Wanted: New Coop Design Features from Experienced Folks

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by jimla, Sep 26, 2011.

  1. jimla

    jimla Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 23, 2010
    Soon to be a new egg producer and about to build my first coop for 4 birds based on the Purina design using the deep litter method. The coop will sit about 2 feet above the ground, linoleum floor and attched run. This site has been very informative and I have read alot but need to wrap all I have learned here into the design elements of the coop and thats where I need your experience and comments.

    1. With the DLM and 10-12 inches of "composting" litter, I assume I need to raise the pop door 12 inches above the floor to keep the litter in, correct? Do I then need a step or ramp inside the coop while the litter is building up or will the chickens fly/hop up to it and down the ramp?

    2. I like the PVC gravity tube feeder that I can fill outside the coop. How high do I mount the feed trough portion of it to account for the variable height of the litter? Mount it at 12 inches above the floor so the litter fills up to it or hgher than 12 but then how do they access it.

    3. I like the nipple waterer idea. Same question how high to mount/hang it?

    4. Nesting boxes.. mounted at 12 inches above the floor or12 or more inches above 12 inches of litter?

    Thanks
     
  2. maybejoey

    maybejoey got chickenidous?

    Everything sounds great, the height of everything depends on what size of chickens you are planning on keeping.[​IMG]
     
  3. hensofhallora

    hensofhallora Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 25, 2011
    all sounds good. I would have the nesting boxes high enough off litter so that when a hen is nesting she cannot be pecked by a more dominant bird standing outside. she will get no peace and be constantly told to move. I always have one nesting box that is a little difficult to get to so that my bottom pecking order birds have a 'safe' laying spot.
     
  4. jimla

    jimla Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 23, 2010
    Thanks all. I plan on standard chixs not bantams.
    Do I need a ramp inside for the chickens to access the pop door?
    How high do I mount the feeder and waterer above the floor if the litter level increases over time?
     
  5. frostbite

    frostbite Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I built 10 inch high sills for my human door and chicken door, since it's cold here, the sills are built of two matched pieces of plywood with a foam core, and the inside side the plywood sets in a little so that I can screw it to the floor with a couple 2 inch screws. Then when I clean out the old litter once a year, I can just remove the screws and remove the sills so that I can sweep it out of the coop easier. Then I can screw them back in place when I'm done. I step in and out over the sill, like more of a hatch than a door.

    Of course, I haven't put chickens in it yet. Gotta wait till spring.
     
  6. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

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    I always have either a ramp or a platform in front of elevated doors.

    I designed my current coop to use deep litter and have an elevated pop hole door. It originally had a bottom-hinged door mounted on the inside, that folded down into a ramp. This could adjust to the height of the litter and worked fine for many years. It had a steeper slope to it, so the chickens never hung out on it. Pooping on it wasn't an issue in our coop.

    A few years ago we changed to an automatic door, with a metal door that slides up and down. My husband ended up installing a platform in front of it on the inside, on a whim. They like standing around looking out the door on really bad weather days, now. We could also have left the original door in the open position. The outside still has a permanent ramp.
     
  7. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Really, for only 4 hens I'd just pick up an inexpensive hanging feeder and one of those gallon plastic waterers waterer at the feed store, myself. Simple to clean and fill. My feeder hangs from the ceiling so I can adjust the height easily, and my waterers sit on concrete blocks which are also easily adjusted. Height changes with age of chickens and amount of litter in the coop. When chicks hatch, it's simple enough to make platforms so they can reach, with bricks or concrete block scraps.
     
  8. boogiedog

    boogiedog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oakland hills, CA
    1. you will love having linoleum on your floor. Very easy to clean.
    2. For deep litter, you only need 3 - 4" or so of pine shavings on the floor. I do that and do not have a lip by the door - yes some will sprinkle out, but it makes cleaning it out easier- I can sweep out the people door OR chick door easily.
    3. My nest boxes are on the ground, with a 1x4" lip that the hens step over to get in. I can access the nest boxes from outside - egg collection is easy.
    4. I use a hanging inside galvanized feeder, and have a waterer on top of bricks. Easy to clean, and cheap. With just a few hens it should be pretty easy. I have 27 and still find it convenient. (I also have two additional waterers and two addtional feeders outside - and have food and water available in all 24/7)

    I live in Northern Ca which has relatively mild winters with a short rainy season. (Just for a frame of reference).
     
  9. arcatamarcia

    arcatamarcia Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 24, 2009
    Quote:X2
     
  10. maybejoey

    maybejoey got chickenidous?

    Quote:No they will be able to jump.[​IMG]
     

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