Water, feed, and roost tweaks? Would like some tips.

The Coop-D-etat

Songster
Feb 6, 2021
105
430
123
Bismarck, North Dakota
20200905_202557.jpg

First thing PLEASE excuse the mess!! This picture was taken early fall when we were still in construction phase. But my question is would this be big enough of a coop where keeping the water inside wouldn't cause a moisture issue? I want to do the pvc water and feed method and I would be placing it right inside to the left of the door in this picture against the wall. The coop is 6×8 with ample ventilation I'm going to be adding another vent on the very top to get some good cross ventilation to be safe. I just know and have been told moisture in a coop = No good. The run is fully closed off but no roof as of yet. The run is 12×48 and this spring I'll be putting up a roof over a good 8ft of it coming directly off the coop where the elbow of the run is, its a sideways "L" shape if you will. But with how the weather is here the winters are insanely cold, and it's so very windy here in ND and the massive thunder storms that roll through here can leave everything drenched dang near flooded. Would this work out well enough? Of course in the summer time I will have other water stations in the run as well.

As for the roost I thought I had planned everything out to be effective. Then I realized the roost being higher than the nesting boxes the ladder I had put in for their ease of access is going to most likely be the subject of their pooping abilities. And realized I can't put "poop board underneath the roost. Should I remove the ladder? I'll be getting 8 birds all of standard size. Any recommendations on what I could do or will I just most likely just have to just keep up on the ladder strictly ( which won't be a problem if need be)

Anyways thanks for an help/advice you can give!! Much thanks 😊
 

LateBirdFarms

Songster
Apr 17, 2020
664
1,438
206
Ontario
Not sure about moisture or your water question, but I -think- your ladies may have an issue with using the ladder as intended with it being placed directly under the roost (I may be wrong, my hens have been known to be difficult). If you move it out from the roost by 10"-12" they may be able to use it more effectively and it might avoid the worst of the night time poops. I screwed four large chunks of cedar logs of various lengths together to solve a ladder space issue and found it a heck of a lot easier to scrape the poop off the flat tops than it was to keep the ladder I was using clean. Its a daily chore in my unheated coop... that stuff is harder than cement if it has a chance to freeze before I get to it!
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
Premium Feather Member
Jul 3, 2016
13,964
26,547
982
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
My Coop
They'll never use that ramp as is so you can take it out - too steep, and it's behind the roost which doesn't make a lot of sense. Most breeds can fly up fairly easily, and for landing, if there's nothing else in front except your access door, they should have enough space to land too.

I do notice there's a window right behind the roost. Have you tested it for drafts on a windy day, to see if that's ok to leave open? My roost sits sandwiched between two windows and generally they stay open, though we had enough horizontal winds last night to blow snow into them, ugh.

Also since it's hard to tell, how far from the wall is the roost? Is it just that one roost? Is that across 6' or 8' span? For 8 standard birds you'd want 8 ft of roost if possible, though they can squish in as long as they're all fully integrated (I assume you're getting all the birds at once?) Possibly could still do a poop board, but depends on clearance from wall and from roost to nest to figure out if you have the space.
 

fenixsk

Chirping
Jun 8, 2020
26
56
59
Saskatchewan, Canada
View attachment 2529271
First thing PLEASE excuse the mess!! This picture was taken early fall when we were still in construction phase. But my question is would this be big enough of a coop where keeping the water inside wouldn't cause a moisture issue? I want to do the pvc water and feed method and I would be placing it right inside to the left of the door in this picture against the wall. The coop is 6×8 with ample ventilation I'm going to be adding another vent on the very top to get some good cross ventilation to be safe. I just know and have been told moisture in a coop = No good. The run is fully closed off but no roof as of yet. The run is 12×48 and this spring I'll be putting up a roof over a good 8ft of it coming directly off the coop where the elbow of the run is, its a sideways "L" shape if you will. But with how the weather is here the winters are insanely cold, and it's so very windy here in ND and the massive thunder storms that roll through here can leave everything drenched dang near flooded. Would this work out well enough? Of course in the summer time I will have other water stations in the run as well.

As for the roost I thought I had planned everything out to be effective. Then I realized the roost being higher than the nesting boxes the ladder I had put in for their ease of access is going to most likely be the subject of their pooping abilities. And realized I can't put "poop board underneath the roost. Should I remove the ladder? I'll be getting 8 birds all of standard size. Any recommendations on what I could do or will I just most likely just have to just keep up on the ladder strictly ( which won't be a problem if need be)

Anyways thanks for an help/advice you can give!! Much thanks 😊
As others have said, they won't use the ramp, so just take it out and lower your roost a bit so that they can easily fly up to it. Also, I would HIGHLY recommend a poop tray under the roost. They poop a lot when they are roosting, and the tray makes it so much easier to clean (also less time cleaning up shavings). You will probably only need 2 nesting boxes max, so you could remove a couple at the back if you want more room for a poop tray. I have 6 hens and they all lay in the same nesting box, even though there are 3 to choose from. Other than those minor things, it looks great!
 

