some coop construction questions

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by phrogg, Mar 25, 2009.

  1. phrogg

    phrogg Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 25, 2009
    Monday, Ohio
    Hi!
    this is my first post, let me say I have enjoyed the site thus far...

    So, I'm begining construction here and have a couple questions

    1. What is up with everyone putting vinyl flooring in their coops?

    2. Can I just use rounded off 2x4's on end for roosts? (1.5"side up)


    I am building a 10x8' coop that is 6-8 feet tall, I have 30 chicks and figured this space would be enough for them minus the occasional predator success. Floor and exterior walls will be rough cut white oak, framed up with pine and some metal roofing on top. I was planning on just running 2x4's up high for roosts and rounding off the board for their feet. Thinking about making a wall of nest boxes around 14" square i think. Maybe like 6 boxes wide, 3 or 4 high. Maybe I'll get around to posting pictures sometime between Morel hunts.
     
  2. Scoop

    Scoop Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 16, 2009
    Central PA
    You actually find Morels?!!!! Can you say what state you are in? I only ever found one and it was yum-oh!
     
  3. Nostalchic

    Nostalchic Chillin' With My Peeps

    We are also building a "state of the art" (not really) coop right now, so I have been researching the above questions myself, on this site and elsewhere Here are the answers I have come up with so far:
    Vinyl floors- easy to clean. Our coop is on a slope, so had to build a deck/plywood floor, and chicken poo is very hard on that. Vinyl floor under deep litter will protect the floor, and is easy to find scraps to use. Don't use stick on squares, I've read, the chickens scratch up the corners and destroy it pretty fast.
    Size: 4-10 square feet per bird. 4 if they are out in a big run or free ranging some, the larger space if confined most of the time. We're building a 14x8 foot coop for 24 hens.
    Roosts: use the flat (4") side up for roosts, with the edges rounded, unless you have banties. Chickens, unlike some birds, do best with a flatter surface to roost on and tuck their feathers around their feet to keep warm. Check out Ella's coop- she used melamine shelving for the roosts, which is another approach.
    We've had coops that we fixed up to be adequate, it's fun to do it from scratch and think these things through. This site is awesome for that purpose - lots of good advice, pictures, and discussion of the options.
    Oh, also, I've read various things about the height of the roosts, and if you have big birds, most recommend that they be about 2 feet off the floor - not as high as what I've done before. Some say have them all at one level to prevent arguments, some say ladder-like to "help" them establish the pecking order. Hmmm, apparently the jury's still out on that one.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2009
  4. phrogg

    phrogg Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 25, 2009
    Monday, Ohio
    yeah, it's funny how this knowledge has been lost, i think I'm going to raise my nest boxes to 1-3' off the ground and I will have multiple layers of floor and roost in the coop along with multiple levels of coop access. I think I'm going to put a little roost outside the coop up high. The last chicken I had were at a different house... They just started using the pig pine tree they were under for shelter... they'd go up in there like 30+ feet and definitley had a pecking order even though they were four hens. I'm going to have 30 hens ideally and 7 roosters that will have to fight for the right to live and breed with the hens.
    I think my solid white oak floor will hold up to their poo for many years... I lik to keep it cleaned out regularly and with minimal litter/ bedding. I know people propose this deep litter method and I think it will be used in my coop just on a much shorter rotation.
    I'll have to check on that roost thing... I really thought flat surfaces were not good for chicken feet, if you think about it, that's not what they're designed for... they are designed for traversing adverse terrain and perching on round branches. Maybe I'll put in both and see what they use when.
     
  5. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I've read that the wider flat roost lets them sit on their feet which prevents frostbitten toes.
     
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    I dunno, chickens spend most of time on ground that is actually probably *flatter* than an edges-knocked-off 2x4. And they don't really hold on to the roost strongly with their toes, not the way a parrot perches or anything like that -- they are basically ground-dwelling birds by nature. Certainly the wide side of a 2x4 works *fine* with zero problems (and is advantageous in frostbite-y climates), although in warmer places the 2" side of it works fine *too*.

    Vinyl flooring does make cleanup much easier if you don't use a whole lot of bedding. Poo sticks to bare wood a lot worse than to vinyl (and even if you paint, if you don't have a lot of bedding you *will* have bare wood after a while in many places, unless you scrape and repaint regularly). Not that there aren't some drawbacks to vinyl -- some people (me included) have trouble with it being slippery if insufficiently bedded, and pests and dampness can get underneath. I think it's a matter of personal taste, neither way being overall massively better than the other.

    JMO,

    Pat
     

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