Nest box height & roosts

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by amos58, Jan 13, 2008.

  1. amos58

    amos58 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 9, 2007
    We have just finished building our first coop.
    It is inside a shed/small barn, that is attached to our house, all I have to do is walk out my kitchen door in to the shed nad there they are in their little coop.. Anyway it is 4'x8', the problem is when we put the nest boxes on the wall, we put it up about 2 1/2 or 3 feet off the floor( these are on the 8' wall). The question is what can we do to help them get up there? I thought of a ramp, but that would take up lots of floor space. Any suggestions? I haven't put any roosts in yet any suggestions on where and how high? These chickens are out there for the first time tonight, they are 2 month old giant cochins and have a 100 watt bulb in there. It will probably get to about 20 degrees tonight. Will they be OK?
    Thank you so much
    Diane
     
  2. CarlaRiggs

    CarlaRiggs Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hello, Diane ~

    You may want to put the nesting boxes down a bit; say about 14-18" above the floor. This will still give you space underneath to place water or food containers. It helps to give the hens a little perch in front of the boxes, so that they can check the space out before going in to lay.
    I would put the roosts up higher than the boxes... the hens will be more likely to roost in the higher poles, than the nests. This will prevent the nests from becoming soiled. The nesting boxes with a slanted top will prevent the birds from perching atop them, too.

    Carla
    Ooops! Didn't answer the last question.[​IMG] The birds will probably still sleep on the floor huddled together for now. Just have a good amount of pine shavings or whatever that the birds can 'nest' in to help them keep warm. There should be no drafts, but venting at the top of the coop. The light should be hung low enough for the lamp to emanate the heat to the birds, just not low enough that they'll take a peck at it!
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2008
  3. amos58

    amos58 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you Carla, I was worried all night wondering if they would be OK, and they were alright this morning, the water didn't even freeze, as I forgot to take it in last night.
    The problem with the boxes is, we can't lower them, they are in there good.. unfortunately...:| Do the roosts go in front of the nest boxes, or anyplace in the coop? How high would I place them? Sorry for all the questions.
    Diane
     
  4. chickflick

    chickflick Overrun With Chickens

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    Dimondale
    The roosts go anywhere you have room for them. I have three...one at 3ft, 4ft and at 5ft. The nesting boxes are really high, you'll have to do something for them to get up easily. I have cut an old wooden ladder down so the silkies can get up on the roost, maybe with a one roost running along your nesting boxes and the ladder leaning on that roost. [​IMG]
     
  5. amos58

    amos58 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 9, 2007
    Thank you chickflick, I will put a roost in front of the boxes ( they are 3 boxes attached to each other with a sheet of wood under them sticking out about 3 inches or so and then I cah make a ramp to that. I would only need one ramp, right? Or do I need a ramp for each box, are they that particular??? They are fun, and I wan to make them as comfortable and happy as I can.
    Thanks again
    Diane
     
  6. crysmom

    crysmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 24, 2007
    one ladder should be fine [​IMG]
     
  7. CarlaRiggs

    CarlaRiggs Chillin' With My Peeps

    The main idea is that the hens have access to the nesting boxes, or they may begin laying on the floor. One ladder up to a perch in front of the nesting boxes would be fine. Usually chickens like to roost on the highest thing they can; that's why it's a good idea to have the boxes lower.
    Sounds like you have a great set-up for your chickens. [​IMG]
     
  8. amos58

    amos58 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 9, 2007
    We may end up putting some boxes under the ones we have now, which would be 2 feet up, and a ramp to the top ones, not sure yet, but I will definitely make a ramp. I also put an old crate I had, on the floor of the coop for now and three of them are in it and the big rooster is laying in front of them, sort of guarding his 2 hens and rooster.
    Diane:)
     

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