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Chicken Roosts - Shapes, Sizes, and Placement

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Chinchilla2, Jun 29, 2011.

  1. Chinchilla2

    Chinchilla2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay, been working on my chicken coop and I am down to some of the interior areas. I have seen where square roost rods are better than round one and was thinking about using those. This leads to a few questions.

    Which is best in everyone's opinion: round or square?

    If I go with square ones, do I put them so that the ends look like a regular square or diamond?

    What is a good size for Wyandotte, Orpington, and Sussex breeds? Both round and square sizes

    How far should I have these off the floor? My coop has 2ft high walls (inside measurement), a sloped roof giving me another 18-20 inches at the highest point, which winds up with up to 44 inches worth of space from floor to ceiling I can put these roosts in. Also, looking at those three breeds, about how far from the wall should I place them?

    Thanks!
     
  2. wingsofglory

    wingsofglory Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Can use 2x4s placed flat - so the 3 1/2" side is up flat for them to sit on. Can round the square top edges a little.

    When it is cold, they can cover their feet with tummy feathers this way.

    For short roosts, 2x2s can be used.

    They end up walking up and down the roosts a lot, feeling out just the right position. They would slip a lot on round roosts and fall off. Branches off trees about 3 inches in diameter might work if they can walk them lengthwise. Bark woulld help with grip.

    For chicks, I set up little 1x2s for them.

    How you arrange them depends on your coop and birds.

    My first flock fought to get the seat in front of the window with view. My second flock fought for the seat as far back in the corner away from the window. Birds are weird. This flock is still ignoring the roosts inside and sleeping outside on the sunporch (covered with hardware wire).

    I have two rows at the same height. The birds behind can tuck their heads inbetween the front row birds. They seem to like to do this, especially in the winter to keep their heads warm, or just cuddling. So the boards are about eight to ten inches apart.

    With your headroom, maybe one foot off the floor? They like to stand and stretch once in a while on the roost. Mine would climb over each other to get just the right spot too which takes some headroom.
     
  3. BigChick

    BigChick New Egg

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    I use 2x2's and round the edges some. If you put the roost off the ground make sure you have soft ground or shavings on the floor of the coop. Over a period of time when the chickens jump up and down from the roost and don't have a soft floor to land on they will develop a sore on the bottom of their feet called "bubblefoot". When they get this it is very hard to cure.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. CupOJoe42

    CupOJoe42 CT Chicken Whisperer

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    2 x 4's with the wider side facing up and the edges rounded work great. The roosts should be higher than the nest boxes, with the highest one 18" from the wall. You can stair-step them about 12" apart or have them at the same height. Many people use a poop board or pan underneath to make the coop easier to clean. If the birds are young, you can provide a ramp up to the roosts.
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. hencam

    hencam Out Of The Brooder

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    I've always used round roosts and no one has fallen off yet! You can see my roosts on my cams - www.HenCam.com. I like ladder-style roosts, so birds can be at different heights. The roosts in my hencam coop are attached with hinges, so I can lift up and keep out of the way when cleaning. In the big barn I simply use old wooden ladders. I can take them outside and bake in the sun to disinfect every once in awhile. My bantams and my large hens find the ladder roosts comfortable.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. Chinchilla2

    Chinchilla2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks everyone!!

    After reading the responses, I've decided on using 2x4s for the primary roost about a foot up and a foot away from the wall as well as one running 18" below and directly in line with the peak of the henhouse. My darling hubby, also known as He Who Will Stop On The Side of the Road For ALL Kinds of Things In The Ditch, (can't really complain, I have a St. Augustine yard from sod squares he's picked up that way) brought home a board last night that looks like someone took a 2" diameter dowel and flattened it into an oval. I'm going to place it about a foot away from the wall and 6" from the floor for my babies. I'll pull this and replace with nesting boxes after they hit the laying stage. I will be trimming the edges on the 2x4s though. Figure I bought that router 10 years ago for Mr. Roadside Scrounger, I can use it a bit [​IMG]

    Wings: The back side of the house has a 1ft x 3ft area that I am screening off for a sunporch. My luck all my fretting about roosts and that's where they will stay.

    BigChick: I have a slip in pan that is about 2 inches deep (easiest way to clean something I'm a little too tall to stand in and use a broom/shovel). My neighbor, who owns a feedstore, has already offered up shavings and hay for padding in exchange for some eggs in the future. I was going to fill the pan with shavings to keep the poop off the floor. Will this be deep enough or do I need to rework the pan and make it a bit deeper?

    Hencam: I like the cam setup! Since the back side is a sunporch area, I can a-frame a smaller ladder, similar to what you have on the coop cam, over it. Thanks for the link and idea!
     
  7. bryan99705

    bryan99705 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I use tree branches or saplings about 1 1/2 inches thick. In you case, I would put the at the top of the wall ( at 24" ) in the high end of the coop to give them the highest roost possible. The height is not a issue in your coop as long as you are not over crowded
     
  8. pawsplus

    pawsplus Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a similar question--my roosts are 2x4s but b/c they are a structural aspect of the building they are placed such that the chickens roost on the narrow side. Photo below. The hens have been using this building for almost 4 years and seem perfectly happy, but I was wondering if there might be an overriding reason for me to lay an additional 2x4, with wide side up, on top of the existing ones?

    [​IMG]
     
  9. hencam

    hencam Out Of The Brooder

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    Chickens, like other birds, have special tendons and ligaments, so that when they curl their feet around a roost and fall asleep, the legs lock into place and they don't fall off. I've had a hen die of a broken neck when she fell asleep and slipped off of a shelf in the coop (since removed!) but have never had a problem with the round roosts. Whatever you use, make sure that there's enough space so that when it is hot, the chickens aren't crowded next to each other. Heat kills, not winter cold. Ventilation is key. If you can put a cupola on your coop, do it.
     
  10. sadies chicks

    sadies chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We used branches from the backyard, they are maybe 1.5-2 inches in diameter. The girls love them!

    [​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.

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