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How high is too high for a single roosting pole?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by ArizonaDesertChicks, Feb 9, 2009.

  1. ArizonaDesertChicks

    ArizonaDesertChicks Eggstactic for Pretty Eggs

    Dec 8, 2008
    Glendale, AZ
    My chickens have been roosting on a 2 "1/2" wide board about 2 ft. above the floor of their coop since they were little, but lately I noticed they are always looking up, trying to find a higher spot when it's time to roost.

    We just installed nestboxes for them and also raised the roost - now I'm concerned that it may be too high. It's 39" high - about a ft higher than the highest nesting box. They did all manage to get up there, but I was reading that larger breeds can get hurt if their roost is too high. If they do get bumped off during the night, will they be able to get back up in the dark?

    Our chickens are EE's, barred rocks, barnevelders, production red, & leghorns (all 16 weeks old). Do I need to lower their bar or add a second lower bar as a step or is 39" a safe height for the breeds I have?

  2. Chicken Woman

    Chicken Woman Incredible Egg

    Oct 16, 2008
    They can't usually get back up during the night. You might want to make a ladder for them to climb up and down on. Thave mine that high but I do have a old ladder. My bantams just fly up there but my RIR's use the ladder.
    I also have a poop board about 27 inches wide under the roosts. so if they were to get bumped off they would land on the poop board that is just 1 foot under the roosts. I have 2 2 by 4s that are about 18 inches apart, but at the same height that are 8 feet long. Oh I hope that makes since ?
  3. happyhens

    happyhens Songster

    Jan 30, 2007
    Natural instinct tells them that they need to roost as high as possible to protect themselves from night time predators. If they are in a secure coop they should be fine on a roost of that height, they just don't know it. You can add a higher roost if you want to though, it won't hurt them. Generally, if they can get up they can get back down safely.
  4. wren

    wren Songster

    May 27, 2007
    St Augustine, FL
    Gosh they should be just fine at that height. My breeds that size roost at eight feet high and no hurt feet.

    I have a nice thick bed of straw for landing and a 4 foot high roost to help.

    Its the heavier birds that are way more likely to hurt their feet.
  5. ArizonaDesertChicks

    ArizonaDesertChicks Eggstactic for Pretty Eggs

    Dec 8, 2008
    Glendale, AZ
    Great! Thanks everyone for the tips & advice. I will leave my roost as is, but will add something else in their coop to help them get back up in case they fall off during the night. They do have some shavings underneath already and I'll go ahead and add some more thickness to the pile too.

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