Are perches a must in a coop or is straw ok

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by ravenvalor, Aug 1, 2008.

  1. ravenvalor

    ravenvalor Songster

    Aug 1, 2008
    Hi Folks,
    I have had a coop for the past two years. It is about 8' x 8' with a 6' ceiling. My chickens sleep on a bed of straw. I have a small perch in there but they prefer the straw. Is this good for the chickens?
    Jim in NC
  2. keljonma

    keljonma Songster

    Feb 12, 2007
    8A East Texas
    If they sleep on a perch or roost, they aren't sitting in their poo all night long. So it is usually healthier for them to use a roost.
  3. dangerouschicken

    dangerouschicken Will Barter For Coffee

    May 6, 2007
    Columbia Gorge, OR

  4. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake 10 Years

    Is your roost up too high?
  5. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    May 24, 2007
    Welcome to BYC!

    What types of chickens do you have? I'm guessing that your "small" perch is just that .. too small. But that's a total guess since I haven't seen it. What are you using for a roost?

    I suggest using a 2x4 with the 4" side up for them to sit/roost on at a level of at least four feet in the air. Higher is even better for some breeds but you will want a ladder type system where they can jump down onto it so they don't hurt their feet jumping down so far to the floor. Make sure your roost is higher than your nest boxes also.

    Then, every night go out after dark and pick them up and place them on the roost. Hopefully after a few days or a week they will learn to go their themselves.

    It doesn't hurt them to sleep on the ground in the straw but I would agree that it's healthier for them to sleep on a roost, just so they aren't sitting in their poo. Some chickens just seem to want to sleep down there but I'd at least try to get them onto the roost.

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