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Needing your opinion on the roost.

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Cassey, Oct 20, 2016.

  1. Cassey

    Cassey Out Of The Brooder

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    [​IMG]
    (Sorry, for the mess we haven't cleaned the poop yet today.)

    Hi! I'm wanting opinions on the chicken's roost, above.
    It's great, but it takes up lots of room and it very hard to clean the poop under.
    The chickens don't roost the bottom perch, they only use it get to the top two.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    My Coop
    How many birds are you housing in this? What is the length of each section of roost?

    One option to ease cleaning (and preserve the floorspace below for use by the birds) is to install a tray beneath the roosts to catch waste rather than allowing it to fall to the floor -- the trays are easier to clean and the floor beneath stays clean and is used by the birds as living space vs. being wasted beneath the roost. If you are certain the bottom roost is not needed you could easily remove it and install a tray to set beneath the other two.
     
  3. Cassey

    Cassey Out Of The Brooder

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    24 chickens. The length is 4 feet.
    I think the tray idea is a great idea!
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Cassey I’ll respond to the roost question on this thread instead of your other one since it’s a little more specific here and now I’ve seen the photo. To recap, your chickens are 7 – 9 months old, you have two cockerels and 22 pullets, your coop is 7’ wide, and the height is 6’ sloping to 5-1/2’.

    I’d try two roosts the full width of that coop, separated 12” and 12” off the wall. That might be enough for 24 chickens, it might not. As I mentioned in the other thread, you might need to put a third roost up, maybe off another wall, if they start sleeping in the nests. They will continue to grow some so the roosts will get more crowded.

    I showed you a photo of how I mounted my tree-limb roosts so they are moveable in that other thread. You can do something like that with 2x4’s or build a “cup” on the walls the 2x4’s fit in to hold them and keep them easily removable. Or you can get hangers at Lowe’s, Home Depot, or a hardware store to hold the 2x4’s. Another option would be to put verticals from the ceiling to hang the roosts. Any of these will get them up off the floor so you can clean under them.

    Chickens tend to like to roost on the highest thing available as long as they are not too crowded and one doesn’t become a bully. That’s why they don’t sleep on your current low roost. This means the roosts need to be higher than the nests since you don’t want them sleeping and pooping in the nests. Who wants poopy eggs? I don’t know what your ventilation looks like, you need some way to get bad air out and let good air in, and you do not want cold winds hitting them on the roost. A good way to manage that is to have openings up at the top of the coop with the roosts far enough below so any breeze passes over their head.

    Your coop is a little height challenged but it is what it is. The way I determine roost height is to determine how high the floor is with any bedding you might put in there, then set the nests. The doors, either pop door or people door, need to be high enough so the chickens don’t scratch out the bedding, but that is a side issue. After you set the nests, make the roosts higher than the nests but as low as you can. 12” higher should be enough. That’s because you need breeze room above them but also the higher the roosts are the more clear space they need below for a safe landing. You don’t want them banging into feeders, waterers, or nests on the way down. Because of the height of your coop I’d put the roosts both at the same height to encourage them to sleep up there.

    I don’t come close to cleaning every day, I just don’t see a need. A little poop in there is not going to hurt anything. The problem is when the poop gets so thick it doesn’t dry out, then it will stink and be unhealthy. I think you are working harder than you have to, though with 24 chickens the poop will build up pretty quickly. You can use bedding to absorb the poop and dry it out, greatly extending how often you need to clean the floor. A lot of people only clean theirs out once or twice a year.

    One problem you have though is that you have a lot of chickens in there and they poop a lot at night. It’s going to build up under the roosts pretty quickly. Since yours free range during the day they won’t be pooping much in there during the day, especially if you feed and water outside. You can put a droppings board under the roosts, just a flat surface that extends from the wall to about a foot past the outside roost. There are lots of different ways to do that. I use a piece of plywood that’s the top of my brooder built into the coop. Some people build trays and use different bedding in there to absorb the moisture, I don’t.

    For the part of the main roosts that are not over my brooder I put a couple of bins from Walmart on the floor. They are really easy to clean, just pick them up and carry them out to the compost to dump them after I scrape the top of the dropping board into them. My juvenile roost is over my nests. The top of the nests are flat so they act as a droppings board. There are lots of different ways to do this, the idea is to make it easy to collect the poop they drop from the roosts to keep it from building up.

    I don’t have a great photo of my set-up but people like pictures so I’ll show this. You can see the roosts above my brooder and maybe a bit of a bin off to the right.
    [​IMG]
     
  5. Cassey

    Cassey Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks. I'll be making some changes. I really like your set-up. I'm hoping to make changes this Sunday, or in 2 weeks or so. I'll post pictures of the changes. Thanks for all the help!
     

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