Question about roosts

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by tom e, Jun 7, 2010.

  1. tom e

    tom e Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hello everybody!
    First post here.
    I actually just finished building a big coop/run, 8' x 10' x 6' high. I'm just about to build some roosts and was thinking I'd like to do something to allow them to make use of all that height. We've also just trimmed a lot of dead wood from the orange and peach trees, so I've got tons of great natural branches I can use.
    Help me to brainstorm this if you would, I've never really seen what I want to do done before (for all I know there's a very good reason for that).
    I'm thinking to leave the left side of the coop (the side I enter through) open space, but put lot's of branches on the right side all the way up so that they can hop from branch to branch to get up there. Also I'd like to enclose a small section of that side for them to get into on cooler nights (I'm in southern CA on the coast, so cool really isn't really that cool though).
    Anybody ever done something like this?
    Are they likely to go up that high, or is that just a waste of effort?

    At the moment the new coop is only framed out and has been covered with hardware cloth as well as has the roof on. No 'furniture' so to speak..

    I have 1 Ameracauna hen, 2 cuckoo maran hens, and one rooster of unknown breed.. Thanks for your help!
     
  2. Dar

    Dar Overrun With Chickens

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    they will go as high as you let them.

    I had a downed tree and used the straightest branches and made roosts in a ladder type design... it was good bit not a good use of space and i found that my chickens developed a pecking problem cause everyone wanted to be near the top. So I have recently re done things a little and made my roosts all at the same height and all the way around the room and a long nesting box with a poop board so the silkies dont get pooped on
     
  3. vstoltzfus

    vstoltzfus Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I use branches for my roost, and they're all different heights. As far as I know they've never had a problem. They all seem content when I go to lock them up at night.
     
  4. tom e

    tom e Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the replies! I will go ahead with the plans then.. I think with as few birds as I have I should be able to make plenty of room for everyone at even the highest spots. Because we don't allow them out to free range though, I just want to give them as much room as I can and make as much space usable as I can.
     
  5. Penturner

    Penturner Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think it is a great idea and am in the process of building something similar. I am building mine in an outdoor run. I have one limb that is min 3 inches in diameter and about 5 feet long. it runs from the ground up to a height of about 3 feet off the ground but there is a flat section at that 3 foot height that leaves room for all the birds in the run. No fighting. From there I am watching to see where people need to be able to get to etc and also looking for limbs that will fit in. but I plan to build a trail of limbs all around the run with the same requirements. plenty of space at the highest level and birds can either walk up it or fly.
    I will also add a suggestion on how to attach limbs just in case you run into some funky arrangements. there is a tool that will carve a round end to any limb, but they are expensive. a low cost alternative is to drill a hole in the end of the limb and glue in a wood dowel. leave the dowel sticking out a couple of inches. you can then drill a hole anywhere you want that limb to be attached and attach it with the 2 inches of dowel sticking out. it makes a very strong joint.
     
  6. tom e

    tom e Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Wow! Great idea, thanks! How I will eventually attach the roosts has been one of my biggest worries, hence my checking if it was even worthwhile before beginning.

    As far as chickens jumping from roost to roost, how far would you all say they should be from each other? The marans are very big, maybe not the most graceful creatures. Of course they may yet surprise me, I've never seen them in larger spaces before..
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2010
  7. tom e

    tom e Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It's finished! I made a few mistakes that I will fix over this summer. 1 is that I have so many roosts outside of nesting 'box' (it's only enclosed on three sides) that the chickens sleep outside. This is compounded I think by the fact that the roosts inside the box are lower than the one they are currently choosing, and the fact that the roosts aren't as easy to access inside nesting box. I have ideas on how to fix these issues, I think I pretty much needed to build them wrong so that I could see how to do it right, lol.

    Bigger problem though is that the marans have ceased laying entirely since moved to the new coop. I see a lot of black and white feathers on the ground, so they could be molting or also they are now in a fully roofed coop. Maybe they aren't getting enough light?
    If it's the light issue, will they ever get used to new light levels and resume laying?

    Thanks
     
  8. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    To attach natural branch roosts to my coops and runs, I use either "L" brackets or mending plates with teks screws.
     
  9. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Chickens are creatures of habit and don't take to changes very easily. Moving to a new coop can set them off laying for a while.

    So can moulting, of course. And excessive heat.
     
  10. Oven Ready

    Oven Ready Chillin' With My Peeps

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    a low cost alternative is to drill a hole in the end of the limb and glue in a wood dowel. leave the dowel sticking out a couple of inches. you can then drill a hole anywhere you want that limb to be attached and attach it with the 2 inches of dowel sticking out. it makes a very strong joint

    What an excellent idea - why didn't I think of that. We build everything here using tree trunks / limbs and the usual method is to use rough halving joints, either nailed or screwed but it's awkward due to the roundness and variability of trees, but using a big dowel is like having a mortice & tenon and so much simpler, no chiseling at all.
    Sometimes the obvious solution is the hardest one to find.
    Thanks so much.

    Edited to add.
    This is such a great tip I think you should start a new thread on the coop design forum and see if anyone else has other hidden gems like this one.​
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2010

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