Roosting bars

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Gwen, Dec 21, 2010.

  1. Gwen

    Gwen Songster

    Jun 18, 2009
    Langley, Washington
    How high off the ground can the lowest bar be? How much space between each bar is necessary? How many feet per chicken should one allow for roosting space?

  2. Knock Kneed Hen

    Knock Kneed Hen California Dream'in Chickens

    Feb 15, 2010
    So. Cal.
    I have mine at 36" off the ground, 12" per bird, 16" between roosts if they're side by side. I went 12" from the wall and have no issues.
    Myrth and Mylissa Conner like this.
  3. RIBill

    RIBill Chirping

    Nov 7, 2010
    In theory, inches above the litter. There was one coop I saw which actually had roosts 6" off the coop floor. They should be higher than the nest box to keep them from roosting in there. I think the advice I read in books said 15" between roosts. I also only have 12" between the roost and the wall. I've seen them roosting facing both directions with indifference, so I assume they don't care. Exceptionally large birds may have bigger needs. I only gave 10" per bird and they aren't too crowded.
  4. Desert Rooster

    Desert Rooster El Gallo Del Desierto

    Sep 4, 2010
    Hesperia, Ca
    i have mine at 4 feet off the ground, and they like it

  5. sharol

    sharol Songster

    Jun 13, 2010
    Admire, KS
    I have one at 28" (from the floor, about 18" from the surface of the litter) and another one 18" forward of the other one and another 24" higher. They are both 2x4's on their sides. My girls (all LF) all sleep on the upper roost. Silly me, I thought they might have trouble getting up there. I put a buffer of OSD between the end of the roost and the metal wall of the coop to keep them from freezing when they lean up against the side.

    This picture shows the lower roost. They hang out there during the day, the upper roost is just above the camera level and toward the camera. I've doubled the litter since the picture was taken.


    This shows both roosts and the buffer

    Last edited: Dec 21, 2010
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:They're not hard and fast numbers... it's a matter of "some things are better than other things, but chickens will adapt to a lot of different situations although it may affect the degree of social friction in the flock".

    How far off the ground: there is no minimum. Even if it is lying *on* the bedding, some chickens will still prefer a piece of 2x4 or whatever to just sitting on the bedding at night. (Others won't). I would suggest that ideally your lowest roost be either so low they can *easily* hop onto and over it, or high enough (like 18"+) that they can easily walk under it. But they will not curl up and die if that's not the case.

    How mcuh space between each bar: depends on how much you want them to fight (if bars are parallel) or poo on each other (if it's a ladder type configuration, which I *think* is what you have in mind here?). I would not go less than 18" horizontal separation if the space is available, but that is not to say that *some* flocks can't get along peaceably with less.

    You seem to be planning on a ladder-style tiered roost? That is not necessarily always the best arrangement in all coops, so make sure you've thought through the pros and cons of the alternatives.

    How much roosting space per chicken: I'd plan on 12" linear roost space per chicken for normal-sized breeds, but most of the time they will snuggle together and leave a lot of roost unoccupied. From a space-packing point of view, they only need 6-8" apiece. However it is really much wiser to have a generous amoutn of roost because it allows them to not get along with each other in peace, you know? As opposed to causing or exacerbating pecking problems.

    Good luck, have fun,

    homesteadforage likes this.
  7. chseeads

    chseeads Songster

    May 28, 2009
    Bloomington, Indiana
    My lowest one is somewhere around 3 feet high, and the highest is probably around 6 and a half feet.

    I can't remember offhand how far apart they're spaced going up..... Here's a pic.... [​IMG]


  8. FarmerJamie

    FarmerJamie Songster

    Mar 21, 2010

    thanks for posting this, looks like my girls, too.
  9. knjinnm

    knjinnm Songster

    Oct 5, 2010
    Sandia Park, NM
    Quote:WOW [​IMG]

    What's the poop load in your coop? How often are you raking the floor or do you use poop hammocks?


  10. chseeads

    chseeads Songster

    May 28, 2009
    Bloomington, Indiana
    Quote:It depends.... In the summer it doesn't pile up as bad as in the winter as they stay outside more - now in the winter, they hang out inside more...and are in there over night for longer since the nights are longer and stuff, plus, all the ducks are currently spending the night in there there's plenty of poop....

    I do a complete shovel out every few months, give or take depending.... I put down shavings on the floor when I clean it out (floor is concrete blocks) and eventually under the roosts gets completely poop covered.

    I just cleaned out the other half of the house, opposite the roosting end, yesterday. It was nasty from the wintertime situation and the ducks. lol Needs cleaned out under the roosts too, but the cleanout door on that end won't open all the way because the "doorstep" outside it is raised up from the freeze and won't let the door open all the way. lol

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