Perch diameter, welded metal fencing size, treds on plank....


In the Brooder
8 Years
Mar 28, 2011
Hi everyone - well the coop is almost done! - I just need some help with a few questions for the coop and run:

- What is the ideal diameter for the perch's in the coop? How many perches would I need for 6 chickens? ( coop is 4 feet wide)

- For the plank going up to the pop door, how far along should the treds be? My husband nailed them on every 12 inches, but i am worried that is too far apart.

- We are trying to find the best material to enclose the run. Would a welded metal fencing with squares 2" wide, 4" deep work? Or would that spacing be too big? It is the most reasonable price for us.. so we are trying to find out.

- Also, we have found different types of hardware cloth at the farm store - which is better and why? Plastic hardware cloth, or metal hardware cloth?

Awesome! thanks so much for your help!! Will post pictures of the finished coop soon
Many people, including myself use 2 x 4's for the roost instead of something round. Lay them on the flat side. I planned for 1 linear foot of roost per chicken. The treads on your ramp do sound like they are sapced far apart. I would think about every 6 inches. 2" x 4" welded wire will work fine, but most here will tell you to also put hardware cloth on the first 2 feet so a coon can not pull a chicken through the 2 x 4 holes. I think that depends on your situation. I am building a run now that will just be the 2 x 4 welded wire, but my coup and run are in my fenced in back yard and the chickens get locked up every night.

I am not sure about your last question, no help here.
In answer to your questions,for the perch I use two 2x4s cut at 45 degrees nailed them to the wall and floor,for the actual perch I used deck ballisters that I bought at Lowes for .88 cents apiece and bridged the 2x4s. They are 2x2 and have a rounded edge,so when its mounted on the 45 degree 2x4 the round edge faces up.Spaced them 12" apart going up the 45. Pending on your room in the coop and size and number of birds you will have to judge. About a foot of room is needed per bird and maybe a little extra. Ive got 5 perches at different heights but they all cram on the top two. As far as the run,I used 2x3 coated garden fencing on a metal frame but you can used pt wood as a frame and secure with fencing nails. For the ramp, 12" is a bit much, 6" to 8" is best again you have to gauge on the size of the birds. Smaller ones I would do 4",8' for the big breeds and 6" for mid sized and mixed flock. The angle of the ramp is a factor,the steeper the angle the closer the treads. In regards to the hardware cloth I don't really have an answer for you,I did not use it and have not had a problem. What I did do is bury 2ft wide pieces of the garden fencing parallel to the ground on the outside of the run to keep animals from digging under into it. Hope this helps,good luck.
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One thing I picked up on this forum was to space the perch far enough away from the wall so the birds have room and don't poop on the wall.
I cut young 2" trees for roost and even built a horzontal ladder as a perch. My birds like to perch side by side and the roo is always in the middle so 7 big RIR only use about 4' of roost normally any the rest of the space lets them move around while they're settling down for the night.

I put my treads about 2" apart (about the stride of a adult bird) so even on rainy days when it's slick, they can grab a tread easily

Suggest a strong field or welded wire as dogs like chicken too. Run the wire sides AND TOP, then either under the coop or run it to the ground and let the excess lay outward to prevent digging. We don't have coons here but as a farm kid we would have them do raids and as long as the wire was secure and 2X4 or smaller opening, there was never a problem. Remember unless you buy grown chickens, there will be times when small fence holes vs fuzzy butts is a blessing.

If you have coon, possum, etc, stay away from plastic fence, they will go thru it like butter. If all you are worried about is owls, ravens etc then deer fence will work great for the top. It also works if you go with large fence openings and need to keep curious chicks in and safe till they get too big to squeeze thru. Deer fence also stopps snakes too.

Sounds like your birds will be living well, have fun with them.
I put my ramp treads up 2.5 inches apart (I used a scrap board that way laying on the ground as my space, it just looked about right to me, one every chicken step? Perhaps it was overkill, but the chickens like it.)

I planned on a 4 foot roost for my 4 chickens. Perhaps you'll want two - one a little higher than the other (I keep reading 12 inches higher and 12 inches apart.) I used a 2x4, but we sanded the top edges down to round it out some.

metal is better than plastic because plastic can be chewed through. Plastic will work to keep the chickens out of places you don't want them, but it won't keep a predator out of your chickens. We used the small hardwire cloth for our attached covered run, but for the outdoor chicken yard, I may use something bigger, I have not decided what yet either.

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