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Calling all roosts!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Jsto, Jun 16, 2007.

  1. Jsto

    Jsto Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just about ready to start building the roosts and nest boxes. I had read that 2x4s were good because they forced the chickens to lay their feet flat, thus helping them retain heat in the winter. Don't remember where I read that. On the other hand, I've read (and guessed) that chickens just plain ole prefer dowells.

    Which is best? Which do the chickens seem to prefer? Pictures of your roosting space would also be great. I have 1 bantie at the moment and am guessing she'll need something smaller? How would I position her special space if I don't know the pecking order?!

    Also, let me know if I have this right: 18" both from the ground and ceiling, 12"from the wall, and 12" between roosts? Am I remembering that correctly? Help!

    Oh, I am so ready for this coop to be finished!!
     
  2. Sherry

    Sherry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I too was having a hard time deciding between flat vs. round. I went and poked around my local lumber store and found what I think is the best of both worlds. An unfinished bannister. It's flat on one side and rounded the rest of the way. My chickens seem to like it. I put it with the flat side up.
    The ladder I made out of branches my DH trimmed from some trees.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2007
  3. MayberrySaint

    MayberrySaint Chillin' Out

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    I think the 2x4 are also easier for the chickens to balance on the roosts. With round roosts, they are forced to grip the roost and balance. I think the 2x4 might give them a more peaceful rest. I used 2x4 and they seen to enjoy them.
    Your other dimensions are OK...I have my first row 12 in. from the wall and then another row at 24 in. and the third row at 36 in. Mine are 33 in. from the floor and I built a small ladder for them. Half use the ladder and half just fly up.
    I also hinged the cross beams (2x4) to the wall and have the end of the cross beams (opposite the wall) attached to my ceiling with chain. This way I can lift the roosts and attach them to the wall when cleaning out. I wish I had a picture to post...sorry.
     
  4. 4myHennyPenny

    4myHennyPenny Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I read the same about the 2x4s, plus they said to lay them flat. Would that be so that the chickens are standing on the 4" surface or on the 2" surface???? I do know that the recommended rounding the edges slightly to make the roost more comfortable.

    I have to admit that I was so confused by that stupid thing (about it being flat) that I'd pretty well settled on a 2" dowel. Interesting points everyone else makes, though. Maybe I'll reconsider a 2x4 (plus, it's cheaper).

    As for the placement from the wall, I just recently asked this question. Some of the replies recommended a minimum of 12" and perhaps 18" if you had standards. One post said that she learned this the hard way when her hens began breaking their tail feathers because they were too close to the wall. I'd pretty well settled on 16-18" in our coop plans.

    Height from the floor, I'd been planning on 18" (so would make it 18" from the ceiling at the lowest spot). But I became confused when reading in Storey's about the height of the roost vs. nesting boxes. They indicated that you should have your nesting box at a height LOWER than your roost to discourage your chickens from sleeping in there. Is that really true?? Man, I hope not. Had already pretty well finished plans that would have put the nexting box on the on the south wall (roost is on the east), with nesting box at 24" from floor and roost at 18".

    Anyone with help on which side (2 or 4) should be up for the roost, and whether nesting box has to be lower? (sorry to hijack your post, Jsto!) [​IMG]
     
  5. MayberrySaint

    MayberrySaint Chillin' Out

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    4 in. side down...so they can stand on the 4 in. side. If your nests are higher than your roosts, the hens will tend to sleep and poop in them. Chickens want to sleep at the highest possible point in the coop. It is a natural instinct for protection from predators.

    18 in. high seems too low for the roosts. You will have to bend down at an awkward angle to clean out from underneath them. Just my opinion...
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2007
  6. Jsto

    Jsto Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the replies! What a nice find, Sherry! I reckon I could do as 4myhennypenny said: use the 2x4s and sand the front edges round so they can get that nice rounded grip, yet have more balance.

    Quote:I can definitely place them more than 18" from the ground as they will be on the 'tall side' of the coop, which is 5 or so feet. There will be a droppings pit underneath, so I'll have to figure out which would work best cleaning wise.

    As for nest boxes, if I have, for instance, the roosts at least 18" off the floor, would 12" up be good for the nest boxes? Or is that too low?
     
  7. 4myHennyPenny

    4myHennyPenny Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:[​IMG] Crap! I WAS SO CLOSE TO BEING DONE WITH MY PLANS!!!!!! Will this never end????

    I was so delighted to have figured out the placement of everything inside. Now it looks like another re-design is in order. At least I hadn't started building yet, I guess.

    I was hoping to put my hanging waterer under the nesting box, that's why it was going to be 24" up. I figured I could put in a door beneath the nest box door to allow easier access to the waterer, plus conserve floor space.

    I actually won't have to stoop to clean under the roosts as the whole coop is elevated 24" off the ground (so roosts are actually at about 4'). Inside, the roosts were going to be 18" off the floor and positioned under the east gable; roost would be 18" from the ceiling at the short end of the gable, and 36" at the peak. What do you think, though--should I go ahead and elevate the roost a little more? I'll have 3 to 4 standard hens, and the roost will be approx. 48" long. What would be the min. amount of headroom you would allow at the far ends of the roost?

    Thanks for your help.... I think![​IMG]
     
  8. Jsto

    Jsto Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have no idea about any of this, but it seems that chickens are creatures of habit. Perhaps you can leave your nestboxes as is, but keep them blocked off until your pullets reach laying age. By that time, they will have recognized their roosts as their resting place. When they're about to reach laying age, stick some golf balls in the nesting boxes so they get the idea.

    I know what it's like to have to plan and replan, even though you thought you'd *finally* gotten it perfect. Hopefully you won't have to do that.
     
  9. AccidentalFarm

    AccidentalFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We are using 2x4's and unfinished banister railing as roosts. Both get constant use so I can't say which the girls prefer. IMO, the banister looks to be the best option.
     
  10. countrygirl4513

    countrygirl4513 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Not to burst anyones bubble, I was told a while back on the forum to use rounded roosts because anything else would be hard on the chicks breast area. Now they could be wrong, but I do use landscaping timbers which are rounded somewhat. But mine prefer the roosts in the yard which are sappling trees that I cut down.
     

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