Western Canada Poultry Swap

Forum dedicated to the buying and selling of quality heritage poultry in Western Canada.


You are not connected. Please login or register

Wanted! Help with coop design!

View previous topic View next topic Go down  Message [Page 1 of 1]

1 Wanted! Help with coop design! on Sun Feb 26, 2012 7:23 am

Kim from Kamloops

avatar
Member
Member
I have read a couple of books regarding what is needed in a coup and usually I'm pretty good with designing and planning..but, being a chicken newbie and not wanting to waste our money..I want to make it right! There's an old barn which I want to strip down and turn into the Meat Bird Coup to house at max 200 birds...better to over plan than under plan. In a seperate area we have moved a nice outbuilding that has been gutted (full of mouse poop)Which is adjacent to the meatbirds home but seperate. That one I want to turn into a laying hen house for approx. 25 laying hens and Brooding house. Any Suggestions? Idea

2 Re: Wanted! Help with coop design! on Sun Feb 26, 2012 8:19 am

ChicoryFarm

avatar
Golden Member
Golden Member
Re: layer coop

-4 sq/ft of floor space per bird, so if you want 25 birds you should have 100 square feet in your coop
-1 nesting box for every 4 birds located in a darkish part of the coop
-10" of roosting space per bird (this is more for the hotter months so they can keep cool on the roosts having some space from each other)
-roosts starting at 24" from the floor
-ventilation, ventilation, ventilation, one near the roosts for the hotter months and others away from the roosts for colder months to avoid direct drafts on the birds at night.
- cinder blocks are great for elevating waterers
-hang your feeders at shoulder height of the smallest bird to help avoid 'billing' of food and therefore, waste.
-DROPPINGS BOARD under your roosts will make a huge difference in keeping the floor litter cleaner (therefore don't need to clean coop as often) and in the winter when it's hard to keep litter dry from snow and waterers spilling you won't have ammonia issues in your coop. Ammonia smells from a combination of manure and water in litter is unpleasant and bad for the bird. Droppings board is cleaned once a month.

That's my input! Have fun.


3 Re: Wanted! Help with coop design! on Sun Feb 26, 2012 8:23 am

Hidden River

avatar
Golden Member
Golden Member
I agree with Chickory, still havent installed a dropping board in my coop but I do clean under the roosts often to keep the rest of the coop cleaner and smelling fresher.

I have the belief that chicks should not be brooded near or in the same building as the adults. So I would reccomend a different area for brooding your chicks, even an area closed off in your meat chicken barn. And then a grow out area where they can go inside and outside away from the adults till they are at least 6-8 weeks old.


_________________
Raising Heritage Chickens, Guinea Fowl, Waterfowl, Katahdin Sheep, Angus and Jersey Cattle. Mother of 2 wonderful girls and wife to a very understanding Husband.
www.hiddenriverranch.weebly.com
http://www.hiddenriverranch.weebly.com

4 Re: Wanted! Help with coop design! on Sun Feb 26, 2012 8:30 am

ChicoryFarm

avatar
Golden Member
Golden Member
Hidden River wrote:I agree with Chickory, still havent installed a dropping board in my coop but I do clean under the roosts often to keep the rest of the coop cleaner and smelling fresher.

I have the belief that chicks should not be brooded near or in the same building as the adults. So I would reccomend a different area for brooding your chicks, even an area closed off in your meat chicken barn. And then a grow out area where they can go inside and outside away from the adults till they are at least 6-8 weeks old.

Hidden, is this because you are concerned about them being exposed to a disease at a very young age?

(remind me how I quote just a part of someone's post)

5 Re: Wanted! Help with coop design! on Sun Feb 26, 2012 8:39 am

Kim from Kamloops

avatar
Member
Member
Okay, if I have 25 laying hens, I'll need approx. 7 laying boxes and approx 25ft of roasting space, which will take up floor space as it will be enclosed underneath so the chicken don't get poop all over...correct? So is that included in the 100 sq ft or aside from the 100 sq ft? My building is appro 100sq ft! also, the floor is currently plywood...I was thinking to put a cement type layer on top for easy cleaning...what do you think...what about lino?? Or is that ridiculous?

