Do they really need a ramp?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by mrkep, Sep 12, 2010.

  1. mrkep

    mrkep Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 10, 2010
    Richwood , Ohio
    Here is a pic of the inside of our coop when they were smaller. I put the ramp from the nest box to the roost so they could find their way. Now, the top of the nest box is poop covered and I would like to change it to a slant top and not use the ramp. So they can get to the roosts by flying-jumping? The first roost is 30" from the floor. They all jump down when I let them out and they jump from one roost to another (18"). There is 5' of space from the roost to the front wall. I have read here about birds getting hurt by jumping so I don't want to chance that.
    Your thoughts , please.
  2. HHandbasket

    HHandbasket The Chickeneer

    First of all, great coop! [​IMG]

    I think the ramp necessity (or not) is kinda dependent on your chickens. I used to let mine flap/fly up to the roost & they were great with that.... tillllll they also started trying to fly over the fence & I had to clip their wings! If you need to keep them in a fenced yard, you may wish to clip their wings and let them keep their ramp. If they are fine with their wings and you have no need to clip them, I personally (though am no expert, either) do not see any reason they couldn't flap their way up onto the roosts without a ramp to help facilitate keeping the top of the nesting box a little tidier.

    So I guess the answer would depend on your own yard set-up and the needs of your particular flock, whether or not their wings need to be clipped, etc.

    I also have the poop-issue on the top of the nesting boxes, though our coop's nesting box area consists of an old bookshelf and a bunch of milk crates. The barred rock and leghorn get up on the top shelf and sleep up there. My girls don't really even use the roosting bars at all anymore & we took them out. They prefer to get on a shelf, or in or on top of one of hte milk crates to sleep. Go figure. Of course, these are the same birds which, at 21+ weeks, show no signs at all of comb maturity, wattle or red-face development or any egg-laying behaviors, so what do I know?? LOL.
  3. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Looks like they could jump from on top of the feeder to the roosts if they wanted to. But then I guess the feeder would get poop covered. They will probably do fine jumping/flying up and down, at least while they are that young. It's the adults that are most at risk of getting hurt jumping. Maybe consider a small "step" for them, an old stepstool or small box, whatever is lying around. Mine fly up to a 30" tall roost all the time, and jump off, and I have heavy breeds, but I also have an 8' tall ceiling in my coop so they can't hurt themselves overshooting their flight. I have also heard of heavy breeds hurting themselves jumping off roosts, like you, but this has not happened to me.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 12, 2010
  4. woodmort

    woodmort Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 6, 2010
    Oxford NY
    I never had a ramp inside the coop, never need one--you'd be surprised how high a chicken can jump if she puts her mind to. I do have one leading from the pop door to the ground that they will walk down in the morning but ignore at night--they just jump up to the platform in front of the door and go in--its about 1.5 feet high.
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Here is an old photo of mine. My roost is about 4 feet off the floor. Most of my flock hop on top of the nest box then jump over to the roost, but some fly straight up to the roost. In the morning, all of them usually fly straight down and do not bother with the top of the nest box. I don't have any trouble with any sleeping on top of the nest box except when I have young ones in there and they are transitioning from sleeping on the floor to sleeping on the roosts, usually around 10 to 12 weeks old. Some spend a night or two on the nest box until they get the courage up to get on the roosts with the adults, once they get old enough to roost. When I leave them locked in the coop for a while, some will hang out on top of the nest boxes, but that little bit of poop up there does not bother me. It is dried out and does not stink at all. I just don't consider it worth the effort to scrape it off. They'll just put some more up there.

  6. 33yardbirds

    33yardbirds Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 15, 2010
    Southern New Jersey
    Quote:After I let mine out of the run to free range they just go to the open coop door and jump into the coop. The only time thet use the ramp is to go out the chicken door and go back in to lay eggs.

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