Roost pole positions

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by bird_is_the_word, Mar 6, 2011.

  1. bird_is_the_word

    bird_is_the_word In the Brooder

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    Jan 13, 2011
    In the hills of WNC
    I'm trying to wrap a few things up with the coop before the ladies can occupy it and I'm wondering about roost pole placement. I have a bit of a dilemma. The dilemma is that I'm losing some real estate on the inside that I think I'll need for food and water. Here's the basic floor plan.

    [​IMG]

    You can see that the food and water need to be accessible but I don't want to put the roost above it because of the obvious reason. So here is my idea.

    [​IMG]

    the green will be a modified ladder that is hinged at the top to aid in cleaning. The reverse ladder at the bottom will allow for more floor space inside when they go to feed and drink. My question is how far away from the wall do I need to put the top roost? And to tag onto that, how far out do I need to put the next roost pole below it? I don't want the birds pooping on each other but I want to maximize floor space.

    Other information is we will have Barred Rocks and Polish birds. If that matters. Thanks.
     
  2. Nostalchic

    Nostalchic Songster

    You probably want your roosts 16-18 inches from the wall - that way their tail feathers won't hit the wall, which can cause some damage to the tails, but probably also uncomfortable for the chickens - though I've noticed that when they roost, they have their tails in a relaxed, neutral to downward position. But I initially had my roosts about 1 foot from the wall, and moved them out a little after a while and everyone seems comfortable. And another little aside: I had ladders up to the roosts and to the upper level nests originally. But I found that 1) my hens had no trouble getting up to the roosts (which are 3 1/2 feet) without the ladders, and 2) my hens had no trouble getting to the upper nests which are 3 feet above ground level, and that the ladders were just taking up space and collecting chicken poo that needed to be cleaned off, so I took them out. No one misses them (including me). Depending on your breed of chickens, and the dimensions of your coop - not sure I'm understanding your graphic - you might not need to worry about the ladder. If your roosts aren't too high, forget about the ladder, it does take up a lot of floor space.
     
  3. bird_is_the_word

    bird_is_the_word In the Brooder

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    Jan 13, 2011
    In the hills of WNC
    the first graphic is from overhead. the second is from the side. because I don't want to extend the roost pole all the way across I figured my modified ladder idea would work.
     
  4. bird_is_the_word

    bird_is_the_word In the Brooder

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    Jan 13, 2011
    In the hills of WNC
    bump for the day crowd
     
  5. Newbie in Screamer Al

    Newbie in Screamer Al Chirping

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    Jan 11, 2011
    Do you have the height above the boxes to set your roosts? I did it that way to save floor plan, and put up 1 ladder that will take em to the roosts that run in front of my boxes, and another ladder that runs to the boxs. My roosts run all 3 sides of the coop, and the boxes are across 2 sides. Poop boards between the boxes and roots. Here is what we did. Hope it helps. [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Ontario, Canada
    Your best bet, if the height of the coop allows it, would be to stack something. Put the feeder/waterer underneath the nestboxes; put the nestboxes underneath the roost; put the feeder/waterer underneath a droppings board underneath the roost. Any of those woudl work fine (height permitting).

    Also, you could gain some space by designing a wall-mounted feeder.

    I would not put a roost closer than 12" from the wall for average large-fowl breeds, and really further than that is alot better (for their comfort, for their tailfeathers, and for minimizing the amount of poo that gets plastered onto the wall)

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  7. bird_is_the_word

    bird_is_the_word In the Brooder

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    Jan 13, 2011
    In the hills of WNC
    good ideas, thanks [​IMG]

    The poop boards seem to be the most practical because my nest boxes are 4 1/2" off the floor and cannot be moved. the water and feed are the larger containers you get from Tractor Supply. That's whay I had to give them a wide berth. Plus I don't want the birds poo'ing out the window I made for them.

    You guys have given me some good ideas but I have one last question. My vents are near the top of the walls (see below). Would it be best to keep the birds below this or does it matter based on the vent design? Thanks

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  8. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Are those two rectangular vents your only vents? (I am concerned they may not be enough, even in wintertime, especially with that metal grille over them which further reduces vent size and airflow)

    It really does not matter where the chickens are w/r/t the vents in summertime. In wintertime in a small coop you want the roost as far from the open vent as possible (you will almost certainly need to close the upwind-side vent(s)).

    Pat
     
  9. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    BTW in a small coop where you are feeling pinched for space it really IS worthwhile designing a wall-mounted feeder. Basically just a flat box attached to the wall, with its bottom sitting in a tray that the feed comes out and sits in. There are lots of DIY examples on this forum.

    Pat
     
  10. ams3651

    ams3651 Songster

    Jan 23, 2008
    NE PA
    just a suggestion, for my first roost i used those "L" shaped shelf brackets and attached a 1x3 to the end. The long ones are over a foot from the wall, they all seem comfortable and there is no used up floor space beneath. Not sure how many chickens you are planning on having, if one roost would be enough. The phot was when they were still young, the roost was low and only 1/2 the shed was in use temporairly, the roost has since moved up and actually they prefer to now roost on top the center wall.

    [​IMG]

    I wanted to add a photo of my feeder as well because it only takes up about 5 inches from the wall, 3' long is plenty big enough for 10 birds
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2011

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