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Ok, coop plan sketch and questions...

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by ChickieNikki, Mar 30, 2009.

  1. ChickieNikki

    ChickieNikki Chillin' With My Peeps

    OK, so our planis for a 10 x 6 coop. My idea for the interior layout is as follows:

    [​IMG]

    It is for 25 birds. (They will have access to a 1/3 acre enclosed run during the day)
    It will face almost due south (it's really the only way we can do it)
    The floor will be 2' off the ground to create a 10'6" x 6'6" enclosed pen beneath the coop (that will not be for sleeping, only for daytime access)
    saltbox roof (I think that's what it is)---back wall will be 8' above the floor, front wall will be 5' above the floor, roof will slant down from back wall to front wall. There will be guttering, but chickens will enter/exit the side with no access to the front of the house.
    we are going to use SunTuf polycarb corrugated roofing--looks like corrugated metal roofing, but it's transparent or translucent--they carry it at Home Depot
    Roof will overhang about 8" on the sides and 12" on the front
    South facing 10' wall will have a 5' wide by 3' high window
    Man door on one 6' wall, chicken pop door on the other 6' wall. Window that opens will be above man door.
    There will be a ramp for chickens to use.
    We will build a 3.5' wide nest box, 12" deep, with slanted board 15" above it and an outside access door. My best friend's chickens all nest in the same straw filled pig trough, and I'd save on lumber if I don't divide the box up. I figure, if that's how they learn, they'll just follow the program, yes?
    2 roosts, one along each of the two 10' walls .

    I would like your thoughts on the following:

    1. Deep litter method: for that size coop and 25 birds, how deep should the litter be? I only want to change it once a year.

    2. Should we make the roof out of clear panels, which has 90% light transmission, or white, which only has 45% light transmission? I don't want to make it too sunny in the coop on a sunny day, unless they prefer sunny. They could always go underneath for shade...

    2. I plan to use a wood stair railing for the roost poles. Since I have heavy birds, I'm thinking of keeping it 20" up, and my nesting boxes about 12' off the floor--is that high enough above the boxes? Is it low enough for the big birds? And for 25 chickens, how long should each roost be?

    4. Is that an OK setup for feed/water? I can install hooks in the walls to hang them, or put them on a platform to keep them out of the litter--which is better, and how high should they be?

    5. I think it's a good idea to have the people door be framed with chickenwire in the top half that can be boarded up to make a solid door in winter--sound OK?

    6. I think the people door should swing out, so as not to swing over the litter or be obstructed by the roosts/nest boxes. There will be a plastic baby gate blocking it so the litter and birds won't escape. Am I right to have it swing out?

    7. The nest box will have outside access--one long door, about 3' wide. First, how should we latch it shut, and second, should the door lift up or drop down to open? I can think of pros and cons to both, so any experience-based answers will help.

    That's all I can think of for now. Thanks so much for your feedback. I'm so new at this but so excited, it's all I think about!!!
     
  2. KattyKillFish

    KattyKillFish Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 8, 2009
    Dillingham, Alaska
    1. Deep litter method: for that size coop and 25 birds, how deep should the litter be? I only want to change it once a year.
    a couple of inches is my guess. that's what i've read people doing and that's what i would do.

    2. Should we make the roof out of clear panels, which has 90% light transmission, or white, which only has 45% light transmission? I don't want to make it too sunny in the coop on a sunny day, unless they prefer sunny. They could always go underneath for shade...
    i do 1/4 of the roof 90% light trasmission and the rest with no light. works for me!


    2. I plan to use a wood stair railing for the roost poles. Since I have heavy birds, I'm thinking of keeping it 20" up, and my nesting boxes about 12' off the floor--is that high enough above the boxes? Is it low enough for the big birds? And for 25 chickens, how long should each roost be?

    always have way more roosting spots that it looks like your birds can use, they like climbing around and high roosts are a good idea too since some individual birds, mainly roos, seem to like roosting higher up.


    4. Is that an OK setup for feed/water? I can install hooks in the walls to hang them, or put them on a platform to keep them out of the litter--which is better, and how high should they be?

    just be sure the feed isn't under the perches. 4 inches off the ground for bantams and 6 for standard.

    5. I think it's a good idea to have the people door be framed with chickenwire in the top half that can be boarded up to make a solid door in winter--sound OK?
    sounds like a good idea to me!

