the nest boxes as sleeping areas and they'll get poopy, and your eggs will be dirty. Plus, you don't need that many nest boxes for that many chickens; probably only need 2. Is there any way you could block off the top 3 boxes so there is no access?

    I just had a thought; if you could block out the top 3 nest boxes with a large piece of plywood attached with hinges, you could use that area for storage! I just never seem to have enough storage!!!
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2008
  3. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    My Coop
    I agree with Wynette. my husband built a angled (/) ladder like. I'll try to draw it.
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    Last edited: Aug 19, 2008
  4. Enchanted Sunrise Farms

    Enchanted Sunrise Farms Overrun With Chickens

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    Apr 26, 2007
    Fair Oaks, California
    Thank you Wynette, yes, great idea about blocking off the top row of boxes! i'm going to do that. Got the lips on the other two rows of boxes today so the eggs won't roll out. i have a board to put in front of the lower row of boxes, for them to hop onto to get in. Then i can do a ladder up the side like cmom suggested. Then i see where i can secure a sleeping roost just a bit taller than the middle row of nest boxes. All these girls love to roost when they sleep. So hopefully they will do that and stay out of the nest boxes at night. No such luck with my silkies.

    Really appreciate the suggestions. i will post pictures when i'm done with this stage of the plan. Next will be securing the run. Phew!
     
  5. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

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    It's SO much fun deciding how to get your run & coop just the way you want it!

    Just wanted to throw this in: if they DO start using the nest boxes for sleeping in, I had the same issue and what I did was at night, I'd put shoe boxes in the nest boxes so they couldn't get in. I removed them early each morning when I let them out. After doing this for about 10 days, I removed them and never had the issue again. Good luck! Post pics when you get it how you want it! I'd love to see your changes!! [​IMG]
     
  6. cajunlizz

    cajunlizz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2008
    Lafayette, Louisiana
    Quote:nice coop , I have my plastic milk crates on the floor of my coop ( upright position ) plenty of room for the hen to lay eggs. I wanted DH to mount these crates about 18 inches high on the wall , BUT this is working great . We have 8 crates side by side on floor . working for my flock .

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  7. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

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    Liz, so your girls jump into the boxes and lay in them? I'd never have thought they'd do that! Neat! My coop is quite small, so I need all the floor space I can get, but this would be a great idea for someone with a large coop!
     
  8. pkeeler

    pkeeler Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Shamong
    If you use the Deep Litter Method, you could put in 12" or even 18" of litter and then you would only be 18-24" below the nest boxes which is a manageable amount.

    One thing that I learned about roosts, that isn't in any book, is the chickens need a decent landing area. I have my roosts across from nest boxes and feeders. This gives only a foot of clear landing area. The chickens all sidle down to the one area with 2' of landing area.
     
  9. cajunlizz

    cajunlizz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2008
    Lafayette, Louisiana
    Quote:Yes , they jump in nesting box and go right back outside into the run

    My coop is 8 x 12 . one section is total nesting area . these crates are all lined up side by side . Opposite sice of coop is for roosting . DH made them like a huge trellis of 2x4's and they never poop in or around the nesting boxes . Floor has vinyl and pine shavings thru out . Nesting boxes are 1/2 full of shavings as well .

    My run is 12 x 32
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2008
  10. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    My Coop
    Quote:I agree. I used milk crates and bricks but shoe boxes I'm sure work good too. If you don't break them of sleeping in the nest boxes you will have poopy eggs. [​IMG]
     

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