Roost space - economy of scale?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Englishable, Apr 25, 2016.

  1. Englishable

    Englishable Out Of The Brooder

    44
    7
    34
    Apr 24, 2016
    UP of Michigan
    I just posted about my coop construction, which we just began, and I asked this question in that post but I'm hoping more people will see it or chime in if I separate it into its own post :)

    When it comes to roost/coop space, is there such a thing as economy of scale? What I mean is, if you only have 6 (large-breed) chickens, you'll of course want at least 24 sq ft of coop space and 6 linear feet of roost space, per recommendations. But what about when you start getting into more birds? Many more birds? If you have 75 or 100 chickens, do you really need a 400 sq ft coop and 100 linear feet of roost space?

    My coop will be around 350 sq ft. We are starting with 24 straight-run chicks, but in a couple years we may hatch some chickens for meat. They'll be free ranging all day during the summer, and then the meat chickens will be butchered before the snow falls. We'd have maybe a max of 50 laying hens in the winter. I feel like our coop is quite sizeable, but I'm really struggling figuring out how to get more roost space in it.

    If I have 100 chickens only in the summer, do I need 100 feet of roost space?
     
  2. Firekin1

    Firekin1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    445
    31
    96
    Apr 5, 2014
    Nova Scotia
    Pretty much...thats why many of us have staggered roosts. I have them set at 2 ft, 3ft, 4 ft, and 5ft...I have a 16ft wall that will accommodate roughly 60 chickens on roosts made from staggard 2x4's.
     
  3. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

    29,600
    17,674
    666
    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    Alas, the 1ft per chicken roost space is a minimum, and I would imagine that your meat birds will large, so I'd think that more space per bird would be appropriate. I have some dual purpose birds, and they are considerably larger than my regular layers, so i have more space (actually, i have to watch my chicken maths [​IMG]).

    CT
     
  4. Englishable

    Englishable Out Of The Brooder

    44
    7
    34
    Apr 24, 2016
    UP of Michigan
    I'm planning on having all/only Orpingtons - a dual purpose bird. I am hoping they will hatch their own chicks next spring, and that we can keep some for more layers and then butcher the others for meat.

    Firekin - any chance you have a photo of your roosts?

    They will also have access to all the trusses, though I'm not sure yet what height I'll have the roosts and the trusses may be too much of a jump from there for the chickens.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2016
  5. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

    6,031
    828
    336
    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    Orpington is a heavy breed. You don't want your roosts too high as they can get leg injuries. Enough distance and space to flap down and land would ease that but better to have lower roosts.
     
  6. Englishable

    Englishable Out Of The Brooder

    44
    7
    34
    Apr 24, 2016
    UP of Michigan
    The way I think I'll have the roosts set up, they'll have about 10 feet in front of the roosts before they'd hit a wall.
     
  7. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,584
    545
    179
    Dec 15, 2014
    Massachusetts
    I would think that with meat birds you would need more floor space than roost space. The meat birds I've seen have quickly gotten too large and awkward to roost and preferred the floor.
     
  8. Firekin1

    Firekin1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    445
    31
    96
    Apr 5, 2014
    Nova Scotia
    I have a mixed flock of medium and large birds, the majority dual purpose, but with meat birds like meat kings and such who are genetically made to grow real big real fast, I wouldn't suggest any roosts at all as they risk breaking legs and such due to their mass.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by