Introduction: Maximize Chicken Coop Space for More Chickens
I had taken an existing small dog kennel building and turned it into a chicken coop. The kennel had water supply going to it and lights and concrete floor. When I first converted it I only had a few chickens so I wasn't thinking about maximum space both floor and roost/nests. So I made 3 nest and two roost and set food, water, and oyster shells on floor and ther was always poop everywhere because of how I made my roost. Well now I have 27 chickens and just added 12 chicks so I need double floor space and nest and roost. Here we go!
Step 1: Clearing Everything Out and Starting Over.
So first I took everything out of the coop and removed my roost. You can see they are ladder style but stick far out and everything else like food and shells were on the floor. I took all the roost out and removed everything and gave coop a good cleaning.
Step 2: New Roost
So first I took my pvc ladder style roost and changed the angle of where it butts up to the wall which made the roost steeper and only stuck out half as much. I also took plywood and attached it under the roost with hinges so that all droppings would land on it and it's elevated enough to make chicken walkable space underneath it. When I need to clean I just lower the plywood and scrape it off and then put it back. (I use a small block of wood to keep it elevated). Then I added an old wooden ladder and it made a lot of roost space. I have a duck who nest under a barrel I cut in half and turned upside down and cut an opening in it for her and I placed it under the ladder. The droppings land on the du k hut top and make it quick to just sweep it off to keep coop cleaner. Before the remodel I had to strip the whole coop weekly. Now I nust have to clean the board and sweep the hut and it has reduced my straw replacement 6 fold! I also added another pvc ladder roost on another wall where I had kept food shells and water but so far it's not being used but I think the new chicks will use it when they are big enough to add to the flock.
Step 3: More Nest.
I was able to get wire shelving that an auto parts store was getting rid of so I screwed it to the wall next to the wooden ladder roost, layed wood panels, also from the auto parts store, and then just set a flake of straw on top and the chickens made three nest in it. Then I put in a shelf on wooed post so it was elevated off the floor and next to the pvc roost and all the wood also came from the auto parts store and I was able to make three seperate small nest and then a large one above it like another shelf and added straw and the chickens made three nest up there too. So now I went from 3 nest to 9. Also in 1 pic you can see an orange bell shaped water maker. I glt some pvc and ran a water line and purchased the water bell and it hangs from the ceiling and I made it a pulley system so it hangs about a foot off the floor and gives a constant fresh water supply but can be pulled up for cleaning or something when I need it out of the way. Also I don't have the chickens getting straw and yuck into the water.
Step 4: Getting Food Off the Floor.
I purchased a feeder that holds a bag of 50 lb food and hung it from the ceiling and did a pully system again with it too. I just used a small soft rope and screwed an screw lock caribean link to run the rope through and installed a small cleat to tie off the rope to adjust height of feeder so now it's off the floor and not getting spilled or stuff in. So now with nest, water, feed and "poop" board off the floor I just maximized my space by 15 to 20 square feet!
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Outdoor Workshop Contest
8 years ago on Introduction
Very nice coop!
Reply 8 years ago
Thank you. My favorite is the window. Our lical papa Murphys replaced their drive up window and I saw it just sitting out back and asked for it and they just gave it to us.
8 years ago
I have worked in several commercial egg operations. Much of what you did is very similar. Next time you get a chance, epoxy paint the concrete. It will make it last longer. The salts in the poop get absorbed into the concrete, and will eventually destroy it.
Reply 8 years ago
thanks for the tip. I do keep a 3 inch base of shavings/sawdust mixture and then I layer it with 1/2 bale of straw and also mostly in winter I do the deep litter method so that the coop is about 90% self sustainable. I go through about 1/2 bag so 25lbs of organic grain about once a week in winter for 41 birds. In summer they free range so much they take forever to eat the grain. We have 11 acres so they fill up from our horse poop compost pile and the never ending crane flies and what nots they forage for. I also get my oyster "dust" from an oyster company in the bay. They let you take all the crushed "dust" you want for free as long as you don't take whole oyster shells. Way cheaper than store bought bags that are processed.