    6. I think the people door should swing out, so as not to swing over the litter or be obstructed by the roosts/nest boxes. There will be a plastic baby gate blocking it so the litter and birds won't escape. Am I right to have it swing out?
    yes! i ALWAYS have my doors swing out!

    7. The nest box will have outside access--one long door, about 3' wide. First, how should we latch it shut, and second, should the door lift up or drop down to open? I can think of pros and cons to both, so any experience-based answers will help.
    either way, whichever you prefer. my nest doors slide up.



    all of these answers are based on my opinion, based on my experience. if anyone disagrees i won't throw a fit or get angry. just trying to help out and give advice! i'm sure your flock will love the design you have planned for them because i sure like it! [​IMG]
     
  3. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    Nov 18, 2007
    Florida
    My Coop
    Quote:
    1. Deep litter method: for that size coop and 25 birds, how deep should the litter be? I only want to change it once a year.

    I clean out my coop once a year. I sprinkle litter every week or two until it's abot 4" to 6"deep. My coops about the same sq. footage as your will be.

    2. Should we make the roof out of clear panels, which has 90% light transmission, or white, which only has 45% light transmission? I don't want to make it too sunny in the coop on a sunny day, unless they prefer sunny. They could always go underneath for shade...

    I would use the 45%.

    2. I plan to use a wood stair railing for the roost poles. Since I have heavy birds, I'm thinking of keeping it 20" up, and my nesting boxes about 12' off the floor--is that high enough above the boxes? Is it low enough for the big birds? And for 25 chickens, how long should each roost be?

    I have 2 x 4's with the 4" side up. I have a poop pit under the roosts. They do most of their pooping when they're roosting. You may want to consider putting poop catch trays or drop boards under the roosts to catch the poop.

    4. Is that an OK setup for feed/water? I can install hooks in the walls to hang them, or put them on a platform to keep them out of the litter--which is better, and how high should they be?

    I have mine hanging to just above their backs. Much less wasted feed.

    5. I think it's a good idea to have the people door be framed with chickenwire in the top half that can be boarded up to make a solid door in winter--sound OK?

    Yes. I used hardware cloth.

    6. I think the people door should swing out, so as not to swing over the litter or be obstructed by the roosts/nest boxes. There will be a plastic baby gate blocking it so the litter and birds won't escape. Am I right to have it swing out?

    My door swings out and I have a gate that swings in.

    7. The nest box will have outside access--one long door, about 3' wide. First, how should we latch it shut, and second, should the door lift up or drop down to open? I can think of pros and cons to both, so any experience-based answers will help.

    I have the top boxes with a lid and a door on the bottom ones. There are pics on my BYC Page.

    That's all I can think of for now. Thanks so much for your feedback. I'm so new at this but so excited, it's all I think about!!!

    I hope I have helped some.​
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    OK, so our planis for a 10 x 6 coop. It is for 25 birds. (They will have access to a 1/3 acre enclosed run during the day)

    You might want to consider feeding and watering outside. The feeding would need to be under a covered area to keep the feed dry. The coop is a little small for 25 birds. The rule of thumb is 4 square feet per bird which would require 100 square feet total, say an 8' x 12' coop. The 4 square feet per bird assumes you are feeding and watering inside and takes into consideration the poop load the floor can handle. If you feed and water outside, you give them less reason to be inside and reduce the poop load. You also free up a little more floor space for the poop load. Your birds should be able to get outside most of the year unless we have another #@*&^%$#% ice storm, but I'd still give serious consideration to making the coop a little bigger.

    The floor will be 2' off the ground to create a 10'6" x 6'6" enclosed pen beneath the coop (that will not be for sleeping, only for daytime access)

    I like the idea of an enclosed pen under the coop. You'll probably find many uses for it, such as a grow-out pen, isolating a broody, introducing new birds to your flock. You may find that some of them like to lay underneath the floor instead of in the nesting boxes. You may have to retrieve an injured or sick hen from under there. You might consider how you are going to gain access to this area if you have to go in yourself, or make it high enough that you can get into it without crawling in the chicken poop.

    We will build a 3.5' wide nest box, 12" deep, with slanted board 15" above it and an outside access door. My best friend's chickens all nest in the same straw filled pig trough, and I'd save on lumber if I don't divide the box up. I figure, if that's how they learn, they'll just follow the program, yes?

