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Should I lower my roost?

post #1 of 6
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I have two roosts in my small coop. Both are close enough to the roof that my three hens and one rooster have to crouch.  They are also at the same height as the open vents on either side. So far they seem happy, and huddle next to one of the window vents.  But I am concerned that 1) they should have more headroom (especially the rooster?), and 2) they should roost below the window when winter comes.  If the headroom is not a problem, can I solve the second by dropping a clear plastic flap over one of the vents at night?  The coop has enough cracks that I'm not very worried about ventilation.

post #2 of 6

Yes, you need to lower them but only for the head room issue. A bird hitting its head jumping up on the roost can break its neck.

Don't close off ventilation.

A chicken can live in a tree and you can't keep drafts out of a tree.

NPIP 43-813

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.

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NPIP 43-813

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.

Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”                  Mark Twain

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post #3 of 6
But a chicken can move around in a tree to get out of strong breezes. In that coop in a strong wind their only option would be to try to get down in the dark. I’ve seen chickens sleep in trees in below zero Fahrenheit weather. They are not very exposed in those trees but they have great ventilation.

You’re not worried about what many people think of as a draft, the gentle air movement from a crack around a window or door. You’ve concerned with a strong breeze, both wind chill and a wind strong enough to ruffle the feathers and let the tiny trapped air pockets out of their down that actually provides the insulation.

You want the roosts higher than anything you don’t want them sleeping in or on, like the nests, but I’d get them lower partly because of headspace but mostly because of the breeze issue. You are going to see some cold winds in New York. I just consider it best practice to not expose them any more than you have to.

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

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When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

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post #4 of 6

I agree with the other posts, lower the roost for both headroom and avoiding the breeze. One way to solve the breeze problem would be to build a box around the outside of the vent, with the bottom of the box open. So wind is blocked from sailing through the vents by the box, but the opening in the bottom allows still air to come and go as needed.

post #5 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by thomasboyle View Post
 

I agree with the other posts, lower the roost for both headroom and avoiding the breeze. One way to solve the breeze problem would be to build a box around the outside of the vent, with the bottom of the box open. So wind is blocked from sailing through the vents by the box, but the opening in the bottom allows still air to come and go as needed.

This is exactly what I did to my 3 window vents......I built a cover for the vents with 1x2's on the 2 sides, top and covered it with a vinyl cloth.  It is open at the bottom.

It should allow ventilation air in/out but should keep any direct breezes from blowing in on the chickens when on the roost at night.

Fayetteville, Arkansas
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Fayetteville, Arkansas
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post #6 of 6

I used to raise game chickens on an old home place with a dairy barn.  There was a semi circular (180 degree) corrugated tin roof on the barn.  The barn loft roof framing left just enough room between the tin and the framing boards that a smallish (4 pound or so) hen or cockerel could crouch down to roost below the tin roof.   Does anyone care to guess where the adult (adult in this case means ALPHA) hens preferred to sleep?  If you guessed at the very apex of the roof pick out your cupid doll, you are a winner..   

 

I also struggled to keep my birds from roosting in trees, especially in Eastern Red Cedar trees which played havoc with their tail feathers.

 

Why don't you add a lower roost pole and let your chickens tell you where they prefer to sleep.

Keep your chickens safe from predators, buy and wear fur. 
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Keep your chickens safe from predators, buy and wear fur. 
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