Roost and ramp questions

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by catchthewind, Mar 21, 2011.

  1. catchthewind

    catchthewind Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We are drawing a lot of inspiration for our coop from the last plans on this page: http://pubs.ext.vt.edu/2902/2902-1092/2902-1092.pdf I like the way they ahve the roost and nest boxes set up at the back under the loft. I think it would keep them warmer in the winter to have a little cozy area like that. I plan to put some sort of easy-to-clean poop boards under the roost.

    I have two questions. It will end up being about 2 feet off the ground, though we're going to try deep litter I think (debating between that or sand) so maybe even less than that. Do they need a ramp? I've read the ramp is more for getting down than up, but if we put a ramp on one side would the chickens on the opposite side actually bother to go over to it?

    Also, those plans have only one roost going across. Is there enough room over the nest box to put another roost above and behind that one so there's more roosting room? How far apart do two roosts need to be? If we made the nest boxes deeper to accomodate another roost will that be a problem?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    At 2 feet high, do they need a ramp? Not for adult chickens. If you are going to raise baby chicks in there, yes for the first week or two. You'd be surprised how fast baby chicks learn to fly up an couple of feet if Mama tells them to, but they would need a ramp the first little bit. Mine can fly up about 4 feet to get to my roost and mine are larger breeds. Two feet to the pop door would not be much of a hop for them. If you really wanted to, you could build them a perch in front of the pop door so they could land on that and just step through the pop door.

    I did not pay much attention to the dimensions of the roost in those plans. The rule of thumb is to put the roost 12" away from the wall and put the second roost a minimum of 12" horizontal from the first. The biggest problem in making the nest boxes deep enough for two roosts is getting in them to get the eggs. You don't need to make the nest boxes all that deep, just make the poop board wider, but you may be knocking your head on the poop board when reaching in to get the eggs.
     
  3. catchthewind

    catchthewind Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Okay, thanks so much! The roost in the plans is about a foot from the wall. Good point about the boxes being so deep it would be a pain to get eggs. Maybe I'll do some sort of removable poop board, and when I clean it each morning I could grab the eggs while it's off. Though it'd still have to be supported in case the chickens landed on the end, and that support could get in the way of getting the eggs anyway. Maybe back to the drawing board. I just don't feel that 8 feet of roost is enough for an 8x10' coop (which is what mine will be).
     

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