The Coop-D-etat

Songster
Feb 6, 2021
105
430
123
Bismarck, North Dakota
They'll never use that ramp as is so you can take it out - too steep, and it's behind the roost which doesn't make a lot of sense. Most breeds can fly up fairly easily, and for landing, if there's nothing else in front except your access door, they should have enough space to land too.

I do notice there's a window right behind the roost. Have you tested it for drafts on a windy day, to see if that's ok to leave open? My roost sits sandwiched between two windows and generally they stay open, though we had enough horizontal winds last night to blow snow into them, ugh.

Also since it's hard to tell, how far from the wall is the roost? Is it just that one roost? Is that across 6' or 8' span? For 8 standard birds you'd want 8 ft of roost if possible, though they can squish in as long as they're all fully integrated (I assume you're getting all the birds at once?) Possibly could still do a poop board, but depends on clearance from wall and from roost to nest to figure out if you have the space.
Ok good to know! The roost is just about two and a half feet away from the wall. The window above them is perfectly fine. I got my hands on some some double insulated bathroom windows for the coop. And I used spray foam insulation around it and I've been in there multitudes this winter on windy days to feel for drafts and was pretty good. The only draft I could somewhat feel was coming from below the nesting boxes around my ankles on the floor. That's because of a small gap between the egg latch and the actual coop it can't be more than half an inch wide. I got some seal strips to put around the opening from the egg latch. Some say to use curtains for extra protection but I figured I could just put a piece of cardboard against it if the weather gets really cold. Yes nothing will be in their way for landing. i was luckily enough to get two doors made for houses brand new. They are insulated and everything. I have two one leading into the run and one to the outside for ease of cleaning. Now that I think about it. It's unfortunate that I put that other door leading into run because that took up roost space. That section you see in the picture is the only roost space. Do you have an recommendations to give more roost space. I'm personally not a fan of the ladder roosting method cause I know they all like one level. I was thinking about putting one that connects to each support post going from the wall to the current roost once I lower it a bit. Also would I have lower it? I'm getting SS, barnies, and Black Australorps. That roost wouldn't to be high? Well and a Barnie rooster is coming with my order of 7 hens. Thank you for reading this long winded post 😇
 

The Coop-D-etat

Songster
Feb 6, 2021
105
430
123
Bismarck, North Dakota
As others have said, they won't use the ramp, so just take it out and lower your roost a bit so that they can easily fly up to it. Also, I would HIGHLY recommend a poop tray under the roost. They poop a lot when they are roosting, and the tray makes it so much easier to clean (also less time cleaning up shavings). You will probably only need 2 nesting boxes max, so you could remove a couple at the back if you want more room for a poop tray. I have 6 hens and they all lay in the same nesting box, even though there are 3 to choose from. Other than those minor things, it looks great!
Thank you for your thoughts. I think I have decided to remove the ladder and use it somewhere out in the run for entertainment purposes and lower the roost a bit. And whatever makes it easier to clean their poop up. I will be using industrial hemp as their bedding inside due to all the positive reviews about but still it gets just as poopy as shavings or leaves or straw.
 

Sally PB

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
Aug 7, 2020
2,819
8,689
463
Belding, MI
You don't need all of those nest boxes. I'd take out the two that are closest to the roost. I'd lower the roost to be just above the top of the nest boxes.

I had tops of nest boxes close to the height of the roost, and the chickens would try to walk across them, even though they were angled like yours. I took out the boxes near the roost, and that problem went away. There was also much more room to move around in there, even though the boxes were off the floor, like yours.

There is about 4-6" of bedding in the coop; I have three Black Australorps, which are decent sized birds. I wanted to be sure they had a soft landing when they come down off the roost. I have a mix of hemp and pine shavings. I like the hemp better; I won't be getting more of the pine shavings in the future.
 

The Coop-D-etat

Songster
Feb 6, 2021
105
430
123
Bismarck, North Dakota
So from what I've figured out by standing in my coop for much of the day figuring out spacing is. One I'm going to lower the roost but still have it higher than the nesting boxes. The roosting pole in the picture itself is only 6 and a few pennies long which I'm not comfortable with space wise for the summer time for the amount of birds I am getting. So I have decided at same height level I'm going to add cross roosts that attach to the main one making a "V" shape secured to the main roost bar I have in place and measuring out came to 14 and a half feet which should be plenty if room for my 8 and gives me room to add more birds down the road which is enviable. So eventually adding a total of 13 birds very comfortably down the road when the old hens aren't at their egg laying prime. The water should be fine as I have ample ventilation and shouldn't be a problem at considering there won't be much excess water spilling and making things wet. I really appreciate you guys giving me your thoughts and ideas helped me out quite a bit! Thanks so much you guys are awesome! :)
 

The Coop-D-etat

Songster
Feb 6, 2021
105
430
123
Bismarck, North Dakota
Fantastic - glad you confirmed the roost wasn't as close to the wall as it appeared in photos, and that you've tested for drafts. Yes I think a slightly lower roost, and additional roost, would be ideal (especially if planning to add more birds in the future).
Yes indeed. Also, another quick question. Im painting the inside white just to brighten it up. Would staining or painting the perches be of any use for cleaning and longevity of the roosts? Or is it just more of for looks that only serve me for aesthetics?
 

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