1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Roost vs. shelf

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by TheCooper, Sep 14, 2015.

  1. TheCooper

    TheCooper Out Of The Brooder

    25
    1
    24
    Jun 8, 2015
    I have a small coop made out of scrap materials, and there was a measurement problem with one of the roosts my husband made. So we temporarilly put a shelf up top and mounted another roost across a corner. The shelf allows a vantage point out the only window in the coop.

    We're in Pennsylvania, where it gets pretty cold. Should we make the shelf permanent? Or replace it with a second round bar roost?
     
  2. chickmomma03

    chickmomma03 Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,097
    92
    128
    Aug 8, 2015
    North Carolina
    I'm in NC, I built mine using a lot of scrap materials. Mine has 2 windows (with screens) and 2 nesting shelves. They sleep on it all night, a couple like to roost on the ladder at least for a while before getting up on the top shelf with the rest of them. I think it's a personal decision. I underestimated material need for mine. I ended up with a 4x8x6 when I wanted a 8x8x6 (didn't have enough supplies, so I plan to build on, but what I have is enough for the amount I have right now)
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2015
  3. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

    12,424
    4,569
    408
    Feb 25, 2014
    Northwestern Wyoming
    My Coop
    If you're in Pennsylvania your chickens will appreciate being able to sleep while sitting on their feet to keep them warm. Round poles force them to curl their feet around to hold on, which exposes every toe. Is there any way you could replace the pole with a 2x4, cut to size and placed wide side up? The shelf would work for this but it will collect poop big time, since they poop a whole lot when they sleep. Also if the shelf is really close to the window you might be concerned about direct drafts on them.
     
  4. TheCooper

    TheCooper Out Of The Brooder

    25
    1
    24
    Jun 8, 2015
    Mine is a sort of chicken tower -- it's 4X4X10. My husband designed it with a hatch down to a compost/scratching pit (completely enclosed with hardware cloth that's buried) for those days when they can't go outside, and then the coop is elevated over top. I wanted a bit more room, but we're constructing our run next, and it should give them 40' X 8' or so of protected space to go out in. As it is, right now he comes from for lunch and lets them out to roam free range in the afternoons.
     
  5. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

    12,424
    4,569
    408
    Feb 25, 2014
    Northwestern Wyoming
    My Coop
    I'm a nice lady, but I ain't always the brightest crayon in the box. [​IMG] I'm having a hard time visualizing what you are describing. Do you maybe have some photos you could share so we can help you a little better? 'Course, that being said, I just know someone will pop in and know immediately what you are saying, but I'm SUCH a visual learner.....
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. TheCooper

    TheCooper Out Of The Brooder

    25
    1
    24
    Jun 8, 2015
    Ok, here goes...and as I look at this, I realize I'm overstating the dimensions. I don't have a shot with the roosts in, unfortunately.

    The outside:
    [​IMG]

    The inside, no roosts. Also, note that the hatch is now about half that size with a plank for the chickens to walk down to their scratching pad. The shelf runs just under the window across the far end, and the roost is diagonal at about 15' off the ground in the left corner.

    [​IMG]

    The outside showing the chicken egress door -- for some weird reason my husband mounted this backward, and so it'll be reversed.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2015
  7. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

    12,424
    4,569
    408
    Feb 25, 2014
    Northwestern Wyoming
    My Coop
    Thanks for posting those so quickly. Boy, I'm not sure how to advise you on this one. It does look like you'd be able to use a 2X4 for a roost and maybe covert the shelf right under it into a poop board by putting a lip on it and adding Sweet PDZ. But I think some one with a lot more experience than I have would be far better able to help you make the coop work the best for you. Where will your nest boxes be and how many chickens do you plan to have?
     
  8. TheCooper

    TheCooper Out Of The Brooder

    25
    1
    24
    Jun 8, 2015
    According to what I've been reading, I only need one per four chickens -- does that sound right? I thought I'd put that in the lower right. I only plan to have four -- that seems like a good, manageable number.
     
  9. TheCooper

    TheCooper Out Of The Brooder

    25
    1
    24
    Jun 8, 2015
    (I know it looks like we took all summer to do very little, but the trellis and underdeck roofing were part of the coop construction.)
     
  10. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

    12,424
    4,569
    408
    Feb 25, 2014
    Northwestern Wyoming
    My Coop
    Yep, chickens are pretty easy when it comes to setting up nesting boxes. I have 28 chickens and 6 boxes, and they still generally use the same 4 every time, waiting in line if they have to. Silly chickens! Having your nest lower than your roosts is always, always best, so good thinking there. You'll also want to put a slanted cover of some kind over the nest box to prevent them from roosting (and pooping) on top of it.

    If I'm reading and looking at the photos right, the opening in the floor is so they have access to the lower part where you have a scratching pad. Not sure how those work, but you do and that's all that counts. [​IMG] It sounds like the coop will just primarily be for sleeping and laying eggs, which is what many of us do, relying on the run for outside time when they aren't free ranging. I see why you want to use a roost rather than the shelf...I just worry that you said the roost was 15' up from the ground, (not from the floor of the coop, of course) and you have to remember that they'll want to fly on and off. The walls are really close no matter where you set up the roost, so that means that your only option for them to get up there is some kind of roost ladder. Otherwise when they try to fly down, they're going to hit the hard wood surface of the floor or the opposite wall. You'll also want the roost to be at least a foot from the wall - they like some space there for turning, and they don't like to bump into the wall in the process. Those are the things that I'm just not sure you are going to be able to work in. Between trying to keep the roost far enough from the wall, with enough space for them get up and down (and perhaps a ladder), trying to keep them from pooping on the nest box, and leaving that opening in the center, I just don't see how it will all come together. You may well end up using the shelf for roosting, but that would put your nest higher than the area where they'll roost.

    Boy, this one is a head scratcher....now, that doesn't mean that I've given up. I just have to ponder it for a while and in the meantime maybe someone with more smarts than me can make some viable suggestions.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by