Q: Tree branches as roosts in coop...or 2x4s...and droppings boards...

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by ChickieNikki, Apr 11, 2009.

  1. ChickieNikki

    ChickieNikki Chillin' With My Peeps

    I've read and seen pics of 2x4s as roosts and tree branches. I'm getting all heavy birds (see siggy), and would like to be sure they have something wide enough to keep their feet from frostbite, but comfortable for their big feet. I've read that branches with bark are a possible problem for mites and other pests, and the bark is hard to clean. I definitely want easy clean. I'm thinking of having the roosts run in an X shape 2 1/2' off the ground from corner to corner in the coop (all the same height). If I'm doing droppings boards, do I need 2x10s? What's wide enough to catch the poo?

    Thanks--the coop construction has begun today...DH and helper are digging 4 2-foot holes right now...DH thinks the whole coop'll take one day...I think they'll be digging til' 2. I didn't say so. We'll see....
     
  2. classless chickens

    classless chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 11, 2009
    Elkton
    I would like to know about this also. I am not sure which way to go......branches or 2x4's? Any advice???
     
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Take a look at the pic of the sussexes on my personal page (link at left) for a tree branch roost with droppings board, if that helps any [​IMG]

    I used 5-6" diam dead poplar limbs from a downed tree on the property -- the horses and wintertime conveniently removed the bark for me, all I had to do was cut and screw [​IMG]

    Droppings boards IME need to be 14" wide *minimum* to really catch ALL the poo; OTOH even if some gets past, it's a whole lot better than nothing and highly recommended.

    I do not think you will enjoy your proposed roost configuration though. If it is an X between coop corners, how will you walk around in there? MAN will that ever be a nuisance. Also, you will have to bend down insanely to clean the droppings boards. And there will be pretty much no floor space that is not "in the traffic pattern" of birds getting off roosts, thus no good place to put a feeder or waterer indoors if you should ever decide it's desirable.

    Rather, I would recommend instead running a roost along 2 walls of the coop, or 2 parallel or slightly staggered roosts along one wall. I think you'll find that *much* more functional for you.

    GOod luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  4. LilRalphieRoosmama

    LilRalphieRoosmama Officially Quacked

    Oct 15, 2007
    Elyria, OH
    DBF built roosts for both of our coops. He made them like sawhorses with 2x4's and they work great.
     
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    I have both 2x4's (wide side up, sharp edges knocked off a little) and wide-ish tree branches, and I would not say there's a lot to choose from between the two. Tree branches, if thick enough, can go a longer span without center bracing before they get saggy under the weight of chickens, as compared to 2x4s, if that matters.

    Otherwise, I'd say use whatcha got [​IMG]

    Have fun,

    Pat
     
  6. ChickieNikki

    ChickieNikki Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Ok, great points here. I will go on a nature walk to find some limbs. I live on 3 1/2 acres with nary a tree, but every other neighbor has woods. No problem there. And I thought the poo catch system would have to be pretty wide--I'll search photos and brainstorm on that, but I guess 10" is better than nothing, like you said. And I hadn't thought about the configuration being TOTALLY a PITA!! I had intended to make them hinged and attach hook and eyes to raise them for twice yearly cleaning, but yeah, I'd have to do that every day--no can do. I'll reconsider the configuration and come up with something. Chicks aren't even hatching until mid-may, so I have time!! Thanks, all for the great feedback!
     

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