Simple Coop Design - Input Please

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by GoldenMile, Apr 8, 2007.

  1. GoldenMile

    GoldenMile Hatching

    Apr 8, 2007
    I am interested in raising 20-30 free-range laying hens. I have been reviewing coop/nesting house designs, but I am undecided on a cheap, simple design. My primary concern is the predator activity in my area.

    The best design that I can think of is the following:

    5 - 14"x14" nesting boxes contained in a 4'x4'x6' plywood box, with 2 12"x12" entry holes in the front and a hinged door in the back to collect the eggs.

    The box will be built on 6-3x3 posts and will sit 5 feet off the ground.

    To provide predator protection I will either:

    1. Install large metal cones facing downward (approximately 2 feet in diameter) 3 feet up on the posts, or
    2. Cover the posts with metal (steel or aluminum).

    The idea is that predators will not be able to climb up the posts to enter the nesting houses.

    An additional concern is how to entice the hens to roost in the nesting houses.

    Any ideas are appreciated.

  2. Wes in Tx

    Wes in Tx Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    The Ideal is good the size is way, way to small. By your numbers I am guessing you mean the box would be 6 ft long by 4 ft wide by 4ft tall? That gives you 24 square feet(SQFT) of floor space which by minimum American standards of 4 SQFT et per bird would allow you to keep 6 birds. With 20 birds you would be giving them about 1 SQFT. That isn't even the minimum SQFT found in most European chicken houses.

    Now granted alot of folks free range birds with out anytype of coop and let them roost where they may and lay eggs where they may and hope they can get out of the weather some how.

    With you been that concerned about preditors then it may come to the point where all the birds could be in the coop at the same time so you really need to consider something quite abit larger IMO only. If I was that concerned about preditors I wouldn't be letting my birds free range at all. Heck preditors will most likely get the birds when they are on the ground.
  3. wynedot55

    wynedot55 Songster

    Mar 28, 2007
    youll need a 12 by 12 henhouse to have room for the 30 hens that your wanting to keep.
  4. GoldenMile

    GoldenMile Hatching

    Apr 8, 2007
    I apologize if I was unclear.

    The design mentioned is for one (1) coop. I intend to build enough units so that each hen has a nesting box (14x14). Additionally, the design provides for nearly three feet above each nesting box, within the coop, for additional roosting room.

    Thank you for the feedback.

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