Quick question about night time roosting

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
Nov 27, 2012
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so 7 are roosting together at night. The coop is 5' X 6'.
Kinda small.
Need 12" of roost length for each bird.....looks like roost is only 5-6' long, which might be OK since it's low(they don't need to fly up). But roosts should also be higher than nests(to avoid nest sleeping and the resultant poopy nests), and if the run roost is higher that's one reason they are choosing it.

Where are you going to fit the 8th bird and her offspring?

"Outside" for me is in the hopefully predator proof
Is it also weather(rain, wind, snow) proof?
 
Jul 28, 2020
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We have had our chickens outside since late May-ish. We would lock them in the coop overnight but as the summer got warmer they started roosting outside in their run. Well now it's getting cold, sometimes freezing, and they are still staying outside. Do I need to put the light on in the coop to intice them in like when they were younger? In the beginning we left the light on until we closed up. If we turned it off before then they didn't go to roost on their own. Of course that changed as they aged but I'm now wondering if we are dealing with the same issue again since they've slept outside for 1/2 their lives now. Thoughts?
My chickens got used to being out in their run too. In the winter they stay out there and their feathers freeze! I took out the roost from the run and put them inside every night. After that they just started sleeping inside.:D
 

Abriana

Spicy Sugar Cookie
Apr 26, 2017
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"Outside" for me is in the hopefully predator proof 🤞🤞 run that is attached to the coop. We still lock up the whole run/coop area at night and just leave the small door into their coop open. Heck no would they be sleeping outside in trees!! I'd have everyone out there with sticks poking and prodding them too😂
Oh, well that's good! I know lots of people let them sleep outside outside in trees and they're okay, but I'm waayy too nervous! :lol:
 

mviera101

Songster
Jul 17, 2019
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S. Fla
I'm just throwing this out there, mine have roosted on 1 1/4 dowel rods where they can wrap their feet around ,not flat boards?
 

bhawk-23

Chirping
Apr 12, 2020
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East Central Illinois (Urbana, IL)
Thank you all for the replies!

@aart
We have two roosts, 4' each. One is lower for the larger birds. When we researched we had read that they should have lower roosts for jumping off. This is our first time and wanted to cover basics but we are definitely learning as we go. Lol
Our coop is 5' X 6' square which is 30 sq ft. When you say it is not enough room for 8 birds are you referring to the actual coop or the roosts?
The run has a full metal roof with overhangs, privacy fence runs along the back, tree cover on top and we will put up clear tarp when it gets below freezing more often. We have not had issues with dampness or rain getting in as of yet.
As for mama and chicks.....she will go back in with her flock and we have homes lined up for the pullets. This was important as we do not have the room for more hens so we wanted the logistics figured out before letting her hatch. If we cannot find homes for the roosters (which is the assumption but we will still try) then they will become some yummy bone broth. We found some local chicken tenders that can help or will do the dispatching for payment of keeping a couple for themselves. When the time comes I'm not trusting myself to be able to do the deed. Lol

I am really wanting to get more done on the inside of their coop. Change roosts around as we were figuring out what they liked and didn't when they were actually roosting inside. So far no issue of sleeping in the nest boxes, they just use them for laying. I would really like to hear some ideas on how to make it more accommodating for our ladies!
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
Nov 27, 2012
88,094
106,880
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SW Michigan
My Coop
When you say it is not enough room for 8 birds are you referring to the actual coop or the roosts?
Since you have a weather and hopefully predator proof run,
then mostly the roost lengths...and maybe heights.
If they have been roosting in the run all that time,
they are telling you they prefer that location.
Could be due to space and/or ventilation in coop.
 

bhawk-23

Chirping
Apr 12, 2020
127
75
76
East Central Illinois (Urbana, IL)
Since you have a weather and hopefully predator proof run,
then mostly the roost lengths...and maybe heights.
If they have been roosting in the run all that time,
they are telling you they prefer that location.
Could be due to space and/or ventilation in coop.
When we designed and built the coop/run we took the specs off here. Minimum 10 sq ft per chicken in the run and 4 sq ft per chicken in coop. We did only end up with 3.75 sq ft per chicken in the coop though they free range in the day and have access to the run 24/7. Ventilation was also based off specs from BYC.

Side note: This forum/website is amazing for all things chickens!!!

The hardware cloth is hung from top to bottom and extended 2 ft out the entire perimeter and used in ventilation areas also. We are privacy fenced all around and have dogs that frequently go out. We have not had signs of activity in our yard but we still actively watch knowing this may not always be the case.

I think we will hang the roosts they prefer inside the coop, in the same positioning as outside and higher than current 2X4 roosts, and then place different branches in the run maybe this will entice them inside?
 

bhawk-23

Chirping
Apr 12, 2020
127
75
76
East Central Illinois (Urbana, IL)
So we added the higher more natural roosts and I put a light on. They still chose to roost outside. I lifted them all in and shut the coop door. They are all roosting together on the 2X4's. Lol
They started roosting outside during a very humid heat wave and just stayed out for the summer so.... Maybe the opposite will hold true for the winter?
 

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