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Electrical Conduit Roost?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by morte100, Apr 21, 2009.

  1. morte100

    morte100 Hatching

    Apr 21, 2009
    Renton, WA
    I'm a noob making my first coop. I did an archive search, but I don't believe anyone has asked this question. I have a bunch of leftover 1/2" metal electrical conduit from a fence project . Would that work for roost material?

    I'm planning to keep 3 standard hens (not bantams) in the Seattle area (mild but wet weather).

    In my mind the pluses are that I have it on hand, and it would be easier to clean than wood. My concerns are that it might not allow enough purchase and conducting cold could be a problem.

    I and my future hens thank you!


  2. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

    Jan 12, 2007
    Land of Lincoln
    You do not want to use plastic, vinyl or metal for roosting materials. They do not keep warm and if their feet get wet, it would be terrible for them to perch on it. Just think of touching the frozen flagpole with your tongue! [​IMG]

    Wood is the way to go! [​IMG]
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2009
  3. Ive never seen a fence built like that. I don't think it would work for chickens. They would squeeze right through. But it is neat looking. Just curious what kind of dog is that. I don't think Ive ever seen one of those.
  4. azelgin

    azelgin Songster

    Jan 18, 2008
    S.E. AZ
    Nice looking fence. I built one similar, years ago, out of redwood and copper tubing, for a customer's deck handrail (back when copper was cheap). 1/2" EMT is not nearly large enough in diameter, along with the disadvantages the other posters mentioned. I used 2" wood dowels. If I were to do it again, I'd just use a 2 x 4, wide side up. chickens don't have the grip strength like you would expect them to have, for birds their size.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2009
  5. morte100

    morte100 Hatching

    Apr 21, 2009
    Renton, WA
    Sounds like all of my concerns are being borne out by the voices of experience. Wood it is.

    The dog's a shiba inu. Don't get one if you don't like every other person you see stopping you on the street to ask, "What kind of dog is that? She looks like a fox!" She gets a lot of attention.

    As for the fence, I hadn't considered that a hen might be able to get through. The widest opening between slats is 2 1/2". Can they squeeze that small? That would complicate the plan. They'll spend most of their time in a run, and semi-free range around the backyard when I'm at home.

    Makes me wonder what else I haven't thought of yet.
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2009
  6. cimarron

    cimarron Songster

    Oct 25, 2008
    Central Tejas
    your shiba is indeed extra beautiful! what a face! they really are an amazing and unusual breed.
  7. CityChook

    CityChook Songster

    Apr 9, 2008
    Minneapolis, MN
    My Coop
    First, [​IMG] from MN!

    Is that fence to keep hens *inside* their run? It is lovely - a friend of mine has one just like that for keeping his dog in the back yard. Works great for that. I'm afraid that it won't likely keep your birds in - but more importantly, it won't keep the nasties out. You'll probably want to line it with some hardware wire... I'd do some searches on runs to get a good idea for what elements you'll want for predator protection.

    Your roost should be wood, preferably a 2x4 with the wide side up. If you want to be able to clean it easily, I'd give it a good coating of linseed oil mixed with mineral spirits. That will penetrate the wood and give it a really good waterproof surface. Or you could use some deck treatment, but that can get sort of expensive. Heck, you could probably even paint it, but their nails would probably have it looking sort of ratty pretty quickly.

    The problem with metal is that it gets too cold. And they prefer to have something *flat* to rest their feet on and then cover their feet with their belly feathers.

    Your dog is sweet. And I love Seattle.

  8. kayjuggler

    kayjuggler In the Brooder

    Aug 29, 2008
    I was intersted in your conduit question and followed this thread. I now just wanted to comment off topic on you dog. It is adorable and reminds me a lot of my sister's Jindo dog. That breed is similar in appearance but is Korean and looks a lot like a Dingo. I wanted to just share with you that I am a little concerned that the Shibu Inu may be similar in hunting instincts to the Jindo. My sister's dog hunts like a cat...quiet, swift, determined. I've never met a dog that stalks it's prey in complete silence like her dog does. So, I just wanted to share that with you when you consider how you are going to keep your chickens safe and how much contact you will allow between them and the dog. I'm a new chicken fanatic and I'm spreading the word to everyone but if my sister with the Jindo wanted to get chickens I would be giving her a lot of strong warnings. Just wanted to share what I know. Good luck and keep reading this forum..it's an amazing resource
  9. morte100

    morte100 Hatching

    Apr 21, 2009
    Renton, WA
    Thanks all for the help and advice. The Shiba is a japanese breed, and like the Jindo, she hunts silently and very proficiently. She's an indoor dog, so she won't have any unsupervised access to the hens. My guess is that the hens won't cue her hunting reflex - that seems to be reserved for squirrels, rats, opossums, raccoons, etc. Still, I'm aware of the possibility, and I'll take precautions.

    I built the fence to keep my dog in, so it will need some modification to contain chickens, now. My plan is to keep the hens in a tractor-style coop with a good sized run during the day, let them free range the fenced backyard after I get home, and then back in the secure coop at night. The fence provides security against dogs, but that's about it. I'm counting on the coop to keep them safe from most of the beasties out there.

    The Linseed oil is a great idea. That should help make the wood a little easier to clean.

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