Newbie coop design questions

jahphotogal

Chirping
7 Years
May 15, 2012
242
4
83
CT
Hi, I have six baby chicks living in my living room and my friend and I have been reading up on coop and tractor designs. A few questions:

Are two nest boxes enough for six chickens,

I know they need at least 2 sq ft of floor space each but how tall should it be?

Does the food and water go in the hen house or in the run?

Can they flutter up to a roost that's over their heads (so they can walk under it during the day?)

I'm sure I'll have more questions but that's it for now!
 

mnferalkitty

Songster
7 Years
May 17, 2012
1,386
27
131
Minnesota
Hi, I have six baby chicks living in my living room and my friend and I have been reading up on coop and tractor designs. A few questions:
Are two nest boxes enough for six chickens,
I know they need at least 2 sq ft of floor space each but how tall should it be?
Does the food and water go in the hen house or in the run?
Can they flutter up to a roost that's over their heads (so they can walk under it during the day?)
I'm sure I'll have more questions but that's it for now!
Are the chicks pullets? I would but 3 nest boxes in if they are going to be laying hens but more is fine

How high do you want it? will you be building a walk in type coop or just a small box type?

I put my food and water in run it keeps the coop cleaner they don't eat or drink when they are sleeping at night anyways

They can flutter pretty high I have a roost at least 5 ft up and they can get to that, give them a step to kind of help them jump and fly to the high roost. My roost looks like a ladder it is slanted against the wall with several rungs like a ladder but longer
 
Last edited:

AMA Chick

Chirping
7 Years
Apr 10, 2012
115
1
81
Glasgow KY
2 nest boxes are probably enough, but I'd prob. Make 3

How tall to build it, and how high to place roosts depends on type of chickens, I think. You do want roosts higher than nest boxes

I asked the food water ?'s, and got differing opinions. Some do run, some do coop, some
do both. My thought is when locked in coop, they need access to food and water, so either just coop, or run and coop.

Some chickens can fly up to roost, some might need a ramp

Good luck!
 

Chicks23

Hatching
7 Years
Apr 19, 2012
7
0
7
One thing to keep in mind about where to keep food and water... if you keep it outside I would suggest taking it in every night... if you have any rodents in your area food/water left our in coop is an open invitation. I actually do both.. I keep food outside when they are out and move in during the night to avoid rodents...

As for Roost's I placed several in my coop and different heights.. this way they have some options and I tend to see them move around depending on there moods... Also they can certainly fly up to higher roost with out any issue, but to be safe you can have some roost of increasing height to allow them to work there way up.
 

rikithemonk

Songster
7 Years
Apr 19, 2012
279
25
101
Mont Dora Florida
Hi, I have six baby chicks living in my living room and my friend and I have been reading up on coop and tractor designs. A few questions:
Are two nest boxes enough for six chickens,
I know they need at least 2 sq ft of floor space each but how tall should it be?
Does the food and water go in the hen house or in the run?
Can they flutter up to a roost that's over their heads (so they can walk under it during the day?)
I'm sure I'll have more questions but that's it for now!
Are two nest boxes enough for six chickens,

Yes, two will be plenty.

I know they need at least 2 sq ft of floor space each but how tall should it be?

People use five gallon buckets laid on their side for nest boxes and that seems to work for most breeds of chickens just fine. I would think the nest box wouldn't need to be very much taller than that. one foot or a foot and a half should do. As for how tall the coop or run needs to be, my coop and run are four feet tall. Personally I wish that I made them taller. Catching chickens or cleaning while hunched over isn't very fun.

Does the food and water go in the hen house or in the run?

I would keep it in the run, under some cover to protect it from the rain. Give your chickens a covered area in your run for shade and rain protection and keep the food there.

Can they flutter up to a roost that's over their heads (so they can walk under it during the day?)

Yep, as they get older they will be able to fly quite high, even with their flight feathers clipped.

Riki
 

Mavrik

Songster
8 Years
Jun 15, 2011
263
19
111
It's 4 sqft of coop floor space per bird, 10 sqft per bird total for confined birds (coop and run). Storey's Guide pg 28. This is a good book to have.
 

jahphotogal

Chirping
7 Years
May 15, 2012
242
4
83
CT
These are great suggestions. I'm going to be finishing the coop this weekend - using the 5 gallon buckets.
 

jahphotogal

Chirping
7 Years
May 15, 2012
242
4
83
CT
The coop is almost done - I was planning to let them sleep outside in it tonight but when I went to scooch them into the sleeping area around 8:30pm, they were all piled up by the door expecting me to bring them inside. So I did, for one more night, but tomorrow for sure they sleep outside! It's just as well - the front door of the coop isn't done properly - just a couple of pieces of wire mesh zip-tied together -- and I can't easily get in and out to get them from the run into the henhouse. I have a plan to make a hatch door - I'll make another semicircle arch out of PVC pipe, hinge the bottom to the bottom of the frame, then get a bunch of pieces of velcro tie to attach them.

Because I'm making it all out of plastic I didn't fully enclose the henhouse itself - it's all inside the run so it's secure from predators but I was concerned that if I put all the walls up it would get suffocatingly hot. So the upstairs has a low wall so the bedding doesn't fall out, and I made a perch just outside it so they can flutter in and out. My daughter also insisted on a gangplank but I think it's kind of steep - we'll see if they can use it. (I just glued sticks to a piece of birch plywood I had lying around to make the treads.)

The floor is made of poultry wire. I was concerned that they wouldn't like walking on it but they don't seem to mind. I threw in some handfuls of leaves so they have something to scratch around in.

Pictures coming later on ....
 

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