Roost, Coop Entrance and Nest

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by cookiesdaddy, Apr 18, 2007.

  1. cookiesdaddy

    cookiesdaddy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 13, 2007
    California Bay Area
    I'm building a 4'x8'x4' coop inside a 14'x20'x7' covered pen - should be plenty of space for our current flock of 4 chicks. Hopefully my wife can be convinced to add 2 more.

    For the ROOST area, I'm planning the 45 degree ladder style with 2 roosts, 36" each. The 2 roosts will be 12" apart and 18" from each end, horizontally. The question I have is: Is it better to use round tree branches for the roosts, or using 2x2? If using 2x2, should I position them to be horizontally flat or just leave at 45 degree (easier to do)? I remember reading somewhere that 45 degree roost might hurt my their feet. Also, the roosts will be 15" and 27" off the floor. Is that too low? I don't have space to set them much higher.

    For the COOP ENTRANCE, it's going to be 12"x12" square, about 2 ft off the ground. 2 questions: Do I need to set up a ladder from ground to entrance? And do I need to provide a door to close this entrance? The 2 reasons I can think of for having a door: (1) protect from predators, and (2) keep warm during winter. But I already have an enclosed pen around it, and California weather doesn't get below freezing. Any other reason to close the entrance? I'm planning to leave the waterer outside the coop so my girls need to be able to get in and out.

    Finally, I plan to set the NEST 2 ft above the floor. Is that too high? I don't have space to set a ladder inside the coop. Should I set it 1 ft off the floor instead? I haven't own chickens before, so I can't imagine a pregnant girl jumping 2 times her height to give birth.

    Please share your wisdom. I have to remember taking pictures along the way & post when I'm done.

    THANK YOU!
     
  2. kstaven

    kstaven Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    You have enough coop space for at least 4 more.

    2x2 on the flat is better than 2x2 at 45. Branches work well and provide different size perching opportunities for the feet. More important for parrrots than chickens actually, but still valid.

    I would set up a ramp from the entrance to the ground.

    Predators is the # 1 reason for a door.

    2 ft off the floor is fine for large fowl. A little high for bantams. You could also put a waterer and feeder under the nest boxes. It keeps them from perching on them and knocking them over. Also stops them from defacating in the waterer.

    Make sure you install vents in the coop and have a shaded area in the run. Chickens tolerate cold far better than heat.
     
  3. cookiesdaddy

    cookiesdaddy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The coop will be at the back corner of my lot, next to 2 tall fenses and under 2 redwood trees. So will will be well shielded from the sun and wind. I plan to have 2 vents, 4"x14" on the back wall (near the top). Combining with the front entrance, will that be enough ventilation?

    I like the idea of deep-cleaning method, so I'd like to leave water outside the coop to keep it dry. Was thinking about hanging a feeder in the coop, opposite from the nest. Now you gave me the idea to put it under the nest. But will that risk putting droppings in their food tray?

    Thanks for your input!
     
  4. kstaven

    kstaven Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Sounds like lots of ventilation.

    Deep litter is what I use. Great part is you have it all ready to finish composting when it comes out of the hen house. No smell in my coops at all.

    If you have a roost bar on the front of the nest and the feeder and waterer are up against the wall under the nests they will have no problems and stay clean.
     
  5. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Here is a picture of my roosts. Position the bars parallel to the floor, flat, not at an angle:
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2007
  6. motherhen

    motherhen Out Of The Brooder

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    Regarding coop door, is it better to have it a little smaller then too big? I am planning to have dual purpose chickens.
     
  7. cookiesdaddy

    cookiesdaddy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 13, 2007
    California Bay Area
    Kstaven: When you suggested feeder and waterer under the nest, did you mean the round hanging type or some flat units that mount against the wall? Any picture or link? I thought the hanging type allowed adjusting the height (when the bedding material gets too tall). Would it make sense designing a feeder against the wall that can be filled from outside? It would probably make cleaning a chore though.

    Speckledhen: Thanks for sharing the picture of roost ladder. From your picture, I guess I provide too much space between the roost and against wall, wasting coop space. Oh well. BTW, congratulations on the beautiful new coop (expansion!)
     

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