How tall are chickens and will a 10' roost sag?.

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by la dee da, Apr 9, 2010.

  1. la dee da

    la dee da Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay, so if all goes well we're going to get chickens this year [​IMG] . So far the coop design is 10'x10' with a shed style roof. I read Pat's ventilation page, and from doing more research I found out that the ventilation holes are best at least 6" above the chickens heads, to prevent draft. To help us design the coop I'd like to know how tall the average heavy breed chicken is. We're also having some trouble with the roosts. I've read time and time again that a 2x4 with the 4" side up is best. My question is if it spanned the entire 10' side would it sag under the chicken's weight? If so any suggestions on how to prevent it?

    Thanks!
     
  2. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

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    Yes, it will likely sag. I use eight foot 2x2s for roosts and support them at both ends and in the middle. Mine are mostly in tractors so I use 14 gauge wire hanging from the overhead to support the low end of the roosts that are furthest from the walls. The high end is directly attached to the wall.

    I'd allow at least two feet over the top of the tallest roost to give them some head room as the hop or fly onto the roost.

    .....Alan.
     
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    You want at LEAST 16" headroom above the roost, preferably more like 24" or even more if there will be a vent right there.

    A 10' 2x4, wide side up, will sag a bit in time if you have a lot of chickens and they prefer to roost near the middle. OTOH that is more of an aesthetic issue than anything. If you want to prevent it, though, either add a support in the middle, or run a piece of small lumber edge-on underneath it (so the cross-section of the whole assembly is T-shaped, you know?) to reinforce it against sagging.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  4. Chickenmaven

    Chickenmaven Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 6, 2009
    Michigan
    We have made a couple of 4 ft. wide "ladders" to use as roosts. They prop against the wall. The great thing about them is that they are movable. Pull them out of the way & rake out the entire coop!
     
  5. la dee da

    la dee da Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the info guys. My plan was to have the roosts 3' off the ground, since I was hoping to put them in the back of the coop it would leave them about 3' of headway. My concern was that if I had 8" of ventilation that would leave only 2' for the chickens and 4" of "air space". Am I worried over nothing?

    "If you want to prevent it, though, either add a support in the middle, or run a piece of small lumber edge-on underneath it (so the cross-section of the whole assembly is T-shaped, you know?) to reinforce it against sagging."
    Yup, I didn't even think of that, thanks!
     
  6. 1 Florida chick

    1 Florida chick Out Of The Brooder

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    Don't know if anyone said, but I'd plan for 12" (1 foot) tall chickens. I had to reseach it as well and that's the answer I got.
     
  7. la dee da

    la dee da Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I did research ladder style roosts, but I don't think it's for us. You never know though!
    (BTW the "us" is actually my dad and me, it's kind of our project).
     
  8. la dee da

    la dee da Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Wow really? In impression I always got is they are at least 18" tall. Are you sure they were always talking about standard sized heavy breeds?
     
  9. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Quote:Sounds perfectly reasonable for me! You will of course want those vents closed in wintertime, unless you live somewhere always-warm, so make sure you have other "winter-worthy" vents too.

    Chickens can hunker down and get under 12" tall things, but when they stand up properly they are considerably taller than that, normal large-fowl breeds that is [​IMG] And of course you don't want them actually 'scraping the ceiling'.

    Good luck, ahve fun,

    Pat
     
  10. la dee da

    la dee da Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Sounds perfectly reasonable for me! You will of course want those vents closed in wintertime, unless you live somewhere always-warm, so make sure you have other "winter-worthy" vents too.

    Chickens can hunker down and get under 12" tall things, but when they stand up properly they are considerably taller than that, normal large-fowl breeds that is [​IMG] And of course you don't want them actually 'scraping the ceiling'.

    Good luck, ahve fun,

    Pat

    Thanks so much! Yeah we're hoping to put an 8" gap along all four walls for plenty of ventilation. I feel much better now [​IMG]
     

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