How much head room do I need for my roost and are hammocks all they are cracked up to be?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by RedRapunzel, Mar 8, 2014.

  1. Hammock

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  2. Board with vinyl to wipe off

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  3. Board painted with rubber roofing

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  4. Tray with wood shavings

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  5. Tray with shredded paper

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  1. RedRapunzel

    RedRapunzel Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 8, 2014
    I am doing the internal design on my 6x8 chicken coop and need to figure out how high to make the top roost. As in how close to the ceiling to make it. How much head room does a chicken need is my bottom line question. The shed is about 6"5 in height. If I can make it fit on one 8 foot wall I want to do nest boxes aka plastic bins with curtains at floor level,and 2 layers of roosts above. So visually think of it as closet with double clothing rods to hold shirts and bins beneath the rods at floor level. Now remove the clothing from the image in your head and add the birds. Bins on the floor for the nest boxes then 2 poles with shelves under them. I am trying to give them the most floor space possible and use the area in the most space aware way I can. I live in the pacific northwest and we have long gray rainy days, so I am trying to make their home as comfy and spacious as I can. I am getting 16 chicks in a couple weeks and want this all done before they get here. Hopefully I was able to paint a clear picture of what I am thinking. Still deciding on what to use between the roosts too. How mess are the hammocks? I hear about them and wonder how nasty cleaning is. Dusty airborne chicken poop when sweeping it off does not sound like the best to breath. I am trying to narrow down the options for under the night roost. Poop boards with vinyl to wipe off? Trays with wood chips? Trays with shredded paper and news paper? My husband is dead set that all the manure must be saved and go into compost or I would sweet PZT and scoop under the night roosts. The floor will be deep litter of livestock bedding wood chips from the TSC. I am painting the floor and walls with white Black Jack rubber roofing for easy clean up. Input? Thoughts? Ideas? I need all the help I can get and I have 4 little kids, so I want to make this low maintenance. They are not old enough to make them do this yet, so it is all me for now.
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Especially in the Pacific Northwest, you need ventilation up high. One of your challenges is keeping the coop dry. Warm air rises and carries more moisture than cool air. Also, you need to try to keep a direct breeze off them when they are on the roosts. Think wind chill. If the ventilation openings are over their heads, a breeze across the openings does not directly hit the chickens.

    You don’t want them pooping on each other when on the roosts. Keep them about 12” apart horizontally and if they are staggered in height keep them about 12” separated vertically.

    You want the roosts higher than anything you don’t want them roosting on but you want the roosts as low as you can reasonably make them. There are different reasons for that, mainly for me the higher the roosts the bigger clear landing area you need for them to get down.

    The way I decide on roost height. Figure out how high your floor is when you put in the bedding. Then position your nests. Then make the roosts noticeably higher than the nests. Again 12” is a good distance to be noticeable.

    There are a lot of different ways to manage the poop, droppings boards or using some type of containers. You are right that scraping dry poop is dusty. Breathing that stuff is not good so maybe consider a face mask/dust mask when doing that.

    I built in a permanent brooder in my coop under the roosts. The top is my droppings board. I scrape that maybe every one to three weeks, depending on how many chickens I have and how humid the weather is. If it ever starts to stink, I waited too long. Dry poop won’t smell, but if it gets wet or builds up enough to stay damp instead of drying out, it will stink. I just horrified some people. They clean theirs every day. I don’t have to so I don’t. I do not put any sort of bedding ion it either. A lot of people put different things like PDZ, shavings, or sand. I get pure poop for the compost.

    That brooder did not stretch all the way across under the roosts. I got a couple of plastic bins from Walmart to put in that gap to catch the poop. That gives me something to rake the stuff on top into.

    There are a lot of different ways to do this stuff. Managing the poop under the roosts is a real big help.
     
  3. RedRapunzel

    RedRapunzel Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 8, 2014
    Before anyone flips their lid over 16 birds in a 6x8, reference the current heated thread on how many birds in a coop, the coop will be for sleeping and if they are not happy I will build an additional coop. Also hubby is adding an 18 inch bump out on the 8 foot wall for the nest boxes we decided. I am a full time stay home mom who homeschools, so these will be the class pets. They will be running about in several moved often A framed, roofed chicken tractors, in the garden , in the massive fenced, netted in chicken run, and right now I am looking at adding a 10X20 carport tent to the run to give them a rain covered area outdoors in our soggy pacific northwest. We would free range them, but we have more birds of prey in this area then any other place in the lower 48 I have been told. Bald eagles are normal to see here. There will be no neglected, unhappy birds here. Good point on the ventilation. We are adding 2 more high windows on the non roost wall. I have been reading and plan for 18 inches of head room between the roosts as of now.
     

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