Roosting material?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by wortgames, Oct 21, 2007.

  1. wortgames

    wortgames Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 20, 2007
    Melbourne, Australia
    Hi everyone, we've just moved into a house with a big chicken coop out back, and are now parents to 3 big brown layers from the local egg farm.

    We're still playing games each night to get them into the inner sanctum of the roost, which is a bit run down so I want to rebuild it.

    My question is, what do they seem to like best to roost on? I guess the obvious choices would be dowel, plastic pipe, real tree branches or timber slats, but what do they generally prefer and what sort of diameter/width should it be? Also, do they like to roost on the same level or should we provide multiple levels? (Nothing's too good for our breakfast makers...)

    We found them roosting on the 5 foot slat fence last night, thankfully they didn't decide to check out the neighbour's yard but they obviously weren't too uncomfortable even on the relatively sharp edge of the vertical slats.

    We may get a couple more birds in the future too but there's plenty of room.
     
  2. Poison Ivy

    Poison Ivy Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2007
    Naples, Florida
    I use 2x4's and mine all roost on the top board.
     
  3. K8tieCat

    K8tieCat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 15, 2007
    Northern California
    Depending on whether your birds are standard of bantam, they might prefer a 2x4" on its flat side so they can lay on it at night and keep their feet warm. If the edges are sharp, they can be sanded down a bit to be smooth. Here is a photo of what I did for my girls:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I call it the poo park. The top lifts up to add shavings and deodorizer, and the sides drop down to clean it all out when needed.

    Have fun with your new children. They are a lot of fun.
     
  4. TxChiknRanchers

    TxChiknRanchers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 18, 2007
    Southeast Texas
    I agree with what has been said and the higher the better within reason just do not put one under another one, stagger them kinda like a ladder or stair. Would not recommend plastic pipe without some sort of rough covering to make holding on easier

    Oh and that looks like a nice set up K8tiecat
     
  5. wortgames

    wortgames Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 20, 2007
    Melbourne, Australia
    Thanks folks - so they do generally prefer to sit on a flattish surface? I guess that makes sense but I wondered if they might like to actually get their claws around something more branch-like.

    2x4's I can certainly do [​IMG]

    Thanks for the pics k8tiecat, I might be tempted to build them something like that too. I can foresee many hours of amateur carpentry ahead...
     
  6. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    spring hill, florida
    I bought 2x2's at home depot, and filed the edges dull. They like it. I also have flat table spots where they can go too.
     
  7. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Flat or very slightly rounded, but fairly wide, is better than round because chickens do not grip with their rear toe like wild birds do.
     
  8. allen wranch

    allen wranch Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    San Marcos, TX
    All birds like to be at the highest spot in the coop, but sometimes that is not the best place for them to be. Heavier breeds can hurt their feet and legs jumping down from a high roost.

    If you use a ladder for your birds to walk or stair step up to a high roost, they will still jump down to the floor to get off.
     
  9. McGoo

    McGoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Speckled hen,
    What size/shape is best for roost. I'm working on my new coop and have used a branch in the past. I see that a 2" x 2" board is recommended. Is that wide enough?

    thanks
     
  10. allen wranch

    allen wranch Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Jan 11, 2007
    San Marcos, TX
    2X4s with the wide side up seem to work best. They are wide enough for the birds to hunker down on in winter and cover their toes. It is also good for the heavier birds who sometimes have a hard time balancing on the smaller roosts.

    Whatever you use, be sure it is smooth and free of splinters.
     

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