Roosts for the Chicken McMansion (Part 6)

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Chieftain, Jan 19, 2010.

  1. Chieftain

    Chieftain Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Building the Chicken McMansion (Part 3) https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=283812

    It's
    been a busy week already. The weather here has been in the fifties, breezy with the occasional shower, but decent to work under the cover of the run.

    I've always intended to put the roost against the South wall, and in front of the cleanout door, but I never got around to the specifics until today. I have been sealing, priming and painting the entire interior of the Chicken McMansion. The floor is painted with tan garage floor epoxy, and the walls with light blue porch paint. Everything has been primed first with Kilz latex primer, and most of the seams and gaps have been filled with paintable silicon caulking. Filling the cracks is important for keeping the coop from getting buggy. Durable primer and paint keeps everything from rotting out.


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    I sat in the coop and carefully measured everything with my drawing pad in my lap, in order to get this right. First, I cut the roost to length, fit it level into the coop, and then painted it with two coats of the same epoxy that I painted the floor with. I installed 1x2 lugs on each side of the coop to level and place the roost where I wanted it.

    Using the measurements I took, I drew out a triangular piece of 1/2" ply, reinforced it with a 2x2 nailer to attach it to the wall, then used epoxy glue and wire nails to attach a poop board bracket. I attached the whole assembly to the wall of the coop, right next to the cleanout door, with construction screws.

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    From there it was simple to install the roost, and put in the slanted poop board underneath it.

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    The poop board needs to be primed and covered with linoleum. It is about 4 feet long and 10 1/2 inches wide. It is sloped toward the rear cleanout door. I will have a cedar board across the door opening to hold in the litter, and anything that falls off the board will be in the litter right underneath. It should be very easy to scrape the board and the roost daily. The board comes out very easily to get at the rest of the coop for poop patrol. In addition, the triangular end bracket also keeps the end of the roost away from the opening of the nest box.

    The painting has largely been an exercise in reuse and recycle. The Kilz primer was left over from installing windows last year; the porch paint was left over from painting the floor of my shop over 10 years ago. I didn't have to buy new paint (except for the floor) and that has helped hold down the cost of the coop. In any case, the porch paint is a light blue semigloss paint, and the reflectivity really brightens the coop a lot. I suppose there is a touch of Feng Shui in the coop but it really wasn't intentional.

    I have the roost mounting primed and will paint everything blue tomorrow. Next is to finish building and mounting the windows, and to paint them. I have fly screen that needs to be installed, but that means inside window trim to hold it in place, and I want to do all three windows at once.

    It's coming along...What's particularly cool is that the roost is up at window level so we should be able to count heads in the morning through the window.

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  2. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

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    Good job!
     
  3. MissJenny

    MissJenny Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Very smart design! I might have to steal this very slick idea. Thank you.

    Jenny
     
  4. suburbanhomesteader

    suburbanhomesteader Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'm trying to figure out what I'm going to do about a poop board, so this is an interesting concept.

    Do yours always face the inside of the coop? If any face the poop board, what will you do to catch their poop?
     
  5. Chieftain

    Chieftain Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:You have met my wife, haven't you??

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    yah, I guess that's the $64,000 question, isn't it? I'm betting that they face the run and the nesting boxes simply because there is more interesting things in that direction. There is ten inches of clearance between the back of the roost board and the wall. I'm hoping they get the general idea, and from the pictures I have seen, chickens seem to roost toward the "front" of the roost as opposed to the back. I grant you the back wall of this roost has a better view, but I suppose I could hang some burlap over the outside if need be.

    Anyone else have thoughts on this? This is one of the major design items I worried about. I want the convenience of cleaning out the coop, but I cannot rely on the chooks to automatically go along with my bright ideas about how they should behave....


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  6. Chieftain

    Chieftain Chillin' With My Peeps

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    There's a picture of the cleanout door temporarily installed yesterday before I painted the inside of the coop. I deliberately built the door with a tight fit, and I roughly beveled the edges of the 2x2 and installed a slightly smaller piece of plywood on the inside.

    Today I took the door off and wore into it with my belt sander. I smoothed all four sides and rounded the bevel evenly all around. I had to install it and take it back off a couple of times for additional sanding until it fit perfectly. Then I primed it with Kilz and will paint it with porch paint tomorrow.

    I also bolted a piece of strong chain to the roof joist above the center of the hatch, measured the length, and installed an "S" hook to hold the door up for cleaning, in lieu of the rope in this picture. The chain was $0.65 a foot at the local hardware, and I bought ten feet for the coop, brooder, and eventual hanging brooder light in the coop. My goal is to move my chooks into this coop when they outgrow the Tupperware tub they will be in initially...

    The door is amazingly light despite appearances. It is framed with 2x2 lumber and insulated in the open spaces with 1 1/2" styrofoam insulation. The outer skin is 1/2" CDX and the inside skin is 3/8" CDX. I used a pair of 4" hinges and two 3" barrel bolts to lock it. At this time I see no need for padlocking, but it would be easy enough to add a locking hasp if need be. In any case, even Wyle E. Coyote won't be getting through this door any time soon...

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    Last edited: Jan 19, 2010
  7. Opa

    Opa Opa-wan Chickenobi

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    I love you coop and all the thought and care that you have put into it. My only question is with the droppings board placement. It will only work if the birds roost facing into the coop.
     
  8. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

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    Will there be linoleum on the slanted poop board... or some other slippery material that can be washed?
     
  9. Chieftain

    Chieftain Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Yes Opa, that is the $64,000 question, isn't it?? I admit that my design depends on the chickens conforming to my idea of what their behavior ought to be.

    There isn't much for them to look at out the window behind the roost. In front is where the action will be and I'm hoping that they eventually poop mostly over the back. I got this idea from an old homestead projects "How To" book that was published back in the early 1950's, and that is the only place I have seen a slanted poop board design for a coop. That's where I swiped this idea from, and admittedly the design has not been tested yet and is therefore subject to change. If need be, I can always mask that window with burlap to make the view less appealing and see if that won't encourage them to face front.

    Mahonri, I used some pretty heavy duty porch paint on that board and it really is pretty slippery as it is. At some point I may decide to use linoleum, but I am curious to see how well my paintjob holds up first. I was thinking seriously of fiberglassing the poop board but I decided to experiment with the paint first to see how it does. (Note the three inexpensive plastic scrapers hanging by the door). The cleanout door faces my compost pile, so I can remove that board easily and hose it off into the pile if need be.

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    The entire roost design is the biggest open design question of this coop. Until I have adult chooks living in there for several months, I really won't be able to tell if this was a good arrangement or not. It certainly has possibilities though, and if a change is needed I am prepared to re-think this arrangement, and you can be certain that I will seek more advice about it here, then.

    The bottom line here is that even though this is "experimental", it is a lot of fun to build and make adjustments as needed. You have to start with something, road test it, and improve it as results show it needs. It also shows that there are numerous ways to go about doing things, and it adds to my enjoyment trying to figure out a better way to do anything.

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    Last edited: Jan 30, 2010
  10. Opa

    Opa Opa-wan Chickenobi

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    If you were to lower the droppings board you would be able to lengthen it til it extends 8 inches beyond the roost. While you may get the ocassional bird trying to roost on the front edge if you design it so that the forward edge is about 1 inch lower than the roost they should choose the roost board.
     

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