ramp help needed

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by sharol, Nov 8, 2010.

  1. sharol

    sharol Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 13, 2010
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    I am in the process of adapting a steel building into a new coop for my 7 girls. The entry to the coop is approximately 21" from the ground (12" from the floor of the coop (deep litter). I'm making a ramp for them to get up to the door that will be hinged to raise like a draw bridge to close up the pop-door.

    First question: how far apart should I put the cross pieces to make it easier for them to get up the ramp to the door?

    Second question: I'm using a 4'x1' piece of 1/2" inch exterior plywood with 1x1 reinforcement on the back to keep it fairly rigid. Is that long enough for the 21" drop. (I'm math challenged, and I can't find any guidelines anywhere. It doesn't seem steep to me, but I'm not a chicken.)

    third question: The girls are now in a ground level coop. No steps to get into the coop. they roost on roosting bars that are about 2' off the floor. Should I anticipate any problems getting them to use the ramp? They are very curious about the building and drove me nuts today when I was trying to paint inside. They were hopping up into the people door that is about 9" off the ground to get in with me and watch me paint.

    They will be moving from a 4x4 space to a 6x8 space, so I hope they will enjoy the room to stretch during bad weather. The race is to try to get the thing up and running (even without the run -- they free range in my yard 3-5 hours a day) before bad weather hits.
     
  2. Cargo

    Cargo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You can put cross pieces at 4-6 inches spacing.
    If it is there they will use it.
    4 ft is plenty long. 21" is not very high for a full grown chicken.
    It is only a 26 deg slope. That is less than the slope sand makes when dry.
     
  3. sharol

    sharol Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you for the specifics. I keep second guessing myself.

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  4. DianeS

    DianeS Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just raised my coop to two feet off the ground and added a ramp just a couple weekends ago - so good timing for this question!

    I used a six-foot ramp that goes up 26 inches to the door. My chickens didn't want to use the ramp at first, but after some practice and some adjustments they now use it all the time.

    They all just jumped off the side to the ground every morning. At night, the couple chickens that could fly would flap their way inside. One more figured it out after I caught her and put her inside for the first three nights. But I had one heavier chicken who slid a little bit on the ramp (that didn't have treads yet) and it scared her so she refused to use it. I had to pick her up every night and put her in until I put treads on the ramp.

    I laid the treads so there were 5 inches in between each, and that seems to be good enough. (If I did it again I'd space them just a tiny bit closer together, it looks like they have to stretch a bit to step on them.) Two of the chickens still prefer to jump down rather than walk down, but all walk up now without a problem. With the treads I think the ramp could be a bit steeper, but not much. Try yours, and if you want a gentler slope you can always add a bit to the bottom of it.

    And also if I did it again, I would block off the area under the coop for a couple days. The chickens that didn't go into the coop at night were sleeping under it when I went to move them. And it made me wonder if perhaps they were confusing where they were supposed to be, and were sleeping in the place they did before, even though the coop was moved. (Like, southwest corner of the run.) I couldn't ever be sure they were there because they wouldn't climb the ramp, rather than thinking that's where they were supposed to be. If I had blocked off the old space, maybe some would have adjusted faster.

    I wish you success!
     
  5. sharol

    sharol Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Admire, KS
    Good thought on blocking off the area under the coop. It is only about 6 inches off the ground, but if someone got in there, I'd never be able to get her out. It is a steel building on 4x4 (or maybe 4x6) skids sent on paving blocks.


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  6. sharol

    sharol Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I guess I have another question, then. What size strips did you use for the treads? I was thinking 1/2" x 1" (1/2" tall after install) slats would work.
     
  7. brounii

    brounii Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi Sharol, I too, had questions when it came to making the ramp. I wanted to be able to use our leftover scrap pieces of wood from making the coop, so we wouldn't have to go out and buy more wood. The only problem for us was that we didn't have any pieces long enough to cover the length of the plank (6 foot long by 10 inches across). I came up with the idea of cutting up some 1"x4"s scraps that we had into 1" strips and placed them approx. 5" apart in a staggered pattern. I guess my point is......be creative and have fun.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    We're putting three steps in our new coop where a ramp might have gone- that way you get roost space and easy access up and down. I'll post pics when it's done.
     
  9. sharol

    sharol Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Admire, KS
    What a great idea. Your ramp looks nice and seems to be working for your girls.

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  10. brounii

    brounii Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Thank you.....in case you decide to do something similar, I'll let you in on a must. I pre-drilled the 1" strips with the same size hole as the nails I used so that the nail would not split the strips. I tried a couple with the drill hole just a little smaller than the nails and ended up splitting the strip. Hopefully save you some headache, lol.

    Whatever you choose to do, I'm sure it'll look great. Be sure to post some pictures to keep us in the loop. [​IMG]
     

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