Need help with roost situation

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Chirpy, Jul 12, 2007.

  1. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    May 24, 2007
    Unfortunately my DH just didn't realize the space needed for our ten chickens. When he said he was building me an 8x8 hen house I was thrilled as that was plenty of room for them. However, I didn't realize that he was going to use part of that space for a 'human' side so our daughters could collect eggs while being inside the hen house but not being on the chicken side. (I do love that idea as we can get pretty severe storms here in the winter and I don't want myself or anyone else to have to stand outside to collect eggs through a side door.)

    Anyway, when it was all done and said I only have a 7x5 space for my birds. With the waterer, feeder and roosts they have almost no space to move around in. Fortunately most of the year they will have daily access to a 625 sq. foot run (I finally actually measured it.) outside which should be fine for them.

    My question is about the roosts. We were only able to put two short roosts in due to limited space. It took me almost a week but I was able to train all the large chickens to use the roost instead of the floor. However, there are seven large chickens (5 Australorps, 1 RIR, 1 New Hampshere) and they can't all fit on one roost next to each other. None of them want to use the lower roost (the higher one is only two feet off the ground, the lower one only about six inches off the ground.) so one of them ends up still on the floor each night.

    1) Right now the two roosts are staggered, one up higher and one down lower. If I were to change it so that both roosts were up higher at an equal height do you think that the 'extra' hen would then use the roost?

    2) If I did change it so both were on equal height I could put them at any height instead of just the two foot. What would be the ideal height for these size birds to get up to them?

    If I can figure out how to post pictures I will - I know that would help. I'm trying to get photobucket to work right now.

    The last issue is my three Bantams. They are the lowest in the pecking order and won't roost by the larger birds so they all three pick a nest box and have been roosting in those every night. Is there any hope of getting them to roost out of the nest boxes if I put the two roosts on equal height? (They won't use the lower roost because that puts them below the other chickens.) I don't know if they would use one if it were equal with the other birds.
  2. jimnjay

    jimnjay Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    Bryant Alabama
    My experience with staggered height roosts was the same as yours. I have mine about 30 inches off the ground but I am sure 24 inches is adaquate. It is instinct for them to roost as high as possible. My Faverolles actually were abel to get up to the rafters on the coop we build. I had to block them off so they would roost on the pole. I always try to keep them all the same height now.

    As for your bantams, you might try making a very short roost for them I put a 2x6 on its side and attach it to two pieces of 2x6 blocks. make them long enough to provide support so the top board does not tip. Keep it on the ground. My silkies like this type of roost and are able to get up on it easier than elevated ones. Crested birds don't have the same range of vision as non crested birds and they have a hard time seeing. Not sure if yours are crested or not but you might try sometime much lower for them.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: