not sure how high nests & roosts for my chicks ("heavy" breeds"

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Jewelwing, Jul 31, 2013.

  1. Jewelwing

    Jewelwing Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 15, 2013
    East Central Illinois
    Well, I think I have heavy breeds anyway. I have 9 chicks - 2 Australorps, 2 Brahmas, 1 Favorelle, 2 Sussex, and 2 Welsummers. I'm just about ready to start building their coop & run (they're 2 wks old & still in their brooder - I know, I know, I'd better hurry!).

    I was thinking of putting the openings to the nest boxes about 2 feet off the ground (leaving about 16" under them, once you account for the supporting 2x4's). The openings are a bit higher than the bottoms of the boxes, so the nesting material won't get kicked out onto the floor. I was hoping to have the room under them for the chickens to use as floor space.

    So the nest box tops are about 3 feet off the ground. I was thinking of putting the roost at right about that height, since I thought 3 feet was getting up there for how big some of the girls are going to be. I don't really have room for a ladder since the coop is only 6'x6' and I need space for food and water and for me to walk around. The nest boxes are all inside the coop, so even though they don't take up floor space for the birdies, they do take up space for me to move around in.

    Is that too high for these breeds? Should I try to figure out some sort of ladder?

    Thanks for the help!!
     
  2. You have room to play with. I have two Australorps that have no problem hopping up on my 5 ft chain link fence. So a 4 ft roost will not be a problem for them. You can put multi height roosts in if need be also. Maybe even a ladder system so they can go up in increments.

    3 ft high nest boxes is too high for me. However chickens will fly up far higher to lay an egg if they so please. I like my nest boxes closer to the ground, that way they never try to roost in them. To each their own. You will figure out what works best for your circumstances.

    Wishing you the best.

    Phil
     
  3. Jewelwing

    Jewelwing Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 15, 2013
    East Central Illinois
    They will have a run that is 8'x14', so maybe I should just put the nest boxes on the floor and lower the roost height to 1-1/2'. I don't really want to do that because it will make it harder for me to collect the eggs (back not so great!). The coop itself is raised for the chickens to be able to take refuge under it, which makes the nest boxes about 4' off the ground from the outside where I will access them from. That seems like a perfect height to me. If I put them on the floor of the coop, then they're only slightly over 2' off the ground outside, which is kind of a pain for me.

    Maybe if I rearrange them inside the coop I would be better able to have a perch for them to hop up to before getting to the roost.

    Will they like nest boxes whose openings are 2' off the floor?
     
  4. Jewelwing

    Jewelwing Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 15, 2013
    East Central Illinois
    Thanks, Phil!

    The tops of the nest boxes are 3' off the floor, but the openings are only 2', with only 18" or so of space under them for chickens to poke around in.

    Your Australorps can hop up to your 5' fence? Wow! I think Brahmas are supposed to get bigger than Australorps? I'm totally new to all this.

    Oh, and by the way, cow's tongue is delicious! Best with a little mustard on a sandwich (after being cooked, of course!).
     
  5. I agree with you that it is much easier to grab the eggs from about 3' to 4' high. Much smarter. I would say in your case just to make sure that your roosts are HIGHER than your nest otherwise you will have chickens wanting to sleep and poop in them.

    I like tongue as well. Especially if it is not too salty. My grandpa use to say he would never eat anything out of an animals mouth....give me an egg. Just for the humor.
     
  6. Jewelwing

    Jewelwing Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 15, 2013
    East Central Illinois
    Yes, it is funny - I laughed when I read it! Not that many people like to eat tongue, though, it seems.

    Thanks for your help. I just wanted to make sure that 3' off the ground wasn't too high for roosts. I don't want them to hurt themselves getting off! And then I started to second guess myself about the height of the nest boxes...
     

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