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roost height?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Sparky2726, Feb 20, 2011.

  1. Sparky2726

    Sparky2726 Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 19, 2011
    Hiwassee, VA
    I am in the middle of building my chicken coop, and need a little help. How high up is too high for the roost? My coop is 8'x14' and about 7' tall at the front (shed roof). My original plans where to put the roosts where they are above the windows to get them out of the direct airflow. This would put them about 5 foot or so up. Is this too tall? Im gonna be keeping RIR and Dominiques in this coop.

    Lee Ratcliff
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    I would put a chicken ladder in for them if I put one that high, or a ladder type roost. Too easy to get leg injuries coming down, or fly into the wall trying to fly down. I'm not sure large fowl could fly that high, either, at least easily. Mine is 30" which seems to be a good height for large fowl according to the research I did at the time.

    Where are you? You may want the breeze on them in summer. If there is enough ventilation at the highest part of the coop, you can close the windows in the winter. It would be ideal to have a ventilation opening at the 7' point.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=1642-VENTILATION
     
  3. Sparky2726

    Sparky2726 Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 19, 2011
    Hiwassee, VA
    Ok, that actually answered a lot of questions, and made things easier on me to be honest. The tail-ends of the rafters stick out on the front and back to make an overhang. I think I will just leave the space between then open, and screen it to keep out wild birds and the like. That would make for about a 4 inch gap the full length of the coop front and back. Think that would be sufficient?

    Lee
     
  4. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Quote:Great - I hoped it would work this way. That's essentially what I do.

    One thing, though. Hardware cloth would be lots more predator proof than window screen.

    Good luck with your flock!
     
  5. Sparky2726

    Sparky2726 Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 19, 2011
    Hiwassee, VA
    Hardware cloth was what I had in mind when I said screen. Probably 1/2"

    Where in South GA are you? We have family just outside Atlanta, and in Adel (Cook Co)

    Lee Ratcliff
     
  6. yelim

    yelim Chillin' With My Peeps

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  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    I agree with DDawn. That's about what I do, put hardware cloth between the rafters on two sides and left a cut-out on the other two sides, also covered in hardware cloth. Just have an overhang to keep the rain out.

    On roost height, I suggest as low as you can get it yet make sure it is higher than anything else you don't want them to roost on. Mine are about 4 feet, by the way, and I have similar sized chickens as yours.

    Chickens can hurt themselves jumping down, the bigger the chicken, the more the risk. That does not mean they hurt themselves very often. When mine hop down, they spread their wings and flap to slow their descent. It is not that you absolutely have to have them low. I just consider it good practice.

    Another issue is that the higher they are, the more horizontal clear room they need to fly down. Chickens, especially big chickens, are not real graceful flyers. Mine have launched from those 4' high roosts, flown forward six feet, turned a 90 degree, flown out the door, and landed in the run, so they can fly, but they are just not graceful doing it. If they don't have plenty of room, they can hit walls, nest boxes, feeders, waterers, ot anything else. Again, just good practice more than anything else to try to keep them reasonably low.

    I would not worry about the window being open and a breeze on them in the summer, but keep that window closed and the roost below the vents up at the top. They will do fine.

    Mine will fly up four feet to get to the roost. My nest boxes are along a side wall and about three feet back from the roosts. Most of mine normally hop up to the top of the nest boxes, then hop over to the roosts, but some do fly straight up. With the roosts five feet, I would give them an intermediate step 2' to 3' high. In the morning, I'd be surprised to see them use an intermediate step down. Mine just hop/flap/fly straight to the ground.

    Good luck!!!
     
  8. FinsUp

    FinsUp Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 10, 2010
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    Yelim-



    How deep is your roost area? I am looking to change mine as the board is too narrow. However, I would have 4' to house 8 girls. I know that is not enough, but would 2 roosts like you have count for 8' total roosting space?
     

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