Roost bars and food/water in coop.

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by RebelChief, Dec 2, 2019.

  1. RebelChief

    RebelChief Songster

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    Good morning all. We are nearing the end of the coop construction and I will soon need to build and add the roost bars and poop deck :). I've read different options for the roost bars themselves and I am confused....round or not? 2x2, 2x4, 1 inch round dowels.... I am so confused. I live in a warm climate and winters are moderate (rare to reach freezing conditions). I just want to make sure that they have the best set up possible. The coop is long and narrow so I'm thinking of putting roost bars on either ends below the windows but above the egg boxes. Also do they need a ladder up to the roost bars or is that a nice to add extra?

    Since they have a run that is covered and enclosed do I need to put food/water in the coop? They will be out every day. I am building them a bulk chicken feeder and a couple water options in the run.

    Thank you in advance and very sorry if this is a redundant question.
     
  2. SueT

    SueT Crossing the Road

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    1" dowels are too skinny as are 2X2's. 2X4's, with the 4" side up are often used. I had big branches about 3" in diameter originally, and they liked that, but after a bout of mites in the coop, I replaced branches with 2X4's...as the bark might have harbored bugs.
    Whether they can fly up or not depends on how high the roosts are.
     
  3. SueT

    SueT Crossing the Road

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    As for food and water, I have it outside the coop, and remove all leftovers each evening so as to not attract mice and other varmints.
     
  4. RebelChief

    RebelChief Songster

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    SueT thank you. I was leaning towards the 2x4's. Thank you. I had read about the potential for mites so I was avoiding natural options..that and the only branches I really have access to are my fruit trees and some not very sturdy local pine trees.
     
  5. Mybackyardpeepers

    Mybackyardpeepers Crowing

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    Good morning. I agree with the above 2x4 roosting with the widest side for them to roost. I have my food and heated water bowls inside my coop but my flocks don't get out early enough during the winter.
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    My Coop
    1" are too small.
    2x2 is fine, as is 2x4.
    As to whether they'd need a ramp/ladder depends on the layout of your coop.
    Pics of coop and knowing how many birds would help :D
     
  7. Wee Farmer Sarah

    Wee Farmer Sarah Free Ranging

    I agree with @SueT. The 2x4's are a good size for roosting bars. As for ladders, that depends on how high off the floor the roost bars are. Anything over 18 inches tall might be a little much for an older well fed hen to hop up on. Mine seem to have more trouble getting down from the roost than getting on it. Good luck. Can't wait to see your chickens.
     
  8. LizzzyJo

    LizzzyJo Songster

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    Water and food inside vs out depends on the coop style. Is it a walk in or small henhouse style? For me- heated water in the henhouse in the winter would lead to frost bitten or dead birds, so they only have water outside. Sometimes in the summer doldrums I put a small waterer inside that they always manage to slosh it around! Food inside vs out depends on your mouse population and your water placement.
    No need for a ladder in a small henhouse. Often yes for a walk in for older birds if you have the space.
     
  9. SueT

    SueT Crossing the Road

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    I went out and measured roost heights in my coop. There are roosts along 3 sides of the coop. The heights are 26", 30", and 35". I have various breeds of chickens and all can easily fly up on any of those.
     
  10. Kris5902

    Kris5902 Free Ranging

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    I Agree with all the previous comments, but think it also depends on the individual chickens... I have some that prefer 2x4”’s flat, some that like 2x2”’s with the corners sanded down, lots of mine prefer the round natural branches... but I have to replace them with thicker ones as I made the too skinny mistake as well. My meat birds floor “roost” and would never think of jumping or using a ladder, they even have issues with ramps. I also have leghorn X’s That are perfectly happy to fly up 5’ or higher. Generally most of my girls think higher is better, but I stepped my roosting bars up like a ladder. So they mostly hop up one bar at a time.

    I also prefer to keep the food and water outside (varmints!) And secured at night. Only in extreme winds or cold, when the water is freezing up in a couple hours or the chickens are completely refusing to come out of their “coop” portion (I’m using tractors) do I move the feed and water inside temporarily. If you’re doing a bulk feeder, remember to critter proof it well. It is amazing how much feed a mouse can abscond with in just one night, and if you put out scratch or have something else, like dairy texture for a cow, open the little buggers high grade it! They will steal all the oats and corn first...
     

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