Roost Placement

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by sierranomad, Feb 22, 2015.

  1. sierranomad

    sierranomad Chirping

    Feb 2, 2015
    Mokelumne Hill, CA

    I've not had to ask quesitons much becuase most seem to have been answered already. And while I found many threads on roosts, haven't found anlything dealing with my question.

    I want to put my roost as high as I can, but don't know how much space there needs to be above the roost (distance from roost to ceiling)?

    Also, I have a "second story" in my coop. How high can the birds hop and or fly to the roost from the second story, or is the space too confined for them to fly at all? (inner coop space is 3' x 4').

    Thank you,

    Last edited: Feb 22, 2015
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    You’d be amazed at how well they can get up high, either flying or just hopping. There is no clear answer to your question. It depends some on your chickens and some on the actual layout. If they have enough intermediate steps they can get quite high. They can also jump/fly a lot higher than many people give them credit for but in your coop they won’t have much room to spread their wings and fly, even if they are bantam.

    Can I convince you to put the roost as low as you reasonably can instead of as high as you possibly can? The higher the roost the more clear room they need to land when they get down without hitting something and possibly injuring themselves. Mine prefer to fly down instead of hop down from level to level but you may see a difference in your tiny coop.

    My suggestion for determining the height of the roost is to determine the height of the floor after bedding is in, then position anything else you are putting in there, usually nests, then make the roosts noticeably higher than anything you don’t want them roosting on or in. In a 3’ x 4’ coop I don’t see how you can put a nest inside and give them any clear landing room.

    Personally I think you are making a mistake putting the roost as high as you possibly can, but you need some ventilation over their heads when they are roosting to get rid of bad air. Ammonia is lighter than air and rises to the highest point. Their poop produces ammonia. You want that ammonia to escape instead of poisoning them. Also you do not want a breeze blowing on them in cold weather so the roost needs to be low enough below that ventilation to keep them out of a direct wind. That’s the determining factor to me, how can I keep them out of a direct breeze in cold weather yet provide ventilation.

    Chickens can and will squeeze into a real tight space to roost if they can get to it. How big the chicken is determines how much space that is.
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    I like so if a bird is a large rooster on the roost, he can stand tall and belt out a crow without hitting his head on the ceiling and tail and wings on the wall.

    Buildup of gasses can be released by having a vent at highest point of coop. Heat will be vented but more important to void ammonia, CO2 and moisture..
  4. sierranomad

    sierranomad Chirping

    Feb 2, 2015
    Mokelumne Hill, CA
    Thank you both.

    Glad that I asked. I'll put the roost lower rather than highest possible. The second story is 20" above the ground with a ladder leading to it from ground level. OK to put the roost 6" above the 2nd floor? The second floor is only 30" x 30" so the roost would be 26" above ground.

    They will be Black Australorps.
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2015
  5. cfack

    cfack In the Brooder

    Feb 20, 2015
    Springville Utah
    My roosts are 10.5 inches above the floor of the coop without bedding. I have RIR's I hope this isn't too low for them? I hope they can walk beneath it. I guess they can hop from roost to roost to get to the ramp and out of the coop They have like '20 inches of space from roost to ceiling. My chicks are 4 days old and in a brooder
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2015
  6. ECBW

    ECBW Songster

    Apr 12, 2011
    My nests are 18" high, the first roost is 24" and two more roosts at 30". They are about 20" to the peak of ceiling where there are gable vents.
  7. Mahlzeit

    Mahlzeit Songster

    Jul 16, 2007
    Long Island NY
    I have my roosts about 3 feet off the ground.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: