1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

wichita roost and poop board help needed

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Merrymouse, Mar 11, 2017.

  1. Merrymouse

    Merrymouse Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

    770
    112
    136
    Jan 8, 2017
    Massachusetts
    Hi

    I'm building a wichita style coop which is 4x8. Im trying to figure out how to configure the roosts and poop boards. I would like to have about 10' of roost and poop boards underneath. Its an elevated coop so there is not much height on the inside. My nest boxes and pop door are 9" off floor. I was thinking of doing 4' roost on short side and 6' roost on the other. I was thinking of setting my roosts at 24" height and 12" away from wall and my poop boards at 20" height and will be 24" wide. I cannot go any higher because my roof is sloped and on the short side that only leaves about 20" or so to the open rafters and Im hoping my chickens dont get a draft. This would be an "L" shaped configuration if that makes sense to you. Anyway those poop boards take up so much space at 24" wide and coming off two wall there is not alot of open space left. do you think my chickens will comfortably walk under poop boards set at 20"? Does anyone have any other suggestions to get enough roosting space with poop boards for my planned 8 chickens? Thank you all[​IMG] also I have a big door on the front of coop (short side) and another big door on the run side of the coop (long side) for ease of cleaning.
     
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    32,649
    5,405
    556
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    They can walk under 20" no problem but...
    ..sorry to say, poop boards(indeed best at 24") just don't fit well in a 4' space.

    I put 12" wide poop boards, 22" high, roost at front edge, in my coop partition, that's 4' wide, works great if they face the 'right' way. Butt(haha) they don't always do that, unfortunately. Even that leaves little room to jump down, so I have a concrete block as a step and usually only have chicks, or a couple adults, in there anyway. Might work for you, at least it might catch most of them.
    Poop/roost is angled from 12 to 16"...not an optical illusion.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

    19,937
    3,094
    476
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    That’s a problem with those small coops, you don’t have a lot of extra room to be flexible. That can include height as well as bottom area as you are seeing. But yours is an elevated coop, not a walk-in. That does help you out a lot, you need room for chickens not people. I can’t remember if you have silkies or not. Since silkies can’t fly they add another dimension to the problems.

    There is nothing wrong with an L-shaped roost, but for 8 hens an 8’ roost is plenty. You could simplify this by not putting the L on it.

    I don’t know how you are making your droppings board or how you will clean it. I’m guessing your 24” high roosts and 20” high droppings boards are height measurements. The depth of your roosts may not give you a lot of room to clean.

    Are those measurements from the top of the litter or from the bare floor? 20” head space is a lot of room for chickens but how much clear space will you actually have? The tighter you make that space under the droppings board the more you make it look like a good place for a nest. The bottom of my nests are pretty close to the top of the litter, the way they scratch around my feeder they build up the litter under the nests, that area can just about be closed off sometimes. I’ve had a few hens try to lay under there. Not many, it’s really pretty rare. I’m mentioning this as you might want to occasionally check under there, especially when they first start to lay. I’m not trying to scare you about this, it is pretty rare. Just pointing out something that has occurred with me. You do need access to all parts of your coop and it sounds like you do. I’m assuming the openings to your nests are not going to be under the droppings board.

    I think you could raise the roosts another 6” or so without creating an in-the-draft problem. That might help you some. As Aart mentioned they need room to get down, but I’d expect them to hop to the edge of the droppings board from the roosts and then go to the floor.

    I think your basic plan is pretty solid, it should work. I’ve tried to give you some things to think about and maybe a little more flexibility.
     
  4. Merrymouse

    Merrymouse Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

    770
    112
    136
    Jan 8, 2017
    Massachusetts

    Thanks arrt and Ridgerunner. Hmm... I guess my next question is how far from the top (open rafters) do the roosts need to be to keep the chickens from getting too drafty. Im asking this because Im thinking of raising them a little higher because I didnt account for the litter. I was measuring up from the bare floor[​IMG] Also are there any issues that can arise from maybe having one roost higher than another. I know there is a pecking order and I was thinking the higher on the pecking order get the higher roosts and they will just work this out.[​IMG]
    aart Do you find that they mostly face away from the wall so you catch the poop or is it more of a 50/50 thing? Im asking because Im wondering if this 12" may be a good trade off to leave more room but I may have to scoop a little poop from the litter on floor.

    Ridgerunner, you make a lot of good points and suggestions. Thank you. I do not have Silkies. I have large fowl. I ordered 16 but Im only keeping 8 so not sure what I will end up with but I got the big girls, a mixture of Orpingtons, brahma, cochin etc. Bigguns' The problem with just one poop board (meaning one 8' roost) for me is twofold, First I have a big window on the back shortside wall so Id have to figure a way to rest the end of the roost on a pedestal or something as I can't nail it into a window and also on that end is my pop door on long side wall. I could put the roost over the pop door but in order to have the chickens easily walk under the roost/poop board it would have to be pretty near the open rafter as that is also the shortest height side. Make sense? So that goes to my question above, just how close is too close to the open rafters? This might help solve my issue. Really want to try to get my roosts and boards in today.

    My nesting boxes are on the other side of the coop. I could make a little ramp for them to get up and down if I notice them having difficulty managing the height.

    Thanks so much for your input. Im struggling with this a little. It so true what they say, the coop is never big enough.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2017
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

    19,937
    3,094
    476
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Sorry, I hit submit too early. I took these a few years back. If you look at their feet you can see which way they are facing. Most of the time most of mine face away from the wall, but not always.

    There is some overlap here, I had a total of seven when I took these photos,.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2017
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

    19,937
    3,094
    476
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Can you drop a support from the roof to hold up that end of the roost? That may be more out of the way than other support options.

    Typically the highest ranked chickens get to rest on the highest point. If one roost is higher than the other they can squabble for that position as they settle in for the night. But they’ll probably squabble anyway. If yours are like mine, that window area may be prime roosting real estate. They often squabble when they go to bed, that’s just the way it is. They work through it.

    In my opinion, even with your Brahmas I think 12” of space between the top of the roost and the bottom of the ventilation would be enough. I’d like to give them more but if a cold wind is blowing they’ll squat down.

    20” is a lot of room under the droppings board. I don’t know how high you plan to have the bedding, that will probably be a trial and error thing to work out, but don’t over-fixate on that. I imagine you’re worried about providing 4 square feet per bird. I’m a huge advocate of providing as much room as you can, but if the nests are fairly low, that may give the weaker ones a place to hide from the stronger. My juveniles often squeeze under my nests to get away from the adults. One of the tricks to making a small space a little more efficient is to give them places to hide from the others. There is a risk of them thinking it’s a good place to lay eggs but life is a compromise. In your case I would not raise that droppings board.

    These are my nests. When I rake the shavings out from under them I probably have about 10” of clear room. But it doesn’t take long for the chickens to scratch bedding back under there. I feed in the coop and they are always scratching the bedding away from the feeder to get what they drop. They don’t go under my nests and scratch the bedding back out. I know Aart, I could throw some scratch under there and let them clean it out, but it’s just not that big of an issue with me.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    32,649
    5,405
    556
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    50/50 about the same chance as hatching males vs females..haha!
    I think the poop on the floor would be worth the extra space to move around.
    Tho the scaled down version posted on your build thread might work too.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by