positon of roosts

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Mrs. K, Oct 5, 2014.

  1. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    Roosts are relatively easy to move, or add more to an area. I have used either old pitchfork handles or even old branches. A couple of things that I have changed in the last year made a very big difference in the dryness of my coop. I finally caught on to the idea that dry was more important than warm in the wintertime for chickens.

    Lower your roosts so that your birds heads are 8-12 inches below the roof. It is amazing how much moisture that hens exhale, and the more space above them, keeps their combs dryer, which equals less frost bite.

    For me, when I removed the top roost, another unexpected benefit showed up. My birds were not as close to the wall. The wall had two problems, again, when too close to the wall, that decreased circulation and increases moisture, but also their droppings tended to collect and pile up against the wall and freeze solid there. Then when it melted, a huge amount of moisture would be released and ammonia.

    I have a lean or ladder like roost, when I removed the top rung, the birds are more toward the center of the room, away from the wall and ceiling, there droppings collect on moisture absorbing hay that is easy to remove and replace. But most importantly the birds are drier.

    Instead of adding heat, look at how you can keep them drier, and your roosting situation may be a part of the problem.

    NOTE: if you lower your roosts, you may have to lower your nests, or they will roost in your nests.

    Mrs K
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2014
  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    So, can you tell me, how close is your top roost to the wall? How far apart are your roosts??? Thanks.
     
  3. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    I will measure, and get back to you, but before, when on the top rung, the birds were very nearly touching both the ceiling and the wall, perhaps 2-3 inches clearance when they were hunkered down. I think that their tail feathers did touch the wall.

    When I removed that rung, that drops the birds down another foot (I am guessing, but will measure) and pulls them a foot away from the wall. Nothing is touch the wall or the ceiling. I have a slanted roost, think of a very wide ladder leaned against the wall.

    When they are close to a surface, that surface will be colder than the bird, causing the moisture to collect and possibly drip back down on them.

    Mrs K
     
  4. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    Also, if you have any camping experience, those cold surfaces tend to suck the heat out of a body. The reason I ask, is I'm doing a new build, and want to get the spacing right. In my current coop, I did have the roost too close to the wall, and the curved wall/ceiling was fiberglass, so did not breathe well. My RIR got some frost bite on her comb tips very early in the season, before I wised up and moved that perch away from the wall.
     
  5. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    ok, I went down and measured. The high roost was 16 inches from the ceiling, 8 inches from the wall. I dropped it down to the next level, and now it is 27 inches from the ceiling and 17 inches from the wall.

    I don't have any way to test the humidity, but it seems MUCH drier in the coop. Mine is an old wooden coop, and I think that the breath and poo was keeping that wood damp.

    I am very glad I did this, I think it is going to work much better.
     

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