Locating the roost and nesting boxes

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by TheBajan, Apr 5, 2018.

  1. TheBajan

    TheBajan Chirping

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    I'm back with more building questions. I'm trying to decide how tall my roost should be. I have 5 breeds... Buff Orpingtons, Lav Orpingtons, Brahmas, Austalorps, and Ameracaunas.

    I keep reading that the roost should be higher than the nesting boxes. My question about that is two-fold;
    A. does that hold true even when the roost is located along the opposite wall?
    B. why does it need to be higher?

    Next question... I'm planning to build a multi-level roost over a litter tray. I need the litter tray high enough off the ground so that the chickens can walk under it (the pop door is located under the roost). How high off the ground should I place the litter tray for their head clearance?

    Finally, how far from the wall and ceiling should the highest perch be? The roost is going to be located on the same wall as the door that we will enter the hen house (the north wall). On the west wall, there is a 48" x 12" ventilation window one foot from the ceiling. The second ventilation window is located on the east wall but it's much lower and further from the roost. How far from the ventilation window should it be?

    Also, for a bit more info, the nesting boxes are situated on the south wall in two rows (one above the other) of six boxes each row. They are 32" off the floor to the lowest level and 56" to the top of the upper level. They will protrude out of the wall for easy egg collection when we have our son "chick-sit" for us. I was unsure of how high off the floor to place the nesting boxes so I located them at a height that would make collecting and cleaning easy for myself. Thoughts? It's not too late to change things if I need to.
     
  2. sawilliams

    sawilliams Songster

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    Nests can be as low as the floor or as high as you want. Roosts go above the nests to help avoid chickens roosting in the nests, they will roost in the highest spots availible...

    As for spacing and placement 12-18 inches from the roof (vent line, so the air is above then not on them). And at least 6-8 inches from the back wall. I think mine start a little lower but that's becuase of the pitch of my roof. Lower bars should be about 10-12 inches below and forward or back (you can play with this a little to make things fit). Give at least 12-18 inches walking space under poop trays,I would possibly do more like 18-24.

    My numbers aren't any sort of standard just what I did or would do
     
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  3. sillybirds

    sillybirds Songster

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    I would place the roosts 12 inches away from wall to which they are parallel, unless you want a lot of poop on the wall. And space roosts maybe 18 inches apart, so birds aren't as likely to mess with each other.
     
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  4. TheBajan

    TheBajan Chirping

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    Thank you so much for the information. If I place the lowest run at 25" off the floor, do I need a ramp for them to reach the roost or can they reach it without one?
     
  5. TheBajan

    TheBajan Chirping

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    Thank you. When you say 18" apart, do you mean between the bars or do you mean parallel?
     
  6. sillybirds

    sillybirds Songster

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    I would imagine optimal distance would be similar if roosts are arranged in the same (horizontal) plane, or at a greater pitch. It depends somewhat on how much room you have to utilize and the size of you birds. You'll have to estimate based on your circumstances. Main concepts as far as I'm concerned is to have roosts sufficiently spaced so birds don't: 1.) peck others while roosting (I used to have some mean hens who would do that), and 2.) accidentally poop on each other (in case they turn around).
     
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  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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  8. sawilliams

    sawilliams Songster

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    No i think my lowest is almost 3 foot off the ground. They will learn to jump/fly up. But just keep in mind young pullets can take a while to learn to roost. I think most of my hand raised chicks took nearly till laying (16-20 weeks old) before they started using the roosts regularly, every the hen raised chicks still took while over 10 weeks before starting to roost on the bars and would often still roost on the edges of the nests.
     
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