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Roost space - economy of scale?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

I just posted about my coop construction, which we just began, and I asked this question in that post but I'm hoping more people will see it or chime in if I separate it into its own post :)

When it comes to roost/coop space, is there such a thing as economy of scale? What I mean is, if you only have 6 (large-breed) chickens, you'll of course want at least 24 sq ft of coop space and 6 linear feet of roost space, per recommendations. But what about when you start getting into more birds? Many more birds? If you have 75 or 100 chickens, do you really need a 400 sq ft coop and 100 linear feet of roost space?

 

My coop will be around 350 sq ft. We are starting with 24 straight-run chicks, but in a couple years we may hatch some chickens for meat. They'll be free ranging all day during the summer, and then the meat chickens will be butchered before the snow falls. We'd have maybe a max of 50 laying hens in the winter. I feel like our coop is quite sizeable, but I'm really struggling figuring out how to get more roost space in it.

 

If I have 100 chickens only in the summer, do I need 100 feet of roost space?

post #2 of 8
Pretty much...thats why many of us have staggered roosts. I have them set at 2 ft, 3ft, 4 ft, and 5ft...I have a 16ft wall that will accommodate roughly 60 chickens on roosts made from staggard 2x4's.
I have 1 fat cat, and raise true black/blue, silver, white and wheaten Ameraucanas, runmpless araucana, Olive eggers, speckled sussex, wheaten and copper marans, lavender orpingtons, 1 pet delaware hen, white crested and buff laced polish, 1 pet barred rock hen,1 ring neck cock pheasant, 6 ring neck hens, 4 guinea fowl, a smorgasbord of turkeys, 2 kids, and 1 husband.
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I have 1 fat cat, and raise true black/blue, silver, white and wheaten Ameraucanas, runmpless araucana, Olive eggers, speckled sussex, wheaten and copper marans, lavender orpingtons, 1 pet delaware hen, white crested and buff laced polish, 1 pet barred rock hen,1 ring neck cock pheasant, 6 ring neck hens, 4 guinea fowl, a smorgasbord of turkeys, 2 kids, and 1 husband.
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post #3 of 8

Alas, the 1ft per chicken roost space is a minimum, and I would imagine that your meat birds will large, so I'd think that more space per bird would be appropriate. I have some dual purpose birds, and they are considerably larger than my regular layers, so i have more space (actually, i have to watch my chicken maths :(). 

 

CT

Nairobi, Kenya
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Nairobi, Kenya
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post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 

I'm planning on having all/only Orpingtons - a dual purpose bird. I am hoping they will hatch their own chicks next spring, and that we can keep some for more layers and then butcher the others for meat.

Firekin - any chance you have a photo of your roosts?

They will also have access to all the trusses, though I'm not sure yet what height I'll have the roosts and the trusses may be too much of a jump from there for the chickens.


Edited by Englishable - 4/26/16 at 6:00am
post #5 of 8

Orpington is a heavy breed. You don't want your roosts too high as they can get leg injuries. Enough distance and space to flap down and land would ease that but better to have lower roosts.

Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.

 

-Charles Dudley Warner

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Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.

 

-Charles Dudley Warner

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post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 

The way I think I'll have the roosts set up, they'll have about 10 feet in front of the roosts before they'd hit a wall.

post #7 of 8
I would think that with meat birds you would need more floor space than roost space. The meat birds I've seen have quickly gotten too large and awkward to roost and preferred the floor.
post #8 of 8
I have a mixed flock of medium and large birds, the majority dual purpose, but with meat birds like meat kings and such who are genetically made to grow real big real fast, I wouldn't suggest any roosts at all as they risk breaking legs and such due to their mass.
I have 1 fat cat, and raise true black/blue, silver, white and wheaten Ameraucanas, runmpless araucana, Olive eggers, speckled sussex, wheaten and copper marans, lavender orpingtons, 1 pet delaware hen, white crested and buff laced polish, 1 pet barred rock hen,1 ring neck cock pheasant, 6 ring neck hens, 4 guinea fowl, a smorgasbord of turkeys, 2 kids, and 1 husband.
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I have 1 fat cat, and raise true black/blue, silver, white and wheaten Ameraucanas, runmpless araucana, Olive eggers, speckled sussex, wheaten and copper marans, lavender orpingtons, 1 pet delaware hen, white crested and buff laced polish, 1 pet barred rock hen,1 ring neck cock pheasant, 6 ring neck hens, 4 guinea fowl, a smorgasbord of turkeys, 2 kids, and 1 husband.
Reply
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