Natural wood Roosts, heights and angles ?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by CanbyDan, Jan 18, 2015.

  1. CanbyDan

    CanbyDan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Complete newbe here, forgive if I'm asking silly questions.

    I'm close to being finished with rebuilding what started life as a big rabbit hutch and run and making a proper coop. Rough dimensions are 4x4x4' coop with four 12x12x12" plywood nesting boxes that can be accessed from outside by lifting the roof. Coop is 2 feet above an enclosed 4x8' run that is open on bottom and surrounded with hardware cloth.

    Trying to make it as comfortable as possible for the yet to be purchased flock as they will only get to free range about 4 days a week due to our work schedule. Have a question about the roosts I setup in the outer run. Used some 2 to 3" limbs from trees we trimmed and put at three levels, they are at about 3', 4' and 5' from ground. Kind of a random pattern so everything is not so square. Will our [future] birds (only going for eggs at first, EE, Lorps, Orpintons) be able to jump/fly to the lower roost, my concern is it's too high and maybe I need a ramp? [​IMG][​IMG]
    These two pics show what I have so far on the roosts, hardware cloth will be last to go on. Will my setup work?




    [​IMG][​IMG]
    Nesting boxes yet to be installed, will be able to clean and collect eggs from outside of coop.


    [​IMG]
    Back side where nesting boxes will be fastened, thinking about 10" high from floor?


    I'm open to all your tips and suggestions and thanks for your help,
    Dan & Vicki
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2015
  2. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Chicken Obsessed

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    In my opinion you will probably not be needing them at all. The shape of the run does not leave a landing zone when they are getting off the roosts and therefore they would not have a good launch point to get on them.
    The breeds you have listed are large birds and I am thinking they should not be dropping to the ground from such a height (5') as they could be injured.
    I have BO and Australorp as well as EE. The BO is the largest of the three and I know mine do not even want to hop down from the roost that is 2' high.
    I had a BO that did hop down from a 33" roost and broke her leg. She did not live much longer sadly.

    For the larger birds I like to use a 15" dimension on the nest boxes but mine have used the 12" ones.

    Is the side door the only clean out door you will have? I am thinking it is a really long reach to the back corner.
    Have you thought about putting a huge clean out door on the back and the nest boxes on the side?
    If you are planning on 3 hens then you would only need 1 or 2 nest boxes. They like to lay in the box someone else already layed in.
    Where do you plan on putting the roost inside?
    Remember to keep the roost away from where the nest box entrance is so they do not track poo into the boxes.
     
  3. Cluckies

    Cluckies Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC CanbyDan, I've learned alot here!
    Good points 21hens-incharge. I agree I would not want my girls jumping from such a high height. Plus if there is not enough room to "fly" off, they will hit the wall, really, the'll hit the hardware cloth. I had one hit the cloth flying out the henhouse door. If you want to put a roost in the run, put it low, like just a few inches. I have 2 in mine, one at a diagonal from 0" to approx 18 inches (a branch) and one under the hen house which is only about 5" off of the ground, just so they can roost off of the ground back there out of the wind if they want. (I have green house panels on the north, west, and east sides for the winter, the south is open except for the very bottom, unless it is snowing.

    [​IMG]
    The branch starts on the right, just off of the ground on the cement paver, then goes to about 18 inches or so on the left, it is resting on a wood block I put in the corner to hold it up. I put wood chips in the run for the winter as I didn't want them hitting the hard frozen ground even from that height.

    [​IMG]
    If you look close you can see the 2x4 wide side up which runs the width of the run under the hen house they use it quite a bit as it is in the shade in the summer and out of the wind in the winter.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2015
  4. CanbyDan

    CanbyDan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    21-hens and Cluckles,

    Your comments about removing most of the roosts makes sense, don't need my new birds going straight to the freezer with broken legs. Like I said, we're completely green when it comes to raising our own poultry. Guess my thoughts on roots was that their just "birds" and birds like to fly. I'll remove the "penthouse" roosts and relocate some to the ground floor. The 12x12 nests are already built and installed, so they'll have to do for now. The side door is my only access. I do have easy reach to all the floor but I did have same idea of a large back door for cleaning but it was not really needed. Some where on BYC I'd seen a roost placed in front of nesting boxes, I mounted one level with the boxes and about 5" in front. Nests are about 10" off the floor, hope this is kosher? Sorry, no pics right now as my computer is in a bad mood and not allowing me to upload from my camera phone, will try later.

    Thanks for your ideas,
    Dan
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2015
  5. Cluckies

    Cluckies Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Since your boxes are 10" from the floor, yes, they probably need "roosts" in front of them as the chickens like to look in the boxes before going in. You may want to lower your nesting boxes though, if the nesting boxes are higher than the roosts, they may decide to roost in the nexting boxes. they try to go where ever is highest.
    [​IMG]
    Here you can see the nesting boxes are to the right, the lower roost bar across the back. This was when they first moved in so the boxes were boarded off as they were too young to lay. My girls will jump to the lower tray, then to the top when it is there (I take out the lower roost in the summer and leave the tray for a landing area). In the winter I take the top tray out to get them out of the ventilation cross breeze and they all roost on the lower bar. 6 full size chickens fit on the back lower roost, but there is room for no more. (the photo was last summer when they were still little. I'll try and grab a photo tonight if you are interested. It is amazing how big they get! They "hop" with wings flapping rather than fly. They will fly out in the yard, but only about a foot or so off of the ground, and not the big girls, only the littler girls.
     
  6. Cluckies

    Cluckies Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    [​IMG]
    Here you can see it is pretty tight with the 6 girls across the back. The coop is 4' wide by 6' long. Don't mind all the clutter, i'm working on a few experiments.
    Left to right: Cluck-Cluck Buff Orpington, Goose EE, Baby EE, Morticia SLW, Fi Gold Comet, Mother SLW. I have 4 nesting boxes, but really only need 2, I use one for storage right now, may change that to two. If you put your nesting boxes lower, then do a roost with a tray underneath with sweet PDZ like this one, the poo won't get in the nesting boxes. If you want to see more of the set up, click on "My Coop" under my name.
     
  7. CanbyDan

    CanbyDan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Cluckies,

    Thank you for the pics of your coop and nesting boxes. Below is a pic of how I set mine up, for now. After looking at yours and reading many posts on BYC, I've decided to remove the boxes and make changes. Current nesting box is four 12x12" nests, going to change them to three 16" nests. Also, will lower to about 8" off floor (just have to remove the siding board(s), or do you think it would be best a floor level? One of the advantages of using drywall screws, easy to make changes. Will also rebuild the roost into one like yours with the poo tray for the PDZ, nice idea.

    [​IMG]


    What do you think about these two roosts I set in the corner, my thought it would give the girls a different "hood" if they are having a cranky day and not wanting company of the others?

    [​IMG]

    Did go and look over your coop, very nice.

    Thanks again for your help
    Dan
     
  8. Cluckies

    Cluckies Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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  9. CanbyDan

    CanbyDan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Today's updates.

    Removed the nesting box and changed from 12x12" to 12x16" nests.
    [​IMG]


    Removed one section of siding below it, now nest is about 6-7" off floor.
    [​IMG]


    Cutout the entrance and fabbed a stainless steel (Chaffing dish lid from Goodwill store) pop door. For now. it will just be operated by a rope but later I'll build and automatic opener. Still need the ramp.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    Pic from backside,
    [​IMG]
    Hoping to finish this weekend as SHMBO says we're out of eggs ;-)

    Dan
     
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  10. Cluckies

    Cluckies Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Looks good! can't wait to see the finished product! [​IMG]
     

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