Question about Roost Design

confetticrafts

In the Brooder
8 Years
Nov 6, 2011
12
1
22
Hi, we're new to chicken keeping, and trying to design the "perfect coop" before we start our flock. (LOL) My hubby had what seems to be a great idea for the roosts, and it doesn't seem to have been done before, so I wanted to get some opinions from experienced chicken keepers. We're planning on a 4' by 8' coop, with the nest boxes and roost area extending out from that. Hubby's idea is to have the strong wire mesh (1/2" hardware cloth) on the bottom, and no wood floor, under the roosting area, so the poo falls through to the outside and there's less clean-up.

We're in Florida, so we're thinking more ventilation is good for hot summers and health overall, and we won't have really cold winters to worry about, so enclosing under the roost isn't necessary for weather. We are planning to make the mesh very secure against predators. The only possible problem I'm wondering about is whether the chickens will feel safe and secure enough nesting over a wire mesh opening as opposed to a wood floor -- or will they feel vulnerable and not want to roost there? Any thoughts on this? Has it been tried by anyone? Thanks for any comments or suggestions!
 

ChickensAreSweet

Heavenly Grains for Hens
9 Years
Jun 8, 2010
15,100
621
398
Pacific NW- where the Douglas Firs grow
You definitely want the roosts higher than the nest boxes. They will sleep in the nest boxes if they are similar in height.

The hardware cloth will trap a lot of the poo. You will still need to hose it out frequently. If the wind is blowing on them they might get cold, even if it is only in the 40's or 50's. So you don't want drafts.

I wasn't happy with a coop that I had with an open floor design that I hosed out, since the wind kept blowing up and in the coop. I hope this helps.

You might research "poop board." For me I'd rather scrape the poop board once a day than have to deal with that horrible poopy water flooding everywhere around the coop once a week. I can haul the poo from the poop board off to the forest.
 

5littlechicks

In the Brooder
8 Years
Jul 30, 2011
24
1
24
Middleburg, FL
Your husband's idea sounds very similar to the way we built our coop except we have the roost over the hardware cloth floor. Here is a picture:

We also found the hardware cloth not as easy to clean as we thought and it makes a really muddy mess under the coop. My husband added a poop board today so we are hoping that will work otherwise we will get a large piece of wood or other material to lay over most of the hardware cloth. We are in Florida also but we do get cold weather (20's tonight) so we also added a piece of plexiglass to the west side to help block the wind. Hopefully, that will be enough for them. We will know in the morning :)
 

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