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Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by tav1, Nov 4, 2014.
When I make my small coop how far off the floor do I put the nest box? And rooster also
The nest boxes can be on the ground, or raised up to about two feet from the ground. Most of my nest boxes are on the ground, and the hens enjoy them. Some breeds aren't as good flyers and like low nests.
The roosts should be higher than the nest boxes, to discourage birds from sleeping in the nests and not on the roosts. If you have heavy breeds (most of the dual-purpose breeds), I wouldn't put the roosts much higher than two feet. Heavy breeds can hurt themselves jumping long distances to the ground. If the breeds are lighter or bantams, you an put the roosts higher. Chickens love high roosts.
In the thinking part now for making a box type coop. Maybe 3 ' high if that.
3'H x 3'L x3'W.....two maybe 3 hens
In my small coops, the nests are elevated to gain maximun floor space. After trial and error, the bottom of the nests are at 18" and the threshold at 22". The roosts are at 26" and 32". The birds can hop on and off easily, no ramp.
These dimensions suit my situation and certainly not cast in stone.
3x3 will feel small by the time you fit in feeder, waterer, nests and roosts.
I have 3x4x3h and 3x6x3.5h not counting roof peaks. You can see them in my profile. I can reach in and get to every corner.
The nests can be at any height as far as the chickens go. Chickens don’t car nearly as much as people do. The key is what suits you and your coop best. Some people with a bad back have the nests up high enough that they don’t have to bend over to gather eggs. Some people are happy with nests on the floor. If you put them really low, make sure the sides and front are high enough the chickens won’t scratch trash and poop from the coop floor into the nests. If they are over two feet high put some type of perch in front to help the chickens get into the nests.
It is very important that he roost be higher than the nests as others mentioned. If your coop is only three feet high that may be a challenge. Also you need some ventilation over their heads yet keep breezes from hitting them directly. That means the roosts need to be a certain distance from the roof and below those openings.
If you go with a 3’ x 3’ footprint try laying it out so you can get a nest in there, a roost, and they don’t poop in the food and water at night when they are roosting. That can be challenging if you feed and water in the coop.
How much of a problem they have getting down from a roost has a direct relationship to how much clear landing space they have. The higher the roost the more clear space they need to land without banging into a wall, the nests, or the feeders or waterers. They don’t just jump down but spread their wings to soften the landing. A lot more get hurt banging into things on the way down than actually hurting themselves on the landing.
If you are buying new material to build the coop, most building materials come in 4’ or 8’ dimensions. You can usually build a bigger coop if you use these dimensions for about the same cost and have a lot less cutting and waste. A sheet of plywood is normally 4’ x 8’. If you use that to build a 3’ x 3’ x 4’ high coop, you cut twice and throw away 2’ of the plywood. If you build it 4’ x 4’, you cut once and throw nothing away.
The way I determine roost height is to first determine floor height, including the depth of any litter I might use. Then I position the nests. Next I determine the minimum roost height where the roosts are clearly higher than anything I don’t want them to roost on, usually the nests. The lower you make the roosts the less chance of them hurting themselves getting down and the more room you have for ventilation up high.
i started making the coop and it's a little more 3x3 and maybe 22" high (pics soon) . half way back I can still go up some to get more height if I need to. i have all winter to mess around with this project.
near spring a friend is getting more so i'm going in with him, I think he has road island reds? all's I know is there red....lol plus I need to get something to put the chicks in till there old enough to hit the ground running .
now here's a rain question..... so it's raining out , will they go out and i'm assuming I shouldn't put the feed outside during rain.....thinking it should goes in the coop where it's dry. at one point when I make the pen i'm gonna add some cover of some sort. thanks
The feed needs to stay dry so it won't mold, or be fed in a way they clean all of it up. Mold is dangerous.
My chickens will go out in a rain and get soaking wet without harm. I think they are looking for red worms that come to the surface. If it is a storm with blowing winds, they do not go outside.