    This is called a community nesting box. Many people use them and they can carry a lot more hens that an individual nesting box. I do not have a feel for how many hens this size will support. If it were me, I'd probably make it a little deeper, say 16", but that is just a gut feel. I don't really have anything to base that on.

    2. Should we make the roof out of clear panels, which has 90% light transmission, or white, which only has 45% light transmission? I don't want to make it too sunny in the coop on a sunny day, unless they prefer sunny. They could always go underneath for shade...

    If you are using the enclosed pen for a grow-out pen or something else, they would not always have access to this for shade. If you are not going to use the enclosed pen for something, why go to the expense of enclosing it?

    3. I plan to use a wood stair railing for the roost poles. Since I have heavy birds, I'm thinking of keeping it 20" up, and my nesting boxes about 12' off the floor--is that high enough above the boxes? Is it low enough for the big birds? And for 25 chickens, how long should each roost be?

    The rule of thumb for roosting length is 8" to 12" per full-sized bird. As some of your summer nights may be a little steamy, I'd go with 10" to 12" to give them a little room to spread out and stay cooler. I don't have any experience with Jersey Giants, but if by big birds you mean Sussex, Delaware, Wyandottes, or Rocks, you can safely go higher. I would to give as much difference to the nesting boxes as I could. The nesting box bottom opening is generally at least 12" off the flor, with 18" to 24" being more standard. The idea is to keep the hens from tracking in or kicking in trash. It keeps the nesting boxes cleaner. They will lay in a nesting box on the floor, but you run the risk of dirty eggs.

    4. Is that an OK setup for feed/water? I can install hooks in the walls to hang them, or put them on a platform to keep them out of the litter--which is better, and how high should they be?

    As I said above, I'd either put them outside or build a bigger coop.

    6. I think the people door should swing out, so as not to swing over the litter or be obstructed by the roosts/nest boxes. There will be a plastic baby gate blocking it so the litter and birds won't escape. Am I right to have it swing out?

    There are advantages both ways. In your case, I agree with your reasoning.

    7. The nest box will have outside access--one long door, about 3' wide. First, how should we latch it shut, and second, should the door lift up or drop down to open? I can think of pros and cons to both, so any experience-based answers will help.

    I use a hasp and carabiner to lock the doors to the nesting boxes. A snap hook would work. I put the hinges at the bottom of the door so I can see where I am putting my hands before I reach in and to see if there is a hen on the nest before I open the door wide enough to let her out.
     
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    1. Deep litter method: for that size coop and 25 birds, how deep should the litter be? I only want to change it once a year.

    It depends on so many factors I don't think it's possible to give a very accurate answer, sorry. And in reality what you will probably end up doing is changing it whenever it seems like it needs changing, which may be sooner (or may not, who knows). I'd cut the pophole at least 16" above the floor. Remember you will not add all the litter at once; you start with a normal amount of bedding then add more as necessary as time goes on and poo accumulates.

    2. Should we make the roof out of clear panels, which has 90% light transmission, or white, which only has 45% light transmission? I don't want to make it too sunny in the coop on a sunny day, unless they prefer sunny. They could always go underneath for shade...

    Neither. Realio trulio, big time. Even the white translucent panels (I have them as a run roof) do collect heat; either one will become a greenhouse or chicken oven. Even in wintertime you will get too hot during sunny days; summer does not even bear thinking about. 'Just go sit under the coop' is not a good day-in-day-out-all-day solution, especially as you have no good way of regularly cleaning under there or fixing the mudholes that will occur. Also getting the coop greenhouse-hot in summer will make it extremely difficult to cool it down adequately by nighttime for them, as the structure of the coop itself will have absorbed considerable heat.

    Really truly, use something opaque for the roof. If you want more light, set Suntuf panels into the *walls*, preferably high up where they will be shaded by the roof overhang during warm summer weather, or on the north side.

    5. I think it's a good idea to have the people door be framed with chickenwire in the top half that can be boarded up to make a solid door in winter--sound OK?

    Fine concept, but I'd substitute 1x1" welded wire mesh, or hardwarecloth. Chickenwire is too vulnerable to raccoons etc. And yes, they will probably be able to climb up there to it.

    7. The nest box will have outside access--one long door, about 3' wide. First, how should we latch it shut

    Something raccoon proof. A lock with the key hanging nearby would be good.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat​
     

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