Placement of nesting boxes & roost

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by ajlynco, Sep 18, 2011.

  1. ajlynco

    ajlynco Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 7, 2011
    Reno, NV.
    I'm going to build a tractor coop for 3RIR and 3BR. All hens. I'm only looking to raise hens for eggs at this time. However, in about a year, I'm going to expand my flock with a rooster and hatch my girls' eggs. Considering this, how many boxes should I make? What is the proper placement of the nesting boxes and roosts inside a 3'X4' coop. Should the nests be close to the floor for future chicks easy access? How would I feed/water chicks living in the coop? Any danger to chicks from other chickens? Where is the best placement for the roost? Will I have to have a special roost for chicks when they come?How soon before they can roost with the rest of the flock? Will a deep layer method floor covering affect the chicks?[​IMG]
     
  2. flockof4

    flockof4 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 10, 2010
    Webster Groves, MO
    Too many questions. Try starting with one or two questions at a time. That way people won't feel overwhelmed. I'll try to answer the first question you asked, how many nest boxes for 6 hens. I would say 3 or 4 would be plenty. They all seem to use the same one or two nest boxes and the others sit empty. But that's my experience. Good luck.
     
  3. citychickx6

    citychickx6 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 14, 2011
    Loveland
    I will try to answer the second question.
    The nest boxes should not be higher than the roosts. The chickens will roost in them and make quite a mess if they are too high.
    As to how high for the roosts.... It helps to know how tall the coop area is. In my small coop 4 deepx6 longx3 high I have the roost 18 inches below the ceiling.
    A pic if it helps. (not a tractor but a small coop)
    The roost is at the height of the bottom of the window. The chickens in the pic are a Buff Orpington and a Gold Laced Wyandotte at 12 weeks ish in age. (still small)

    [​IMG]
     
  4. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Quote:If you're going with a 3x4 coop, I would suggest starting with less birds than six unless you're in an area that doesn't get snow/ice in winter.
    You'll want one nest box for every 3-4 hens you have.
    As long as the roost is taller than the nest box perch, it doesn't really matter where they are.
    If your chickens will mostly be in a tractor, then it would be best to remove the hen/chicks when they hatch to another pen. It might be different if you had an ample run, because the chicks would have lots of space to escape to when big hens pecked at them or went after them.
    Most folks integrate chicks with adult birds when they're around 12-14 weeks old. Those who free range or have huge runs seem to do well integrating much younger than that because there is plenty of space to stay out of one another's way.
    I don't think folks who use tractors do deep litter...?
     

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