at what age do they really need roosts?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by catballou24, May 13, 2007.

  1. catballou24

    catballou24 In the Brooder

    Apr 25, 2007
    Austin, TX
    our's are about 5-6 weeks old and have been in the coop just fine. we don't have roosts in there yet though and i'm wondering if my husband needs to get that going soon. also, how high should they be off the ground? and do you all suggest a droppings shelf of some sort? we have 8 chickens in an 8 x 10 coop....i will be free ranging 2 or 3 per day until we can get a good run/outdoor space set up for them...[​IMG]

  2. catballou24

    catballou24 In the Brooder

    Apr 25, 2007
    Austin, TX
    i should say that 2 sides of the coop are just framed hardware cloth, so they are not confined indoors....[​IMG]
  3. Barnyard Dawg

    Barnyard Dawg Songster

    Feb 7, 2007
    Northern California
    We utlize a drooping sheet under the roost in our adult hen house. Our chicks which are 1 month have been roosting at about 12" -18" high they love going up and down we will move it to 24 " soon.
  4. allen wranch

    allen wranch Crowing

    Jan 11, 2007
    San Marcos, TX
    Birds feel safer on a roost. It keeps them away from ground predators and it is usually cooler in the summer.

    Not sure where you live, but fire ants can sometimes be a problem if the birds sleep on the ground too.

    The breed usually determines the height of the roost (and nest boxes). Heavier breeds need a lower roost because they can injure their feet and legs jumping down from the roost - 24 to 36 inches is a good height for them. Banties and lighter standard breeds do fine with a higher roost. Most chickens want the highest roost. If you have mixed breeds, I would keep the roost at a height for the heaviest bird and not offer options.

    A dropping pit underneath is optional. If you can walk into your coop to rake out the muck, you probably don't need one.

    The type of roost you use is also a matter of preference. In colder climates a wider roost (2x4 with flat side up) allows them to hunker down on top of their toes to keep them warm. That is what I use for all my roosts. You can go with something smaller or tree branches. Just make sure there are no sharp spots or splinters that can cause foot injuries. Round off the edges for comfort. Some people use round dowels, but research shows that chickens do not roost the same way as other birds and a flat surface is better for them.
  5. barg

    barg Songster

    Apr 27, 2007
    Ours are just over 3 weeks old, I gave themn a training roost at 3 weeks and they like it. They are still in their tub inside the house. The roost is just a couple 2 x 3 scraps i nailed together and set in their tub, they dont always use it but I figured it was a good idea to get the used to the concept.
  6. mudhen

    mudhen confidently clueless

    Jan 15, 2007
    Shepherdstown, WV
    I had some left-over fence posts for roosts and a stange antique drying rack and put it together at an angle to let the girls climb up.
    They'll be five weeks old this week and today was the first time two of them ventured up the rack and tested out the 'adult' roost. I've had a few large branches in there at low levels for them to practice on since I moved them into the coop two weeks ago.
    (Sorry about the poor picture, I took it last week just after I had set this up and before the peeps had full run of the coop. All that junk on the roosts isn't there anymore!)

    Last edited: May 13, 2007
  7. catballou24

    catballou24 In the Brooder

    Apr 25, 2007
    Austin, TX
    thanks so much!

    we live in the texas hill country, right next to lake fire ants are around here, although not abundant like when we lived se of here..[​IMG] but i will get hubby on the roosts this weekend..[​IMG] i'm sure the babies are ready....they roost on top of the cement blocks we have in the coop (not sure why hubby left them in there, but the chicks love them..ahha). thanks for your thoughts and suggestions! [​IMG]

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: