Roost placement in small coop?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by impius, Jan 5, 2016.

  1. impius

    impius New Egg

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    Hi all, I'm new to keeping chickens and trying to learn and do things the right way before I get my chicks. I am building a chicken tractor where the coop is 4'x4'x4'. I am reading conflicting info on roost placement in the coop. I am thinking I should do two roost spanning the 4 feet. My questions are:

    1. at what height (from the coop floor) should the roosts be? Can chickens jump/fly to a higher roost in such a small space?

    2. Should both roost be at different heights or is same height acceptable, if same height is ok, could reaching the height be a problem?

    3. Is it acceptable to make the roost perpendicular rather than parallel? Benefit of one over the other?

    4. Am I over thinking this?[​IMG]


    Thank you!
     
  2. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No, you're not over thinking at all. Proper roost placement will help ensure your birds are happy and healthy.

    Your coop is big enough for about 3 standard size hens so a single roost that spans the full 4 foot width will do. Place it higher than the nest box and out of the direct path of any vents and you should be good. A 2x4 placed wide side up makes a fine roost for standard sized hens.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2016
  3. impius

    impius New Egg

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    Thanks, I thought the general rule of thumb was 4 square feet per hen? If that is the case couldn't I fit 4? I see some folks say 2 square feet per hen if they free range. The run on the tractor is 40 square feet.

    Thanks again.
     
  4. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    Only if those 4 are medium sized, Leghorn type breeds. Dual-purpose brown layers are bigger, and therefore need a bit more room.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2016
  5. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I assumed the 4x4x4 dimension included the nest box area. Nesting area shouldn't be included when measuring square footage. If a feeder and waterer are taking up space inside the coop that further reduces available square footage.
     
  6. impius

    impius New Egg

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    Oh ok, I would be going with a small or medium breed. If I have 4 small/medium hens, how does that impact my original roost questions?
    Thanks
     
  7. impius

    impius New Egg

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    Sorry, nesting boxes, water and feeder do not take up space in the 16 square feet.
     
  8. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    You need about a foot of roost space per bird. A little breathing room in between birds for hot summer nights is always a good idea.
     
  9. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What is the layout of your 4x4 area? Is the birds' access to the coop through the floor or through a wall?

    If you follow the recommended placement of roosts at least 1 foot from the wall that will allow a 2 foot space for them to jump up to and off of the roosts. I wouldn't go any closer than that. As for height? That depends on vent and nest box placement.

    Pics would be helpful.
     
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    What is your climate?
    That can have an impact....but really, 4sqft per bird is a bare minimum in my experience.

    ETA: TalkALittle makes a good point....
    ....you might be able to fit 2 roosts in there but then they wouldn't have room to get up and down from them.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2016

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