Need Your Opinion on Space for Roosting (PICs)

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Schwartzfarmnc, Jan 3, 2011.

  1. Schwartzfarmnc

    Schwartzfarmnc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 28, 2010
    West Jefferson
    We have 15 little ones coming March 10th and this will be our very first flock. I have included the pics of our roost we made and would like your opinion on wether our birds will have enough space to roost with the minimum bickering.

    [​IMG]

    Our main roost is 9ft long.

    [​IMG]

    This one is about 4ft.

    I have built one for the middle of the coop that is 4.5ft long and about 36 inches tall for the ones who might not want to roost so high.

    We ordered all heritage breeds, so I assume they will be on the large size.
    Will this be enough room for 15 birds when full grown???
    Thanks
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    I get 17-1/2 feet for 15 chickens. The minimum guidelines is about 8" per bird with more being optimal. I think you are in great shape.

    A chicken does not take up 8" on the roost when it has settled down. Even in the heat of summer, they tend to crowd together on the roost. But they usually spread their wings to get on the roost, so they need more room to get there than they take up once they are there. Also where they position themselves on the roost depends on their position in the pecking order. They need some extra room to maneuver around when they do get up to the roost. Mine sometimes knock each other off while positioning themselves.

    Another issue is that some chickens are bullies on the roost. Some are so jealous of their position in the pecking order that they will peck the fire out of any lower ranking chicken near them. It is not always the highest ranked chickens that do this either, at least in my flock. So the lowest ranking chickens need some space to position themselves away from the bullies. Your set-up should cater to this well.
     
  3. Schwartzfarmnc

    Schwartzfarmnc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    West Jefferson
    Thank you Ridgerunner!

    We thought we planned everthing out just right, but then the chicken math hit us already so we ended up getting more chicks than first thought, so that is why we added the extra roosting spots.

    One reason I did not want to go with one higher than the 9ft roost is too minimize the ones being picked on, or at the least try to minimize fights, and I did think about the bigger girls may only want to be off the floor a few feet rather than the highest roost, I quess they will determine the pecking order themselves, but at least they have different spots to choose around the coop?
     
  4. Wisher1000

    Wisher1000 Bama Biddy

    Remember that they will all want to be on the tallest roost regardless of their standing in the pecking order. Even the heavy ones will try to get up to the highest spot. I put long roosts nearly to the rafters (8+ feet high) with the intention of my guineas using those and all of my fat biddies manage to make it to the top! It is a problem when they "fly" down and hit pretty hard because they no fly so well! I am adding on to my covered run and the roosts in there will all be the same height and not too high (maybe 2 1/2 feet off the floor.) Now watch, the guineas will take over that part and the hens will stay on the top boards in the run...that would be my luck!

    [​IMG]

    Once I get the new section built, I plan to remove the lower roosts so that the hens will not be able to get up there, but the guineas will.
     
  5. Wisher1000

    Wisher1000 Bama Biddy

    By the way, if you leave your waterer there it will be pooed in....
     
  6. Schwartzfarmnc

    Schwartzfarmnc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Don't worry, the water will be moved before they move in, had to clean the floor from all the mess I made insulating the roof [​IMG]
     
  7. Lilacfeather

    Lilacfeather Out Of The Brooder

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    Richmond, VA
    I have 10 standard hens, and they all crown on to one 4 foot long roost, despite the availability of more space. I figure it keeps them nice and warm in the cold.
     
  8. Schwartzfarmnc

    Schwartzfarmnc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:You know I thought they might end up doing that and all my efforts will be in vain, [​IMG] all the planning in the world doesn't mean much I guess, the girls will do as they please. [​IMG]
     
  9. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Looks fine to me, space-wise... I bet they will all crowd together on the 9' roost and be one happy flock that way [​IMG]

    You can wait and see what happens but don't be surprised if you need to refit it with longer brackets, though... it seems rather close to the wall and you may find them being uncomfortable or plastering your wall with an excessive amount of poo. Similarly if they end up actually USING the roost by the window you may find yourself wanting to put up a low barrier of plexiglass to keep squirty cecal poo from hitting the window itself and gooing up the sill and where the window closes.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  10. Schwartzfarmnc

    Schwartzfarmnc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 28, 2010
    West Jefferson
    Quote:Thanks for all the info. I have the roost 13 inches from the wall and 18 inches above the poop board, should I go ahead and move the roost out further from the wall? My poop board is 24 inches deep if that helps you?

    Matt
     

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