1. salt and pepper

    salt and pepper Chillin' With My Peeps

    Do the roosts in the coop count as square footage? I thought it might since that's where the birds are for most of the time in the coop.
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    No, not as I understand it. The idea is they need so much square footage of walking space. That means if your roosts are so low they can't walk under them, you need to subtract that area. If they can walk underneath, you would count that floor space but not add the roost space in.
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2012
  3. salt and pepper

    salt and pepper Chillin' With My Peeps

    thank you for the reply. I do hope some other people will reply as well.
     
  4. citychickx6

    citychickx6 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I totally agree with Flockwatcher. My roosts are above poop boards and yes they go there during the day sometimes but it is not enough to count.
    Where the food and water is does not count either or the nest boxes.
     
  5. salt and pepper

    salt and pepper Chillin' With My Peeps

    how low do you think is too low for them to go underneath?
     
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    I’m going to approach it a bit differently. First, I don’t think there are any magic numbers as far as space for chickens go. We keep them in so many different conditions, climates, and circumstances using so many different management techniques with so many different flock make-ups that there cannot be any one magic number that covers us all.

    Commercial operations have proven that you can keep chickens in as few as 2 square feet per chicken with no run. They normally trim the beaks so they can’t eat each other and use other management techniques that we normally are not going to do. They also use chickens that have been specially bred to take confinement really well. They are all hens too, no roosters. If you have a set-up where they are never locked in the coop but always have access to more space out of doors, then 2 square feet is actually plenty in the coop. But that’s not just 2 square feet in the coop, its 2 square feet plus a lot more in the run which is always available.

    If you leave them locked in the coop during most of their waking hours with no run access, 4 square feet is pretty darn tight.

    It’s not a magic number of square feet in the coop that counts. It’s a combination of space, flock make-up, climate, and how you manage them.

    There’s also the thing that they may not eat each other if you give them a certain amount of room, but you will probably have to work harder if they have less space. And if you give them the absolute minimum amount of space that requires a certain management technique to make it work, then you have no flexibility in dealing with a problem if one develops.

    I recommend you give them as much space as you can stand instead of shoe-horning them into as small a space as you can.

    Instead of answering if the roost increases the square footage of a coop (which I think is as nebulous as asking how big is a ball of string), roost space can possibly help the carrying capacity of a coop/run system if you ares hort on roots space. Chickens have developed ways for weaker chickens to live with stronger chickens. The way this works is if there is a confrontation the weaker runs away or the weaker avoids the stronger to start with. This means they have to have room to run away or room to avoid.

    If you can give them room to avoid the bullies by adding perches or roosts, yes it can help the carrying capacity of the coop by adding more roost space. But if they already have enough so they can avoid or escape the bullies, adding more won’t help.

    It’s not unusual for my younger birds to be up on the roosts in the morning while the older hens are on the coop floor. The younger are using the roosts to avoid the older hens. Since I have enough roost space for them to all get away from the older bullies, adding more roosts will not increase the carrying capacity of my coop.
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2012
    1 person likes this.
  7. salt and pepper

    salt and pepper Chillin' With My Peeps

    does anybody know the answer to this?
     
  8. citychickx6

    citychickx6 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would say any item they cannot freely walk under is low enough that the square footage it takes up cannot be counted.
     
  9. salt and pepper

    salt and pepper Chillin' With My Peeps

    thank you. does that mean anything under a foot is too low?
     
  10. citychickx6

    citychickx6 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Pretty much in my book it would.
    BUT there are many ideas and plans that work well for folks.
    I guess most people would need to know more about your set up and what your plans are in order to give better advise.

    How many chickens?
    Total square footage of the coop?
    Run size?
    Cooped up a lot due to weather?
    Breeds of the chickens? (Some do not do well confined)
    Food and water inside the coop or outside?
    Nests inside or mounted to the outside of the coop?

    This information is helpful to anyone trying to help you with answers.
     

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