Pecking Order on roost near window?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by The Bird House, Feb 8, 2013.

  1. The Bird House

    The Bird House Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'm starting inside work on my coop this weekend and hope to get through the roosting bar area. Just wondering if there tends to be more pecking order issues with bar next to window. Also not sure if I should make two, vs my original plan to build one.

    My concern is morning sun shines through the front window where the roosting bar will be. Living in town and homes are a bit close together, I'm waning to keep the noise down as much as possible.


    Last edited: Feb 8, 2013
    lynnd17 likes this.
  2. chfite

    chfite Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 7, 2011
    Taylors, SC
    My chickens tend to roost in the same order on the roosting bars.

  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I’m always an advocate of more space, whether that is coop, run, brooder, or roosts. So many behavioral problems go away or never start if the chickens have enough space to solve the problems themselves. It’s when we squeeze them in tight where they can’t avoid each other that the problems often start.

    I have no idea how many chickens you have or how much roost space you are providing, but if you are thinking about it, I’d suggest putting up the second roost if you have space.

    My chickens are most brutal to each other on the roosts as they are preparing to go to sleep. I’ve seen hens leave their normal roosting spot just to go pick on younger chickens when I’m integrating. That’s part of maintaining their place in the pecking order by intimidating and beating up on others lower down. I like extra roost space so the ones getting beaten up have a safer place to go to get away from the bully.

    Mine often do a lot of jostling around on the roosts when they go to the roosts, even knocking some off. They pick their preferred spots based on dominance as in the pecking order. The ones higher in the pecking order get the best spots. If another chicken is in the spot they want, they’ll take that spot away from them.

    The area in front of the window is a prime roosting spot for mine. That’s where my dominant birds usually roost. My middle of the pack pecking order birds usually sleep pretty far away from the dominant ones, in a back corner. Maybe that corner gives them a feeling of protection? The least dominant are usually in the middle. But that order can switch around some. There are a few I never know where they will roost.

    The problem should not be in the morning, it should be at night as they are getting positioned on the roosts. It’s not that noisy a process.
    1 person likes this.
  4. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    X2 about roosting in a certain order on the roost bar. Not so much in front of windows. The end of the roost bars, especially ones that are against walls tend to be the most desired spaces in my coop...the pecking order goes into action for these spots.

    Oh, and nice coop!
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2013
  5. The Bird House

    The Bird House Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thank you for your responses - very helpful! We are allowed four hens. We tried picking ones with good temperaments and cold tolerant. The coop measures 5.5' x 8" and unfortunately is in the shadow of the bard/garage most of the day, except for morning and later in the day during the summer. So I was thinking that near the window, closest to the morning sun may cause problems.

    I'm also building a small storage cabinet in the coop for their food and supplies, so may not have room for a 2nd roost in another location, but could add a second tier to the window location.

    Thanks again!
  6. The Bird House

    The Bird House Chillin' With My Peeps

    Another Roosting in question.

    What should the distance be from the wall for the roosting bar?

    Also, do I need 12" length per bird? I'd like to make the bard 45" instead of 48"

  7. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

    May 24, 2011
    On, Canada
    I have 4. I chose the 2x6(since we get long, cold winters) and plunked it down right in front of the window. I did the rule of thumb 12inches per bird... i think the board actually ended up being a smidge longer but it's worked just fine, not had a single issue. The girls of coarse have been all raised together and are again the only chickens. This is the only roost in the coop too, the ladies are now 8mths and this set-up has worked just fine. They love their 'chicken TV' window and are often looking out lol Plus the sun flows in wonderfully and the breeze of coarse in summer for those hot nights.
  8. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    To allow for tails or heads, depending on which way they choose to roost, I would plan on about 9 inches from the wall. As long as they have more room on the other side to hop on the roost. Usually the poop is not projectile, LOL, generally it falls a few inches from the roost bar.

    If you can afford more than 12 inches on the roost bar, than go for it. If not, that is about the least you want to go with. When it is warm inside the coop in the summer, birds get cranky and need space between each other to stay cool. My birds need at least 4 or 5 inches on either side of them during hot weather, or the biting and squabbling commences.
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  9. The Bird House

    The Bird House Chillin' With My Peeps

    Perfect! Thanks for the info!!

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