Roost questions

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by DottieMarie, Jun 23, 2008.

  1. DottieMarie

    DottieMarie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 6, 2008
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    More newbie questions....
    We're ready to add the roosts and have some questions:

    1) How high from the floor should the 1st rung be?
    2) How much distance inbetween rungs (vertically and horizontally)?
    3) How high should the highest rung be?

    We have RIR's, Buff Orp., Isa Browns and Barred Rocks

    Thanks (again) for your help.

    Lisa
     
  2. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

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    Feb 4, 2007
    Leesville, SC
    Ahh the ever popular roost question.
    We have RIR's, Buff Orp., Isa Browns and Barred Rocks

    You have what can be called intermediate breeds. Not the largest not the smallest.


    1) How high from the floor should the 1st rung be?
    12-24"
    Unless you give a ladder for them to climb to the roosts, the trip down is the hardest. Larger breeds cant develop enough braking power with their wings in the coop and so they sometimes hit hard when they jump down from too-high roosts. This is exacerbated by wing clipping.
    The 'controlled crash' that ensues is hard on their legs and joints.
    I give them a gangplank and put roosts and nests on the same level to encourage them to nest as early as possible, and so make fewer trips.

    2) How much distance in between rungs (vertically and horizontally)?
    12-18"
    Consider a chicken as taking up 12 cubic inches of volume, minimum.

    3) How high should the highest rung be?
    As high as you like.
    Chickens naturally try to "go up". Some will roost at the ceiling if you let them.

    The idea is to give them a safe place to sleep off the ground, inside and protected.
    The other concern is controlling their droppings. Yes, they poo when they sleep!
    So keep your roosts as compact as possible, allowing 10-12" of horizontal space per bird and 12-18" vertically. If possible keep the roosts on the same plane so the birds dont poop on any hapless flockmates below. If you do stack them, do so directly atop each other or far enough apart so they dont crap on each others head.
    Finally, use dropping boards or a dropping pit beneath the roosts, covered with wire to keep the birds out of their own feces and clean out regularly.

    PS Later on this year, Im going to suspend a dropping water trough under the roosts. The poo will fall in the water and I will open a valve to drain the PooTea to a bucket. At least, thats the theory....​
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 23, 2008
  3. DottieMarie

    DottieMarie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 6, 2008
    South East MI
    Elderoo, Thanks so much for the reply. I've read many of your replies before and always find your information helpful. I had thought that the birds I choose were considered large, it's good to know otherwise. I also didn't know about putting wire over the poop boards but now that I do, it will done.
    You'll have to let us know how the septic system works once you get the bugs out; why not attach the drain to some pvc and it into the ground with some pea gravel? (unless you're composting)
     
  4. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

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    Thanks for the kind words [​IMG]

    I had thought that the birds I choose were considered large, it's good to know otherwise.

    They aren't the largest; they're close, but not quite there. The Jersey Giants and some of the Asian class exceed yours. But yours aren't small either, and are some of the largest you'll find in common use. For this reason, most people call them "heavies."

    I also didn't know about putting wire over the poop boards but now that I do, it will done.

    It's best to do so, unless you suspend the boards close under the roosts, say, 3" or so below the roosts themselves. The aim is to keep the chickens off of them. Chickens, for all their good points, have horrid toilet habits.

    You'll have to let us know how the septic system works once you get the bugs out; why not attach the drain to some pvc and it into the ground with some pea gravel? (unless you're composting)

    I'll do that. The plan is to capture the PooTea and use it in the garden and on the plants. The septic system should pre-digest and dilute the PooTea, so it is essentially ready to use. We'll see.​
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 24, 2008
  5. 2manyhats

    2manyhats Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 18, 2008
    Central NY
    Keep us posted. That could solve both the what to do with the poo problem and the free, but not too hot fertilizer problem.
     
  6. clarkestep

    clarkestep Chillin' With My Peeps

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    N Metro Atlanta
    Quote:LOL All I could think of was that fancy auto water I saw on here. You could make your trough deep enough to add toilet innereds and you could just flush it straight into your garden!

    BTW great info about the roosts! I also had some of the same questions!
     
  7. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

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    Not a bad concept really. I keep the chickens near the garden space so they can participate, in their own way.
    It would be easier than toting buckets of PooTea.
     

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