Roost height vs floor space in a small coop

Gabtods

Chirping
May 16, 2020
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In a small chicken coop, is it better to have roosts low to the ground ( like 6 inches), or get them a little higher ( at 1 or 2 ft) to optimize the floor space??

Also, would chickens have any problem going under a 1ft roost to get across the coop to their laying boxes?
If they have to go under/over roosts to get across the coop, is it better to make them low enough to hop over or higher so they can go under? Or does it even matter?
 
Higher, because if they're lower than/low as the nest boxes, it makes the nest boxes look more tempting to sleep in.

Chickens are pretty good at maneuvering around, so short of an obstacle course, they'll figure out a way to get to where they need to go.
Would I need to put ramps up to my roosts so that they don't hurt their feet hopping down? Or is putting the nest boxes near the ground the solution, so I can put the roosts a bit lower?
 
In a small chicken coop, is it better to have roosts low to the ground ( like 6 inches), or get them a little higher ( at 1 or 2 ft) to optimize the floor space??

It's important for the roosts to be higher than anything else you don't want them roosting on or in, like the nests. If you feed and water in the coop, consider those. If you have a storage space, consider that. If you have birds that can't fly, like Silkies, they need to be able to get to them. Consider the height of any bedding when determining heights. In your coop it will not matter for floor space.

Also, would chickens have any problem going under a 1ft roost to get across the coop to their laying boxes? If they have to go under/over roosts to get across the coop, is it better to make them low enough to hop over or higher so they can go under? Or does it even matter?

It does not matter.
 
I found that my big girls (Cochin and Brahma) like a lower roost, but 12 in is pretty low. They can hop up that high no prob, and they can go under, no prob, even though my Brahma is taller than my knee. If she doesn't wanna play limbo, she just goes over whatever us between her and her usually food related destination.

And I second that @aart is an expert!
 
Would I need to put ramps up to my roosts so that they don't hurt their feet hopping down? Or is putting the nest boxes near the ground the solution, so I can put the roosts a bit lower?

Ramps are generally not necessary but it depends on your breeds, height of roosts, etc. My roosts are roughly around 24" and 40", no ramps, they fly up and down. If you have birds that don't fly like Silkies or heavy birds, then having lower roosts is better (if they choose to roost at all).

Nest boxes can be almost as high or low as you want, but roosts should be higher - so if nests are floor height, your roosts can be as low as 1' off the floor and they should still want to use them.
 

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