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Looking for Roost recommendations

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Chicken Little-er, Apr 28, 2011.

  1. Chicken Little-er

    Chicken Little-er Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 5, 2011
    We are just starting to build our coop -- 6 x 10, with the first 3' for storage and the remaining 6 x 7 for the chickens. Right now we have 7 chicks but will likely add to the flock next year. I'd love some roost recommendations -- what do you all like best -- branches, dowels, 2 x 4's on edge or used w/ the flat size for the roost? Laddered or put in different areas. Also -- any recommendations re droppings board or pan. Thank you!
     
  2. latebloomer

    latebloomer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 10, 2011
    green mountain state
  3. buddymc

    buddymc Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 24, 2011
    I'm new to chickens, just finished my coop last week, so don't have much experience. Here are my roosts and the chickens seem to love them so far. Mine are 2 x 3 with the wide side being the flat side. I also built ladders out of scraps. I think later I might make the ladder were they are just 2 side pieces with individual rungs and the girls can just hop from rung to rung. They way I have it now they just walk up and down them, but they get REALLY poopy. I think having rungs might let the poop fall thru.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. ddmiddle7

    ddmiddle7 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 8, 2011
    Indianapolis, IN
    I'm new to this but from everything I have been reading her on BYC, 2x4's on their side seem to be the favorite for most people. Especially in the winter, I guess it helps them keep from getting frostbite on the feet, since they can completly sit on them, versus a round dowel rod, or branches. I have seen all different kinds, so it is probably just personal preference, but I am going with a single 2x4 on its side. I have also read that by having one roost level it may help with eliminating pecking order fights, over the best spot.
     
  5. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

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    May 8, 2007
    Wisconsin
    I like a 2x4, flat, with gently rounded edges. It gets cold here and that keeps their toes covered at night. It's also easy to scrape clean with a quick swipe of a putty knife hung on the wall of the coop, as needed.

    Most of the time I do one long roost, along the long wall of a coop. One coop had a pair, staggered like a ladder.

    My chickens poop on the floor. [​IMG]
     
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:Personally I like a single roost if space and chicken-population allow, because it is MUCH easier to use a droppings board than if you have parallel or laddered roosts and I *really* like a droppings board. (A droppings board is by no means essential though and plenty of people are happy as clams without 'em)

    I like a droppings board rather than pan b/c it is so much quicker to clean off -- just a fast snowplow with a drywall-taping tool in one hand and a bucket in the other, every morning -- but if you were letting poo accumulate for longer between cleanings I can see where a pan might have its merits.

    For a roost, IMO your best choices would be either the wide side of a 2x4 (edges rounded slightly if they are too abrupt) or a de-barked dead tree branch 4-5" in diameter. I have both, and in fact have had both in one pen, and the chickens either don't care or maybe *mildly* prefer the tree branch (or maybe they just preferred where it was located, I dunno). Narrower roosts can encourage frostbit toes in Northern climates and may not be so good for the feet of larger birds, although quite frankly chickens do not seem to have the sense God gave a rock and will roost on ANY darn thing as long as it is the highest thing available, even if it hurts their feet [​IMG]

    JMHO, good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  7. 2txmedics

    2txmedics Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 5, 2009
    Manvel Texas
    I go all natural and they love it

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I recommend a minimim of 8" and preferably closer to 12" roost length per full sized chicken. It is not that they take up that much space when roosting, but they need the extra space to get on, since they spread their wings even when jumping short distances. Prime roosting space is determined by their position in the pecking order and they go through quite a few gymnastics getting it right most nights. Also, some chickens, usually hens, sometimes get pretty vicious with lower ranking chickens and will peck the heck out of them when they are settling in. The lower ranking ones need room to move away from the vicious ones or they will find other places to sleep, like in the nesting boxes. I find that extra space on the roosts is a good thing.

    I use tree branches smaller than the ones Pat recommends and mine are fine with that. Of course, it does not get all that cold here in Arlansas. We only had a few nights where it got below zero degrees Fahrenheit. In a well ventilate draft-free coop that is not all that cold.

    My tree branches look a lot like 2txmedics' roosts. They are not all the same thickness not are they all that level. I've tried turning them around to see what effect that has on them roosting. When I do that, I leave them in the new positions for several weeks so they can get used to the change. Some do change roosting places when I do that and some don't. The position in front of the window seems to remain the prime spot. I've also tried putting some boards up there to see what difference that makes. Not a lot. Even if the board is a couple of inches higher, mine stay on the tree branches. I think that is mainly because that is what they are used to. The young, immature, lower-in-the-pecking-order ones will occasionally use the boards, but not always.

    My conclusion from all this is that we tend to obsess over this issue more than the chickens do.

    I'm not going to argue against using the flat side of the 2x4 to help cover their feet in cold weather. There may be some benefit to that. If you do use boards, round off the corners to make it easier on their feet when they wrap around and sand them to remove any splinters that could lead to bumblefoot.

    I also strongly recommend you look at the articles at the bottom of Pat's post. I think they should be required reading for anyone building a coop and run.

    Good luck!
     

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