Advice on roosts for a newbie!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Ozchook, Jan 1, 2010.

  1. Ozchook

    Ozchook Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 1, 2010
    Hi all,
    Firstly, what a wonderful, friendly website and what a wealth of fabulous information!
    I am a chook newbie and I am in the process of building a coop and run for 4 Black Australorp hens (yet to be bought). I have made most of the plans up on the hoof as the design brief was "don't spend any money" so it had to be made of whatever off-cuts were in my shed. So far it's going well. My question is regarding the roosts; I plan to have 2 of them at about 2.5 ft and 4 ft off the floor. I see from other posts that appx. 10 linear inches per bird is the go, but how much space needs to be around them, ie how far from the ceiling and how far away from the walls.
    Thanks in advance, I'm sure this will be the first of many posts!
  2. mendygnl

    mendygnl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 3, 2009
    Glidden, IA
    [​IMG] from Iowa! This is a wonderful site and the members have a wealth of knowledge. I can't answer your question, but know someone out there will. Happy New Year, too.
  3. wing it

    wing it Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 13, 2009
    long island
    Hi, I think the ht off th floor is ok you will probably find your chicks will use the higher one. As far as off the wall mine are at 14" to center of a 2x4 on the flat and all seem happy with that . 10 lin. inchs should be good. As far as distance from the celing I don't really know. My coop is 8' tall and my roosts are just under 4'. Maybe 18 to 24 inchs. good luck with your coop
  4. gsim

    gsim Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 18, 2009
    East Tennessee
    [​IMG] From E Tennessee

    Wingit got it pretty well I think. Roosts should be higher than nests otherwise the chooks will roost and poop all night in nests. I would not get too close to roof because of heat in warm weather. I think I allowed 8" per chook on roosts. If you have the room, more is better.

    Do pay close attention to ventilation and predator security. I did 1 sq ft for every 4 chooks of permanent full-time ventilation ABOVE the wall headers in my coop. That includes a turbine vent. I have 24 pullets. I also did 4 operable windows that add another 40 sq ft if I want it or a portion of it. My setup includes continuous soffit vents full length front and back, as well as two 12x12 gable vents and the 16" turbine vent. That way, no drafts at roost level 48" off floor. Do make linoleum covered poop planks 24" to 28" wide and full length of roosts and centered under them. Scrape daily [​IMG] and dispose of it [​IMG] and you will find that litter can last a year.[​IMG]

    Plan for a fence-charger too for security and plan to thwart tunneling preds as well. You are going to love raising chooks.[​IMG]
  5. Duke of Orpington

    Duke of Orpington Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 12, 2009
    Knoxville, TN
    I keep seeing 'poop planks' in many of the coops and know that they are a great idea and plan to use them in one variation or another. However, I'm just at the planning stage of my coop and was thinking about the possibility of having a couple of litter pans side-by-side (see pic below) under the roosts that would slide out through a long horizontal wall opening so one could clean them daily without entering the coop. This would essentially create approximately a 28" x 60" litter area under the roosts.


    Most washing machine drain pans are approx 28" x 30" x 2" and are made from a lightweight plastic material. Cost varies from $25 to $35 depending upon where they're purchased. The pans could be pulled out dumped into the compost pile, hosed out if necessary, then reinserted for service.

    I'm trying to build my coop with the ability to service as much as possible without actually entering the coop and litter pans are just another idea I've been tossing around. I'm currently planing on an 8' x 12' coop with outside accessible nest boxes and feeder.

    What think ye chicken experts? [​IMG]
  6. fiberart57

    fiberart57 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 31, 2009
    Welcome to Backyard Chickens,

    Roosts should be at least 18 inches, 45 cm, parallel to the wall and allow at least two feet, 60 cm, to the ceiling. Remember, if you have standards, as they stand up, they will take up about 12 inches and need a bit more head room for stretching, arguing or jumping down. Also, you don't want the roosts so high that the chickens will hurt their legs as they come down. But they do need to be above the nest box.

    They should also be wide enough so that they can rest their feet. Chickens don't grip like some other birds so the flat side of a 2"x4" board is best, about 9 or 10 cm wide.

  7. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Quote:You know, I eyed those drain pans when I was building my coop, thinking I might try a pit concept. I went with the dropping board after evaluating how much less time it would take me to scrape off a flat board rather than dumping out a tub-like item, of which I would then still have to scrape some too (poos that sticks). But I walk into my coop to scrape, so maybe that's the best option if you want something that will slide out. P.S. I'm not an expert, so that's just my 2 cents/experience.
  8. Doopy

    Doopy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 16, 2009
    Indiana, USA
    Hi Ozchook and welcome to the discussion forums. I'm a newb too. Funny that you bring these questions to the group today because I just came in from my coop and I was wondering the distances from the floor and from the walls for roosting perches. It looks like we'll be learning this stuff together.
  9. Ozchook

    Ozchook Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 1, 2010
    WOW! Now that's prompt advice!!!
    Thanks all, I shall head out to the shed with renewed enthusiasm and clarity.
    Flat side of a 2"x4", 14"-18" from the wall, 24" min to the roof, above the height of the nest boxes, with poop planks.

    The nest boxes are only 12" high so both roosts will be higher. The thinking behind having 2 roosts was that, as the coop is only 3 foot x 4 foot (with external nest boxes), it would give the birds more space to sleep, they're on adjacent walls.

    gsim, your coop sounds better equiped than my house!!
    Thanks again
  10. the Pollo Loco

    the Pollo Loco Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 27, 2009
    Santa Cruz,CA
    wherever you place it just try and imagine the size of your birds and how well they will be able to roost on it if they need to turn around, if they face either way. and also what are they going to be pooping on...[​IMG]

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