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roost system in need of revision

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by centrarchid, Oct 31, 2010.

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  1. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Two sub-flocks I have with heavily overlapping home ranges both roost at front of house.

    Gang-of-Four roost on plastic shelf under light of front porch where nocturnal avian predators do not like to approach when light comes on. Master bedroom window immidiately to left of porch.
    [​IMG]

    The Cackles presently roost on ground in a plastic tub.
    [​IMG]

    The Cackles are not as exposed one might think. Once the Cackles settle in for night, a cage made of 2" x 4" wire with a band if 1" chicken wire around based is placed over the tub.
    [​IMG]

    Another layer of protection is a vary large and aggressive ape, me. Anything that gets birds to making racket wakes me up. Bedroom window is always open. Neighbors dog does come onto front porch but for some reason ignores chickens.

    The Gang-of-Four will be allowed remain through next spring. The some of the Cackles will be convinced to adopt an elavated roost in a couple more weeks. The new roost will provide some protection from wind and precipitation and four legged predators owing to how it is supported. What is going to be a challenge is enabling chickens to get in and out of roost without having great horned owls taking same route to get in.
     
  2. Dixiedoodle

    Dixiedoodle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2007
    I would be petrified to have my birds in the open like that during the night time.. I hope they stay safe... Good luck
     
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Risk is reduced somewhat by having feeding stations well away from were birds stay the night. That is one of down sides of keeping birds in coops most of day. Some predators such as a racoons and oppossums likely attracted first by uneaten feed, especially table scraps, and then they start looking at the alternative.
     
  4. mstricer

    mstricer Overrun With Chickens

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    Just a little warning, I have or shall I say had a golden cuckoo Marans, that would not go in the coop at night I have 1 big and 3 small ones. She hung out with different groups of chickens, but would not go in any of the coops, she wanted to sleep in the willow right next to 2 small coops, I tried to carry her to the coop each evening for a week hoping she would get the hang of it and follow everyone in. I got busy Saturday night and forgot to see if she was in and after I came home from work Sunday, there she was under the willow with no head.
     
  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    I found some wooden pallets that may prove suitable for making elevated roost capabable of supporting about 2 dozen adult chickens. Four T-post were set such that the bottom pallet is roughly four feet off the ground. The other two pieces will serve as roof and two walls. Main purposes behind this; keep racoons and oppossums from climbing into, direct wind and rain from above and below as well as great horned owls from coming in. Dog will have access area below to hopefully detour most ground predators from investing to much effort into getting at chickens within. I hope this will provide cover during day if fox or coyote comes barrelling in for snatch-grab-run (aka drive through). If birds can get up a little, may buy time for dog to get involved.

    Front aspect.
    [​IMG]

    Side aspect.
    [​IMG]


    Bottom aspect showing were birds will hopefully fly up and into at dusk.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2010
  6. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Tonight I moved the Cackles from tub on ground to the wooden contraption shown on previous post. Interesting observations to report. Before starting a second, identical, tub was placed next to one chicks were using. Then I picked the tub with chicks and carried to new roost and placed it inside. As I carried the tub a few chicks fell out, too full. Those chicks promptly went to second tub and entered it. Did not have to chase, simply carried second tub to new roost with balance of chicks. A couple more chicks fell out of roost. Instead of going back to original location of tub, they started trying to fly up to new roost! They had never been there before. They were homing in on twitters of flock mates still in the tubs within the new roost.
     
  7. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Efforts of previous post did not work unless I waited till dark to move. I have found chicks will follow tubs if moved about 15 feet each day. Total distance to be moved over 100 feet. Almost there now.


    [​IMG]
     
  8. allison finch

    allison finch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I can't believe raccoons have not decimated your hens. They can climb tall fences, will stand up to many dogs, and will rip the crap out of any hens they find. My coop is fort knox and they still killed one damaged another. You are very lucky....for now
     
  9. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    I scent mark and coons know the local big ape that scent marks (me) will chase them, even up trees in our pasture. If they want to stand up to me for a little hand to hand, then we will rumble. 30 pounds of racoon versus 275 of very nasty ape.

    Birds in question not hens yet, pullets and stags that have not begun to crow.
     
  10. rockinpaints

    rockinpaints Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I lock up 11 coops every night and unlock 11 coops every morning and am still afraid something is going to get them.........[​IMG]
     
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