Question about building roost's, and poop control...

tri-5-ron

Songster
9 Years
Feb 6, 2010
301
5
121
Orange County
Do Chickens prefer to roost "flat footed", (like when standing on the ground/floor) ?
or,
do they prefer a "clamped foot" position (narrower/rounded surface) like holding onto a branch ?

I realize that this may seem like a dumb question, But I do have a reason for asking it.
As many of you already know, I am in the process of building my coop, and I am trying to be mindful of the "Poop Management and Control".
I am going to be lining the floor with hard plastic sheets, (similar to plexiglass but a little different), for the purpose of easier cleanup.
My idea is that I can use a small gardening hoe to quickly and easily scrap the floor clean.

So since I am going to be building the rost's soon, I figure that if they are rounded. (like the pole in your closet for hanging your clothes) the chickens would be more likely to face forward or backwards, and then most poop would fall to the floor.
whereas, if it, (the roost itself), was a 2x4 turded flat, the chickens could be able to turn sideways to the roost, and result in more poop ON the roost.

I realize that some poop is going to get on the roost either way,.. I'm just trying to think it out to minimize the "Roost Piles".

so the question is,..
flat wider surface ?, (flat footed),
or,
branch like rounded surface, (clamp footed)

Thanks,
Ron
 

Baymen Moe

Songster
12 Years
Jan 17, 2009
522
24
219
Pembroke, Ma.
Go with the flat side of a 2x4. In cold weather the birds can sit on their feet to keep them warm. Granted OC probably doesn't get to cold but I'd still go flat for comfort. My roosts are 2x4 with droppings boards underneath. I rarely have poop on the roost and my boards are wide enough to catch the poo no matter which way they face. My boards can be cleaned in 30 seconds for 15 birds, with very little poop on the floor. I have pine shavings on the floor and have not changed out the shavings since last May, only fluffed and refreshed with new ones, a testameant to the droppingds boards. Here's a picture for you.

21297_roosts_and_dropping_boards_003.jpg


21297_roosts_and_dropping_boards_001.jpg


21297_poop_board2.jpg


The feathers in the last picture are from last spring when my chicks were going through their teens...
 

cheeps

Songster
11 Years
Jul 18, 2008
308
1
129
Rockwell, NC
Go with a 2 x 4, you can't go wrong. Especially in winter my birds like to be able to hunker down and fluff their feathers over their feet.

DH built a series of roosts out of 2 x 4's that step up gradually. That way they can choose their roosting height, the bantams and the turkey like to be high, where my clumsy cochins like to roost low.
 

teach1rusl

Love My Chickens
10 Years
Jul 28, 2009
10,017
174
356
Floyds Knobs, Indiana
My Coop
My Coop
Orange County...are you CA? I have 2 x 4s flat side, one 2 x 4 narrowed down to about 2 inches w/beveled edges, and one thick branch in my coop and run. They use them about equally, although the branch is least used. They don't hold on like wild birds, they kind of balance while squatting, although their toes will naturally curl a bit on rounded edges. The dropping boards Baymen Moe mentioned work like a charm, making clean-up quick and easy. Here's a pic of how mine are done, similar to his...
37862_chickens_11_weeks_008.jpg
 

patandchickens

Flock Mistress
12 Years
Apr 20, 2007
12,520
335
341
Ontario, Canada
Quote:
Wait, you're still going to use bedding of some sort (shavings or whatever), yes? I hope so, otherwise it will be very HARD to scrape the stomped-on poo off the floor, also not particularly good for the chickens' feet and slippery for them when they leap down from the roost.

So since I am going to be building the rost's soon, I figure that if they are rounded. (like the pole in your closet for hanging your clothes) the chickens would be more likely to face forward or backwards, and then most poop would fall to the floor. whereas, if it, (the roost itself), was a 2x4 turded flat, the chickens could be able to turn sideways to the roost, and result in more poop ON the roost.

You might think so, but that is not the case. Chickens do not roost lengthwise on a 2x4 such that they'd be pooping on it. Realio trulio. They always roost crosswise. Which direction they face is a bit unpredictable and depends on weather, daylength etc IME, but the only poo that gets on the roost is accidental little bits from time to time.

Good luck, have fun,

Pat​
 

Backyard_Chicken_rancher

Songster
9 Years
Feb 7, 2010
953
19
131
BackYard Chicken Ranch, TEXAS
Depending on the size and height of the coop as well as the roosts themselves I would outline the roost with hardware cloth or chicken wire and build an access door to clean it this way they don't track in it and get it on there feet as for round or flat they will use either so if you chose to only put one in that is the one they will use, if it will two roost's then they will choose so the choice is yours but flat seems to work best just round of the egdes of the 2x4 this way they don't get splinters in their feet.


good luck with your choice
 

elmo

Crowing
11 Years
May 23, 2009
4,902
248
326
DFW
What I find is that most of the poop in the coop lands under the roost, for obvious reasons. I use a plastic boot tray under the roost pole. I pull it out, bring it over to my composter and dump out the contents, hose off the tray, and voila! I'm pretty much done with coop cleanup.
 

tri-5-ron

Songster
9 Years
Feb 6, 2010
301
5
121
Orange County
thanks for all the replies and pics.
You guys/gals are great!

2x4's turned flat seems to be the preferred method, so thats what they will be in my coop.

"poop decks" below the roosts will also be used, and these will be covered with the removable plastic sheets I mentioned earlier. (easy removal for scraping).
Removable plastic sheets will be used as a "Liner" on the floor, and will be covered with Pine shavings.

I read on another thread that for standard sized birds, it is recommended that there be a minimum, of 12" of "roost rail", (board length), per bird.
Is that the general consensus here?

Also, how important is it to have roost's at different levels ?

I've read that Chickens have a natural desire to establish a Pecking Order amoungst the flock.
I will not have any Roosters,... but I understand that the Hens will also establish a Pecking Order.
I have read where this pecking order will determine who sits where, and how high on the roost's they will sit.
(kind of reminds me of the movie Shawshank Redemption) LOL!

So, Is it necessary or preferred,... to allow and/or promote,... this Pecking Order Selection by providing roost's at various levels within the coop ?
and on the same note,... Would placing all or the roost's at the same elevated level within the coop, reduce the Pecking Order Competition ?

Thanks again,
Ron
 

OverEZ

In the Brooder
10 Years
Apr 20, 2009
45
0
22
East Central Ohio
Flat foot roosting, especially in cold climates. Roosts located as high as possible with poop decks underneath and "ladder" steps to access.
 

2DogsFarm

Songster
10 Years
Apr 10, 2009
1,099
10
171
NW Indiana
Well, my girls apparently did not read the Manual.
I set up 2 nice round branches in the coop - one goes straight across about 2' off the floor, the other is set at an angle so they can walk up it to #1.

Where do they roost?
99.9% of the time I find them all on the less-than-1" wide partition facing the roosts.
They do change it up and use the roosts, but that narrow little edge is their #1 top Fave place to sleep.
Go
Figure
roll.png
 
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