The Coop - Interior Tour
I wanted to share a little info on the interior of the new coop.
Here's a peek inside:
The floor is strong wire, which should work well for adult birds. I imagine I'll put some temporary flooring when we're raising chicks in the coop (probably just cardboard and shaving) and I could see putting cardboard on the floor under the roost to catch manure for easy disposal. The soiled cardboard likely will be composted to recapture those nutrients and provide a way to dispose of the manure without too much odor (I hope).
More on our compost setup plan in a future post.
The coop came with 4 nesting box setups with 10 nest boxes each. The boxes are in a little rough condition, but I can fix them up without a ton of effort and buying those new would have cost probably about $200 each, or $800. 3 are already mounted on the coop while, while the 4th is not yet mounted. I actually don't need 40 boxes for 50 chickens, so I may remove that loose box and use it elsewhere.
There is also a roost setup already in the coop, although I think I'm going to rebuild the roosts to make them a bit less steep.
I want to keep the roosts a little lower to keep birds out of the cross breeze between the two ventilation areas near the ceiling.
I also want a bit more space and slant between the "rungs" of the roost. Why? I think with the current setup, there's a good chance that birds on the top levels will be pooping on the birds below. I mean, I get that there's a pecking order, but that's adding insult to injury!
Here's a bit more info on the challenges and math I'm considering before rebuilding the roosts in the 20' x 8' coop:
I have 30 nesting boxes mounted along one of the long walls, and they kick out about a foot from the wall. The first box pretty much touches the back wall, so I have maybe 3-4 feet of bare wall on that side at front (people door) side of the coop.
So, if I took 6 feet of depth from the other long side, that'd leave me about a 1 foot walkway between the roosts and nesting boxes to collect eggs. That's a little tight but potentially doable.
6 feet, with roosts every 18 inches, gives me room for 4 roosts (6 ft x 12 in = 72 in, 72 in / 18 in = 4).
4 roosts times say, 16 feet long gives me 64 feet of roost space. At one foot of roost space per chicken, that's....64 chickens worth of space. With a more tight 10 inches of roost space per chicken, that's 76 chickens (64 feet x 12 inches/foot = 768 inches / 10 inches per chicken).
I could probably add a little more roost space (maybe one 4 ft roost) along the back wall connecting the roost structure to the nesting boxes. That's 80 chickens max.
Now, if I wanted to only use 5 feet of width for the roost setup, giving myself 2 feet of space in which to collect eggs...
5 feet, with roosts every 18 inches, gives me room for 3 roosts (5 ft x 12 in = 60 in, 60 in / 18 in = 3.33).
3 roosts by 16 feet each is 48 horizontal feet of roost space, plenty for 50 chickens. At 10 inches of roost space per bird, that's closer to 60 birds. I'm leaning towards the second setup which is a bit fewer birds, but more space for birds and more room for me to work.
I hope you have enjoyed this info on the coop interior. Much more to come as I get to spend more time with the coop!