Need help on designing perches/roosting area for large standard hens

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by wingnut1, Oct 22, 2008.

  1. wingnut1

    wingnut1 Crazy Bird Lady

    Hey, BYCers! [​IMG]

    I'm in need of advice on how large to make perches/roosting areas/pieces of wood for large hens. Let me know what you use -- how large or big around are your pieces of wood? How far off the bottom of the coop is the lowest perch? WHat spacing do you use between perches?

    I have 20 standard hens and some (orps) are really big. The system we use is 1.5 inch diameter wood curtain rods that are screwed to 2x4s. The hens have to hop up about 12 inches to get to the lower level and another 12 inches again to the upper level. Are these too high? Spaced too far? Are the perches to small in diameter?

    Just seems like the big hens wobble and are not totally comfortable with the jostling that takes place as everyone finds their spot - and are hesitant to get down in the am.

    We've added a side ladder to ease getting onto the lowest level and back down, and have replaced 1/2 of the perches with flat pieces of wood that are 2.5 inches front to back - and I want to see if there is anything else I can do to make it feel more stable to the big gals.

    Than ks in advance for any help/pics you might provide! [​IMG]
     
  2. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    Hi, I use 2x4's with the wide flat side up. I think that's the healthiest for their feet.
     
  3. tackyrama

    tackyrama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Central Minnesota USA
    I completed my new coop just a few weeks ago and I had similar questions. My roost boards are 1 1/2" thick and 3" wide. They are 12" apart height and length. I have big birds too and It is working very well. The lowest is 18" off the floor but they always go as high as they can. Check out my layout here:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=14471-coop-layout
     
  4. wingnut1

    wingnut1 Crazy Bird Lady

    Thanks so much, everyone! Has anyone had a problem with splintering of pine boards (e.g., 2x4)?

    We will replace out board so that they are 2 x 4s.

    But will that be enough?

    I think one of our problems is that we have a long but narrow coop - it is 8' wide and only 30" front to back --and we placed our perches/roosts the long way -they run the length of the pen (with a supporting board in the middle) and the top and lower ones are placed front to back - and I think the problem is that the hens don't have enough room to "fly" off - they have to hop off carefully to avoid hitting the back wall of the coop.

    So my DH and I are thinking that we need to redo the perches are oriented to run from front to back - (30"long) and have them step up from the center of the coop -- that way they would have more room to jump down...

    (the hens have a 10x10 covered run and a 20x50 fenced in run - and the coop is in the middle of the 2 - and we live in a warm climate - so the hens will only be using the coop for roosting and laying eggs... )

    Hey - thanks again for all the help, everyone!!!! [​IMG] You're the best!!!!
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2008
  5. wingnut1

    wingnut1 Crazy Bird Lady

    ps - Seminolewind - thanks so much!!! and tackyrama - FABULOUS coop! And the pic of your roosts helped so much!
     
  6. tackyrama

    tackyrama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Central Minnesota USA
    Here's my flock on the roost
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2008
  7. bdp7150

    bdp7150 Out Of The Brooder

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    fyi i use 2x4 for roost and on the top side of the roost board you need to cut the corners off and then round off so their feet can grasp good .if you don't then the board will possibly get splinters in feet.
     
  8. epona4

    epona4 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i use 2x4 for roost and on the top side of the roost board you need to cut the corners off and then round off so their feet can grasp good .if you don't then the board will possibly get splinters in feet.

    I was wondering about that. I'm reading both the board and multiple books on raising chickens. (I much prefer the board because I can actually ASK questions!) But all the books that I have read have said to use rounded roosts because the square ones can hurt their feet. Yet I've seen SO many pictures with folks with square roosts and I'm assuming their birds feet are doing fine.

    I got lucky, found a bunch of round 2 in dowels in our barn. (one of the previous owners raised poultry in the big barn, I'm wondering if he was going to use them for that)​
     
  9. cajunlizz

    cajunlizz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2008
    Lafayette, Louisiana
    Quote:DH built our roosting area 6 ft. high and looks like a large trellis . Made with 2x4's ... We do have large breeds also ....

    THEY all ROOST as high as they can .. they DO NOT feel safe on lower levels .... Thats why if they were ALL free ranged they would be roosting in the highest trees.
     
  10. epona4

    epona4 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:If I do end up using squared boards for other coops, how rounded do I need to make the corners? Just soften them up a bit or really round them off?

    thanks
     

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