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Questions about roost and nesting box heights

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by annaraven, Dec 31, 2010.

  1. annaraven

    annaraven Born this way

    Apr 15, 2010
    SillyCon Valley
    Okay - so I've been reading and I know that the roosts should be higher than the nesting boxes. But I don't want my nesting boxes on the ground - I want to be able to get eggs out of them without a lot of bending. So, I was thinking of mounting the nesting boxes at 3 or 4 feet, and the roosts at 4 1/2 or 5 feet up off the ground. Does that seem reasonable? The coop is only about 6ft tall. I just don't want to have to bend over a lot to get the eggs out.

    Obviously, they'll need a ramp or something if they've just had their wings clipped...

  2. Country Parson

    Country Parson Songster

    Oct 1, 2010
    Bellefontaine, OH
    I've never clipped my birds wings, but if you have I don't think you want a 5ft roost (I'm just guessing here). Making a ramp capable of walking up 5ft seems a waste of good wood & space. My neighbor keeps her roost about 18-20 inches off the ground (which is the height I have in my outdoor hoop house). In my main coop they just roost in the rafters.

    My next box is about 2.5 ft off the ground. I personally wanted to go higher but needed it fairly low since the kids often collect the eggs. But is seems one should make the roosts higher than the nesting box.
  3. Judy

    Judy Crowing Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Quote:They'll also need a ramp (or shelves or boxes to hop up/down on) if there is not a good amount of horizontal space for them to sort of fly or flap down safely.

    You could mount the nest boxes just high enough that they can walk under them, to increase effective square footage on the floor, them make the roosts just a bit higher than the nest box tops. Just depends on your arrangement. You can also mount the roost above the nest boxes, and use the top of the nest boxes as a poop board as well as a hopping up place. Look at this arrangement:


    I've always liked that use of space, with roost, poop board and nest boxes one on top of the other, freeing up lots of floor space.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 31, 2010
  4. jafo

    jafo Songster

    May 2, 2009
    Hello! What we did is go by "the book" Storey's guide to raising chickens" . Nesting boxes should be about 16 inches square, divided with a "ceiling" and about 18 inches off the floor with a "walking rail out in front of them. Our roosts are above the "poop" board, which is also 24 inches off the floor, then I have two roosts, one 18 inches above the poop board towards the back, then the next is 24 inches above that one towards the front. I used 2x3's set with the wide side up. Chickens like to be "high" when they roost. heat rises, each hen gives off about 5 watts of heat energy. All in all they're pretty happy in thier 6x8 coop, external nesting boxes. Pics on our site.
  5. annaraven

    annaraven Born this way

    Apr 15, 2010
    SillyCon Valley
    I keep hearing that chickens like to be "high" but 18 or 24 inches isn't high. So, I find that confusing. I also know that my girls can fly/hop up a couple feet easily, cuz I've seen them do that to sit on the top of the bench we have outside.

    The shed is 5'x10'. The roosts would be across the 5' width, so there's a fair amount of horizontal space in the shed.
  6. annaraven

    annaraven Born this way

    Apr 15, 2010
    SillyCon Valley
    Oh. I see - 18" above the poop board which is at 24". So the lower one is about 3 1/2 feet off the ground. Okay, that makes more sense.
  7. My roost are as high as my nesting boxs and they sleep in both about 3 foot off the ground I think

    Hope this helps

  8. gsim

    gsim Songster

    Jun 18, 2009
    East Tennessee
    Quote:I have my nests at 24" ht and roosts at 48" ht. I would not want mine too near the rafters. Harder to keep the coop clean if they roost anywhere but the roosts as those are directly over 24" deep poop boards. Another thing is that you do not want them roosting too near the roof in summertime because of the heat buildup there. I would go for roosts at 36" and nests at 24" and open tops to those like mine are. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2011

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