Height, diameter and placement of roosting pole

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Portalguy, Apr 28, 2009.

  1. Portalguy

    Portalguy Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 26, 2009
    Ripton, Vermont
    Yesterday in the woods, while searching for a suitable nesting pole to thin from the many maple saplings that we have, I discovered a maple that a trespassing someone had half cut down. As it swayed in the wind, it was splitting up the trunk, so I 'euthanised' it. I have two straight poles that can run the length of our almost-finished coop, 3 metres (10 feet).

    Which should I use? One is about 8cm (3") across the trunk, the other is smaller, about 5cm (2"). Should I use both?

    There's also the placement; how high? The nesting boxes run the length of the coop on one side; should the pole be placed opposite?

    I am thinking that nothing should be placed permanently above the height of the nesting boxes, as the roof area will be hot in Summer and draughty in Winter, according to my read of the Big Ol' Ventilation Page, https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=1642-VENTILATION ...

    Thoughts?

    Thanks!
    Rob
     
  2. jennmugg

    jennmugg Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 2, 2009
    Titusville Florida
    We're using a 2x4, so they can rest on the widest part of the roost. They do not wrap their toes around the roost like other birds would. We placed our roosts so that they were not over the food or nesting boxes. I don't want chicken poop over those areas if I can help it.
     
  3. yfchoice

    yfchoice Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 28, 2008
    Sandy, Utah
    To add to Jennmug......we made the roost the highest thing in the coop and we made the nest boxes with a tilted roof to prevent roosting on them. It was hilarious to watch the girls...at first... try to roost on the boxes. They would jump to the top and then slide off. They finally learned. Our 2x4 roost is a railing 2x4....meaning it doesn't have the sharp edges (on top) like a regular 2x4. Just personal preference.
     
  4. Leah-yes I know I'm crazy

    Leah-yes I know I'm crazy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 24, 2008
    Skidway Lake, MI
    The hight is going to depend also on the type of breeds you have. If you have a heavy breed like orps you will want it much lower than if you have something like sebrights. Also keep in mind that they have to be able to get up and down without banging themselves around on obstructions. That said, My nest boxes are 10" above floor of coop, I have roosts mostly at 4' and a few at 5' with a 7' ceiling. By keeping your nesting boxes lower than roosts you are reducing the chances of having hens do sleepovers in the nest boxes. Ther reason for that is it makes for some very messy eggs because night time is when they poop the most. Placing thinner roosts in the run area will give you lots of giggles while watching them.
     
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    There's also the placement; how high? The nesting boxes run the length of the coop on one side; should the pole be placed opposite?

    Personally I'd use the 3" diameter one (or larger, if any larger are available -- make sure to remove the bark first).

    You want the roost distinctly higher than the nest boxes if at all possible -- chickens instinctually prefer to sleep in the highest spot available, and if "nestbox" is a competetive option for highest, you are apt to get pooey eggs.

    I am thinking that nothing should be placed permanently above the height of the nesting boxes, as the roof area will be hot in Summer and draughty in Winter

    No, it shouldn't be, not if your ventilation is well designed. You should have enough ventilation in the coop that it doesn't get hot (not hotter than outdoors anyhow) and cools off quickly in the evening; and in the winter you would shut down any ventilation that is right over/next to the roost, just use the vents elsewhere.

    That is not to say your roosts have to be right up by the ceiling though (except in a short reach-in coop or tractor, where you have limited options) -- just, higher than the nestboxes. I find 4' to be a convenient height for roosts, as I can easily inspect and grab chickens off the roost when they're snoozing at night.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat​
     
  6. Portalguy

    Portalguy Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 26, 2009
    Ripton, Vermont
    Thank you kindly !
     
  7. lisahaschickens

    lisahaschickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2009
    Vancouver, WA
    My own two cents -

    I have heavy breeds - Marans and Opringtons, and they all love to sleep as HIGH as possible - I have perches placed everywhere from 2' to 6' high and several of them use the rafters in the coop at about 7', while most of the others use the highest actual perches between 5' and 6'. So, even some heavy birds like to roost up high.
     
  8. ~*Sweet Cheeks*~

    ~*Sweet Cheeks*~ Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2009
    Medford, Oregon
    I opted to use 2 x 4's in the ladder style for my coop for ease of cleaning and removing when I bring in the big wheel barrow when changing out litter.

    I put the large tree branches in the run on tree stumps that my ten 10 wk olds just love to play on. At dusk, they all sit there and chatter until dark then they all go in the coop.

    I left the bark on it for traction. I'm in the wet and soggy Pac NW.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  9. lisahaschickens

    lisahaschickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2009
    Vancouver, WA
    our perches are also 2 x 4s, with rounded corners, and a few 2 x 2s. Each mf my birds has a favorite perch - as long as it is high.

    I also have a large piece of tree (from one I removed from our front yard) out in the run - it lays on the ground sideways and the branches range from a few inches to almost 3 feet off the ground. They love to play on it all day and just like Sweet Cheeks' brids, mine settle down on it in the evening at dusk, then head inside for bedtime when it gets dark.
     
  10. Portalguy

    Portalguy Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 26, 2009
    Ripton, Vermont
    Quote:Hiya Pat,

    Much appreciate your long answer; I'm inclined to trust you about removing the bark... but I'm curious: why?

    Cheers,
    Rob
     

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