Planning my coop / questions.

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Bruins, Feb 3, 2015.

  1. Bruins

    Bruins Out Of The Brooder

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    I am trying to plan my coop which we will build this spring . I have read through many coop threads but have a few questions . The plan is for a 4 x 4 coop I plan on getting brahma chicks .

    1. How tall should the roost be from the floor & ceiling . I have read that since bramas are heavy they do not fly very high . I was thinking 2 ft off the floor .

    2. do I need a walkway up to the roost?

    3. Do the nest boxes need to be elevated ? If so how high off the floor would be good ( is 1ft ok) ? Or for bramas would on the floor be better?

    Since the coop is small I want to utilize the space as best as possible. I also plan on having the food / water inside at least during the winter.
     
  2. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    I like the Purina Mills Chicken Hutch design. The biggest change I'd make is to lower the nesting boxes to avoid birds roosting there at night. Also there is no need for three nests so you'd build a two nest box at same level as coop door and place them at same height. The height of door should be 4 inches or more above floor to provide adequate space for bedding material.

    http://www.mansfieldfeed.com/news-updates/build-your-own-chicken-coop-2014-02-3056

    Scroll down on this link and click the image. That will give you full page plans. This link was hard to find- Purina covered over all the old links with an advertisement page.


    No, you don't need a walk up to roosts, with this dowel roost design they'd hop up the rungs by pecking order.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2015
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    The way I determine roost height is to decide on the floor height, considering bedding, then position the nests. Next I make the roosts noticeably higher than anything I don’t want them sleeping on or in, such as the nests. Chickens normally like to sleep in the highest place available. What is noticeable? In a small coop like that, 6” might be enough. In a larger coop you might need a foot. This gets the roosts as low as you reasonably can and expect them to not sleep in the nests.

    You want the roosts as low as you reasonably can get them for various reasons, especially in your tiny coop and especially with Brahmas. Brahmas are big birds and need more room. It’s not so much that they can’t jump/fly up or jump/fly down, but they need room to spread their wings without hitting things. The higher the roosts the more clear room they need to get up and especially come down. A lot of the injuries to all chickens (not just big birds like Brahmas) coming down from the roosts is that they hit a wall, nest, feeder, waterer, ramp or something else on the way down. If they can’t spread their wings to brake their fall when they jump down they are more likely to hurt their legs when they hit the ground.

    I don’t know how many chickens you hope to put in that. Not many I hope, especially if you are planning on feeding and watering inside. It can be a real challenge to lay out a small coop so you can do all that inside and position things so they don’t poop in them from the roosts. My coops are all bigger than that so I can’t help you with layout or whether you need a ramp.

    Some people put nests on the floor, some put them high enough they don’t have to bend over to check inside, especially if they have a bad back. The chickens don’t care as much as people do, but they do need a way to get in. For high nests some people build ramps while others may build intermediate perches. But for you to utilize your coop space as best you can and keep the roosts low, the nests need to be pretty low. A lot of people with those little coops elevate the coops and hang the nests outside to leave as much clear room inside as they can. As long as the opening to the nests is high enough to keep them from scratching nasty bedding into the nest, the opening can be pretty low.
     
  4. Bruins

    Bruins Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 26, 2015
    Frederick Co, MD
    I don’t know how many chickens you hope to put in that. Not many I hope, especially if you are planning on feeding and watering inside.

    I wanted 5 , but since my husband only wants the coop to by 4 x 4 ( we already have the siding ) . I figure 4 is the most I will have .
    I want to put the food & water inside in the colder months but figure I can feed out in the run during the warm months . Will this work or will it confuse the birds ?

    hang the nests outside to leave as much clear room inside as they can.

    Yes, I was thinking of having a bump out the whole 4 foot wall but only putting 2 nest boxes in it and just open space in the other 2 ft.


    Thank you both for the help .I see all these beautiful coops and wish I could have something bigger .
     
  5. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    My Coop
    Perhaps a solution would be an elevated coop with feed/water hung underneath - this will leave all the floor space in the coop open and being under the coop will offer protection for the birds to eat/drink in inclement weather. I would also suggest using a "poop board" under your roost(s) to further preserve floor space underneath - by catching the waste you protect the floor beneath and maintain it as a more desirable place to have your birds milling about than if it becomes fouled by the waste expelled while the birds are at roost
     
  6. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    My birds only use their coop for roosting at night and laying eggs in the external mounted nesting boxes. When morning temps were below -10F they'd wait at coop door until it got to about -10 and then go outside. Keep my feed and water outside all the time. On those cold days would through a hand full of Sunflower seeds in coop to let them scratch at until it warmed some.

    I say this because I've a 4x4 coop and keep up to 8 birds in it each winter. With the huge rooster in mix 7 birds was max. This is done only due to not heating the coop or trying to lock them in it during days. The key in winter is to use tarps to wrap two or even three sides (prevailing wind corner at least) with tarps and I put down hay when the run turned ice.
     
  7. yellowchicks

    yellowchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    Agree with the above comment. I followed all the good suggestions of the experienced chicken whisperers when I was designing my 4'x4' coop.

    Elevate the coop and put food and water beneath so to give the chickens more room to maneuver inside the coop. They are also very messy eaters. The 2' space beneath the coop is my 4 chickens' favorite lounging area. They never stay inside the coop except for sleeping and laying eggs. All other time they are outside in the shielded run; rain, snow or shine, even during a blizzard or during a hurricane.

    [​IMG]

    Here is the inside of my 4'x4' coop to give you an idea. The back side is 3' high, the front side is 4' high. The 3.5" diameter roosting bar is a little less than 2' above the floor, 12" away from the back wall. The roosting bar is higher than the exterior nesting boxes, but it is still an easy jump for my chickens to get up there, so they learned to use the roosting bar very early on, never sleep on the floor or in the nesting boxes. A poop board beneath the roosting bar catches most of the poop, keeping the inside bedding clean. I blocked out the nesting boxes until the chickens were 20 weeks old ready to lay eggs. My floor board are two insulated draws, can be pulled out to dump the bedding to below. Overall, this is a very low maintenance setup.

    [​IMG]
     

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