Roost Material

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

  1. audioguy

    audioguy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We are almost done with our coop and I have been reading about roost placement. Everything from roost placement to the height, etc.
    I plan to use some leftover schedule 40 PVC pipe I had in the garage. The outside diameter is 1.5 inches and after I fill it with sand and cap the ends, I think it will be pretty strong, at least to hold the 4 chicks.
    Is using a round material OK as a perch? Thinking they might slip off? But branches are round, although textured, they are essentially round. I would think their chicken feet should wrap around it?

    Since we are using the Purina design (modified for my use) that places the nest boxes at around 17" off the floor or 11" with bedding, would have me place the roosts at anywhere over that height. I can easily lower the nest boxes, thus lowering the roosts, or should I leave them high. I know about placing them higher than the nest boxes, but should I lower it all making the nest boxes lower. I guess I'm asking how low or high should the nest boxes be off the floor? I can then add the roost higher than them.

    Would a larger diameter work better, say 2" or 3". Or do I just use a 2X4 like everyone else? Might be over thinking it a bit??? [​IMG]
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    I don't think you are overthinkng it too much. You are just thinking, which is good.

    I would not use PVC for a couple of reasons. Mainly it is too slick for them to get a grip. Similar to metal, I'm not real comfortable with its insulation properties. What I mean hby that is that it could let their feet get cold in the winter.

    Round is OK. I use tree branches and they do fine on them. If you use a 2x4, I suggest you sand it to remove splinters and round the edges off so their feet can grip comfortably. Some people believe very strongly that you absolutely have to lay the 2x4 flat or it is a huge disaster, but many people do it either way and it works. You can help lower some people's blood pressure though if you say you will lay it flat. It won't hurt anything.

    The height of the nest box really does not matter to the chickens. Put it where it is most convenient to you. Something to consider. If they are too close to the floor and coop space is tight, they take away available coop space. But if you raise them to get more coop space, you need to leave plenty of space for the chickens to get under there over the height of the bedding. Chickens scratch a lot. They will most likely scratch extra bedding under the nest boxes so the bedding can build up under there. I know. I got mine too low and have to regularly clean out under them.

    Good luck!
     
  3. ECBW

    ECBW Chillin' With My Peeps

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    PVC pipe is too slippery and filling it with sand would only add weight, not strength!

    I use dimensional lumber in the coop and tree branches in the run. As you might be aware, store-bought 2x4 does not measure true 2 inches by 4 inches. Had gone with 2x4 slipt down the middle (1.75" x 1.75") and the birds liked it fine. I now am trying 2.5"w x 1.5"t and no problems. The span is 3 feet. Unless the span is wide, it does not have to be thick. Each bird only weights 6 to 7 pounds.
     
  4. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

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    My chicken book (Storey's) recommends a 2x2 with rounded off corners for chickens so they can grasp with their feet for stability. I'm always curious when people claim that chickens cannot grasp or prefer not to as I have yet to see that anywhere except BYC. My chicks seem to have no trouble at all grasping my fingers.

    Anyway, I'm using a dead oak tree for my roost -- it just happened to be a nice size and fairly straight. It's free, it's sturdy, and it looks nice. I hope the chickens love it.
     
  5. audioguy

    audioguy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I assumed the PVC would be too slick - oh well.
    2X4 ripped down the middle sounds like a good idea, and it should be strong enough to handle the weight of all 4 girls hanging at the same time.

    As for how high, it should be higher than the next boxes? It seems to be the consensus on the forum. I should only need one roost being the coop is 48" wide, I would think.

    Thanks
     
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Four feet is good for 4 hens. They will not take up all that room once they settle down but they can use that extra room for maneuvering to get next to their buddies and just having enough room to get there.

    The reason we recommend the roosts be higher than anything else is that most chickens instinctively want to roost on the highest thiing they can get to. They poop a lot while roosting. You don't want them sleeping and pooping in the nest boxes.
     
  7. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

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    In cold areas, I do like a wider perch, so the entire foot will be covered by their feathers when they roost. I think it does help prevent frost bite on toes, here. Wood is a warmer material for a perch in cold weather, too.
     

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