I was only planned to use the laying house to brood the inicial chicks and later down the road build another small house and fenced area seperate for Natural reproduction. Wink

6 Re: Wanted! Help with coop design! on Sun Feb 26, 2012 8:58 am

ChicoryFarm

avatar
Golden Member
Golden Member
Kim from Kamloops wrote:Okay, if I have 25 laying hens, I'll need approx. 7 laying boxes and approx 25ft of roasting space, which will take up floor space as it will be enclosed underneath so the chicken don't get poop all over...correct? So is that included in the 100 sq ft or aside from the 100 sq ft? My building is appro 100sq ft! also, the floor is currently plywood...I was thinking to put a cement type layer on top for easy cleaning...what do you think...what about lino?? Or is that ridiculous?

I was only planned to use the laying house to brood the inicial chicks and later down the road build another small house and fenced area seperate for Natural reproduction. Wink

You can do 6 laying boxes easily as the suggestion is 4-5 birds per box.
More like 21ft roosting space (250" divided by 12 = 21ft approx) and you can stagger the roosts like a ladder leaning against a wall but you want each roost to be a minimum of 12" between each one. I'll email you a photo of mine. You could also do 2/10ft roosts or 4/5ft roosts all parallel to one another, 12" apart minimum. The 12" apart is so they don't poop on each other when roosting.

The droppings pit catches the poop when they roost at night (which is when they poop the most), keeps it off the floor and you just clean the board once a month or more. Have the board elevated so the birds can walk under it and can't scratch in it. That way you can include the floor space underneath for the birds to have access to. Does that make sense?

I painted my plywood floor and prefer that. I did do lino (you can get it real cheap at flooring stores as off-cuts but I had a hard time keeping it flush to the floor but I didn't lay it professionally and therefore crud then got underneath it and I had to lift it up take it out, wash it, etc. I preferred painting the plywood. I used a somewhat environmentally friendly exterior paint that I can wash once a year with a scrub brush (but probably wouldn't use a metal brush). Some people paint the floor with a heavy duty marine paint.

7 Re: Wanted! Help with coop design! on Sun Feb 26, 2012 9:39 am

smokyriver

avatar
Golden Member
Golden Member
If you are looking at something to protect the wood floor what about a thin layer of the granite or hardrock paint stuff that they use around pools. That way when doing a heavey cleaning you could use the pressure washer on your floors. It would be a little more expensive to begin with but might be worth it in the long run as that stuff is super tough!! We have been thinking about doing this in my brooder house on the floors and about 12" up the wall. I think the flexrock product is a little cheaper and from what I have been told not as time consuming to apply as you dont have to trowel it on like the granite.

http://Www.poultrypalacecanada.com

8 Re: Wanted! Help with coop design! on Sun Feb 26, 2012 10:06 am

Kim from Kamloops

avatar
Member
Member
This might sound weird..but I don't like working with even numbers so I probably put 7 nest boxes in...starting to draw it out now...I though to make them protrude from the side of the building and the space created underneath, put the heater and chicken wire to enclose that part so the chickens and whatnot won't pose a hazard and of course insulating the boxes(the whole coop I'll insulate to encourage laying in winter)...which leads to my nest question...how high up to make the roosts and nests..how high can chickens jump comfortable? Totally makes sense to have the poop pit elevated (and removable?) under the roost for easy cleaning and to allow more floor space!! I surely appreciat any pics you want to share of the inside of coop.

I really like the granite paint and such idea!! Very Happy

I've heard of coops where don't have to enter the coup to collect the eggs...but I don't know how that would work in the winter..And do you just stick your hand under their butt and take the egg...do they get pissed off and peck at your hand? affraid

9 Re: Wanted! Help with coop design! on Sun Feb 26, 2012 10:35 am

rosewood

avatar
Golden Member
Golden Member
I wear leather gloves when I collected eggs, but sometimes just leave a sitting hen and collect later.

One thing that is important in an insulated coop is to make sure you have lots of ventilation. Chickens can stand a fair amount of cold, but too much moisture is a killer.

10 Re: Wanted! Help with coop design! on Sun Feb 26, 2012 11:08 am

Kim from Kamloops

avatar
Member
Member
I guess a person could put in an vent operated on temp and humidity...but now we're getting pretty fancy..(and cost)

11 Re: Wanted! Help with coop design! on Sun Feb 26, 2012 11:50 am

uno

avatar
Golden Member
Golden Member
Traditional nest box sixe is 12x12. Hubby made mine 14x14 and if you ever have bigger birds (Brahmas and others) you will be glad for the bigger nest boxes. Over build from the start!

