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NO COOP and Roost Design

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by 2boys1homestead, Oct 19, 2015.

  1. 2boys1homestead

    2boys1homestead Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 30, 2014
    Pewamo, MI
    Hello All,

    I had a question about roosting and coops.

    First, can chickens, if supplied with a roost and nesting boxes, function without a coop? My first instinct is to say they can since coops don't exist in nature and factory farms do it (but let's try not to be like factory farms). Be assured that the chickens will be quite safe (in a garage and a dog kennel). Nothing will be able to get to them.

    Second, do you think chickens prefer round roost poles or square ones? My vote is round since branches are more like that and I might even use real branches for it. I've just seen a lot of roosts made out of rectangular lumber (1x2 strips). Doesn't that hurt their feet (on the square ones)?

    Any help would be much appreciated!

    Ben
     
  2. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop

    A garage is adequate, as long as they are inside something like a large dog kennel. Otherwise you're going to end up with chickens crawling all over the place. Please keep in mind that coop and run are not synonymous; coop is where they sleep, and run is where they spend the day. Runs should always be outside; 24/7 indoor confinement should only be done in something like, say, a large barn, and only in special circumstances (e.g. wanting very strict biosecurity).

    Mine all vastly prefer roosts with rounded corners. I use 2x4s for my roosts. Rounded roosts are harder to hold onto.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. 2boys1homestead

    2boys1homestead Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Basically they will be in the garage until about March (born about Mid-late November). Then we will move them out even if it's snowing. I just don't want to stick babies outside at 4 weeks with a howling Michigan winter going on. It's not long term, promise!
     
  4. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop

    Oh, even with a harsh winter, they will be PLENTY ready to go outside at 10 weeks or so. No need to keep them indoors until March. Until then, they should be fine in a large cage. Don't provide any roosting material - roosting too young can cause crooked breastbones, and should be avoided until about the time they are ready to go outside.
     
    2 people like this.
  5. 2boys1homestead

    2boys1homestead Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 30, 2014
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    Oh, that's good to know! I didn't know that about roosting! Thank you!
     
  6. TrialandError

    TrialandError Out Of The Brooder

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    I have never heard that roosting to young would cause problems. Chicks roost with moms all the time.
     
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  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    My Coop
    Me neither.
     
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  8. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop

    I've found it in a lot of the older poultry books. And it's happened consistently with mine - birds who roost young would sometimes get crooked breast ones, something I never saw in those who roosted late. It's more common in cockerels than pullets. It's a result of the pressure from the roost on a still-growing bone.
     
  9. 2boys1homestead

    2boys1homestead Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 30, 2014
    Pewamo, MI
    The garage won't have anything else but a little bit of storage in tubs and the quails. No cars or machinery that will be use. They will be in a kennel as well, so they won't have access to that stuff.
     
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    The dust will be significant and ventilation might be a concern.
    If the garage is unattached to your house, then it's just another outbuilding...or 'coop', if it's full of birds, lol :D.
    Adequate space, ventilation and predator protection are key, just like with any other coop.
     

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