Nest boxes off the roosting area

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Tisnelda, May 31, 2016.

  1. Tisnelda

    Tisnelda Out Of The Brooder

    May 31, 2016
    Hi all! I have been reading posts for months and bugging my husband to get chickens. He is finally on board! We are hoping to get just a couple (2-3) chickens for our very suburban backyard. I want to start small and keep it simple. I'd love to purchase one of the ready-made coops simply because for $300 they look nice and finished and the neighbors will approve aesthetically. My husband wants to build one, but I'm afraid we'll be in $400 plus before we're done, and although it will no doubt be more sturdy than the pre-made ones, probably won't look quite as pretty. The thing I hate about all the small, pre-made coops is they have roosting poles just above the floor, right next to the nesting boxes. This means the chickens will have to tread through the poopiest spot to get into their nesting box, which is also level with the ground. In my mind, I'd like 2 nesting boxes sitting a few inches off the floor (to minimize mess getting in to the boxes), and a poop shelf and roosting pole above the nesting boxes. I feel this will contain the majority of the poop up and away from the nests and prevent me from having to replace all the bedding so often. Am I over thinking this? Should we just keep it simple and buy a coop to start? Or is it smarter to go with my design and spring for the bigger, more expensive project? TIA!
  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    Go for your design idea, for sure - most prefab coops are not up to the job. And it will keep hubby out of mischief for a while [​IMG]
    1 person likes this.
  3. dindonuffin

    dindonuffin Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 19, 2016
    Central Alabama
    Build your own. I started with one of the pre-fab coops and it was so small and had the problems you listed. I ended up building one myself and glad that I did. I only wish I had built mine larger, but I can always add on to it.
    1 person likes this.
  4. BruceAZ

    BruceAZ Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 18, 2016
    Valley of the Sun :)
    if you already have the tools

    build your own coop/run (let say for 6-8 chickens? ) probably only cost you maybe $120-$200

    vs a ready-made --you will get some tiny little coop that is good for 2-4 chickens for $300-$400+ .. i have some pictures coops at costco and petsmart for you to compare price..

    if you have to buy.. try costco. .since they have the best warranty and reasonable price compare to other places

    *note it's still cheaper and better quality if you build your own

    but if you still want to buy..

    these are from petsmart



    these are from costco




    some people will use dog kennel as a chicken run
    Last edited: May 31, 2016
    1 person likes this.
  5. Tisnelda

    Tisnelda Out Of The Brooder

    May 31, 2016
    Thanks for your input everyone! I didn't think to look at petsmart. I might go check those out to see some in real life instead of online photos.

    I think we might end up going the "build-your-own" route,but I'll be honest, I think it will be really expensive! I keep trying to price out the lumber to frame it, the siding, the roofing material, the chicken wire, the hardware and hinges for gates, doors, and access panels, plus building the nest boxes and poop shelf. It keeps adding up! I'm easily in the $400 range for a relatively small coop and run! I think my problem is aesthetics. I could probably rough up something a lot cheaper, but we have 6 neighboring houses that see our yard at all times (back to back neighborhood). It's a nice neighborhood and we will easily be dubbed the "crazy hillbillies" once the chickens arrive, so I am really trying to build something that fits in to the nice, manicured lawns and sheds. Hence the appeal of the pre-fabs. Very nice finishes, etc. Ugh. It's such a form vs function battle!!!!

    Thanks for your help! You all are wonderful!
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Yeah, you'll spend more to build one, but it will be hopefully of much better design and materials.
    Your point of the roosts being to low is spot on, and not just because of walking thru poop to the nest, the roosts are so low that they will want to sleep in the nests.
    One of the biggest reasons to beware of prefabs, is the often(always) exaggerated population numbers they give. 6 birds?..... yeah, more like maybe 2.
    I could go on and on. Build, don't buy cute tiny prefabs.
    1 person likes this.

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