Put a lip, about 4 inches wide, infront of the nest boxes, a place for the bird to land when she flies/hops up. If she has to land directly in the box, you risk having her break eggs. Make a landing pad.

I have 6 nest boxes, 3 over 3, with about 12 inches beteween the floor and the bottom box. Chcikens would go under there and lay their eggs. Then you have to practically stand on your head to see under there and reach those eggs. Either put your nest boxes higher than 12 inches (that is too small a spot for you to operate in comfortably) or block that underneath space off completely.

Make a sloped roof over your nest boxes so birds cannot roost on them and fill them with poop.

I do not have droppings boards. I have a 4 inch edging board installed around the bottom of the roost which makes a poo pit. THe birds can still get in there and scratch, but most of the poo stays in there. I shovel out the poo pit, not the whole hen house. When I need more bedding in the poo pit, I scrape up the slightly used bedding off the main floor and toss some of that in. All bedding gets used twice (main floor then into poo pit) before it gets tossed.

We have cedar decking on the floor of our coop and it is fine, except under the roost, where it has become saturated. In that area alone I have considered stapling down a hunk of linoleum OR some of those rubber mats made from recycled tires. I have not done either yet, however.

Outside covered area. Your interior floor will stay cleaner if your birds can get outside for part of every day. THey do not like to go out in deep snow. If you can make a covered area that keeps the snow off the ground, they are more likely to get outside every day, and you have less inside poop. My birds go outside 365 days a year to eat and drink. I will NOT have water inside my coop since it makes the interior humidity too high. Outdoor overhead roofing is a blessing if you can get it!

My hen house is 12x12, with a 4x5 foot area enclosed as a chick room. I would not consider keeping 25 hens in a 10x10 building. It has been my experience that the production layers are too intense personality-wise, to withstand any crowding or stress and become a behaviour problem in tight quarters, especially if you house them with birds of a milder disposition. How tightly you can pack your birds depends a lot on the type of birds you keep.

12 Re: Wanted! Help with coop design! on Sun Feb 26, 2012 12:16 pm

rosewood

avatar
Golden Member
Golden Member
Our new coop is 10 by 10 for 25 hens, but we have two large runs for them outside where they spend most of their time. The old coop is 6 by 12 and we have kept the same number in that coop, but less than ideal. We have considered spraying truck bed liner over the wood floor and up the wall. The new coop will have three large windows and a cupola for ventilation.

13 Re: Wanted! Help with coop design! on Sun Feb 26, 2012 12:56 pm

coopslave

avatar
Golden Member
Golden Member
In my opinion bigger is always better. My main coop is 8x8 with a covered outside run of 8x10. I find in winter 20 birds is to many, 15 is more comfortable. When they can free range every second day or so I can keep up to 25 birds happy.

Make sure your roosts are higher than your nesting boxes or they will roost in the nesting boxes and poop in them ALL night. Makes for yucky eggs in the morning. Also make sure you roosts are at least as wide as your wrist. I like mine wider than that. Chickens do not 'clutch' the roost like other birds do, they kind of sit on their feet instead. When the roost is wider they can cover the toes better in the cold too.I use a 2x4, large flat side up and I round off the edges a bit for them.

There is lots of info out there. There is always changes you will make too. I have had chickens for close to 20 years now and I make changes to every new coop I build! Rolling Eyes YOu are going to have great fun with them, make sure you post pictures.

14 Re: Wanted! Help with coop design! on Sun Feb 26, 2012 1:54 pm

Kim from Kamloops

avatar
Member
Member
Friggin Fantastic! bounce

15 Re: Wanted! Help with coop design! on Sun Feb 26, 2012 7:22 pm

uno

avatar
Golden Member
Golden Member
Another thing to keep in mind, culturally stimulated birds lay and grow better. Books, music and art should be part of your hen house design. A mind is a terrible thing to waste. If anyone knows how to keep dust OUT of framed prints, let me know!

16 Re: Wanted! Help with coop design! on Sun Feb 26, 2012 7:42 pm

rosewood

avatar
Golden Member
Golden Member
I wired the new coop for video games, television, lights and heat lamps, but I forgot about putting in framed pictures.

Sponsored content


View previous topic View next topic Back to top  Message [Page 1 of 1]

Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum