1. Steve P

    Steve P Chirping

    Feb 23, 2015
    Breckenridge MI
    I plan on have 12 chickens. How many roosts should I place in the coop? Could I make 1 roost and have it run the length of a wall?
  2. JadedPhoenix

    JadedPhoenix Songster

    Oct 29, 2012
    Tyro-Lexington, NC
    How big is that wall? Give 1 foot on the roost per chicken. Yes, you can fit more than that on a roost but for "wing room" to flap and fly up as well as personal space, that is the standard. In the winter, they will sit closer together and in the summer they will want to space out further to not create a build up of body heat.
  3. Steve P

    Steve P Chirping

    Feb 23, 2015
    Breckenridge MI

    Ok thanks that helps. My coop is 8x8 Now I know how much I need.
  4. crazyfeathers

    crazyfeathers Songster

    Aug 24, 2013
    Auburndale, Wi
    I have 35 chickens I have a 5 foot wide ladder roost, three 2 to 4 foot long roosts and I have a changing table that they girls roost on as well and use as an additional laying area. All of my girls like to roost as high as possible and never use the bottom two rungs of the ladder roost. You defiantly can use one roost it would be easier clean up - if you use a poop hammock. Make sure the chickens have enough space so they are not packed on the single roost like sardines. You could use a tree limb in a corner too, my younger pullets always liked to use that. Pecking order has a lot to do with the best roosting spots. Good luck
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2015
  5. ChickenLegs13

    ChickenLegs13 Songster

    Sep 4, 2013
    Lower Alabama

    I like ladder roosts too. It makes it easy for the old and heavy hens to get up and down.
    I got a 10' wide ladder roost made with 2x4 leaning against the wall. From the top rung they can jump over to a single 10' long 2x4 nailed between the posts that hold the roof up.
    They roost the same way every night; 16 hens & the rooster on the top rung, 3 hens on the middle rung, and 7 hens on the single 2x4.
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    I do not like ladder roosts, they take up a lot of room and my coop is only 6 feet wide.
    I went with roost boards for manure management leaves the floor space open and easier to keep the coop cleaner.
    That's about 12 feet of roost and I have 15 LF chickens....some of them roost on the edge of the board.
    Roosts are 2x4, wide side up, and 8" above poop board. Ramps go to a 18" high platform, nest perch is now a 2x4 also.

    Edited to correct 18" platform, not 18'....and add that roost boards are 24" wide, 2x2 edging and lined with vinyl and 1/2" of sand/PDZ mix.

    Last edited: Mar 20, 2015
    2 people like this.
  7. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. .....

    Mar 9, 2014
    My Coop
    I'm with aart on this - I have previously had ladder roosts with the flocks I kept in the past, but when re-entering the wonderful world of chickens last year in a new place and with a brand new coop I went with a poop board/roost over it set up and the amount of space saved is the biggest selling point for me to the point that I will not go back.
  8. PapaChaz

    PapaChaz Crowing

    May 25, 2010
    NW Georgia
    man I love your coop! how wide are the poop boards? the coop I'm building is going to be 6x10, and I was thinking about an "L" shaped roost setup similar to yours
  9. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    There just aren’t any magic numbers with chickens, roost space or much else. We are all so unique that the numbers that work for some don’t work for others. Do you have bantam or full-sized fowl? Do you have Silkies that can’t fly and may not roost at all? Are all of yours the same age or do you have a mix of juveniles and adults? Will you be integrating new chickens in the future? Will you always have 12 or will that number grow? How much room do you have in the coop, do they have enough room to spread their wings and jump/fly up and down or are they so restricted they need steps and ladders to get up and down? As soon as someone mentions a number someone else will come back and say that they do it differently and it works. And they are right. We are all unique.

    There is a lot I don’t know about your flock and your coop so it is hard to say if one 8’ roost will work or not. They not only need enough room to roost, they need enough room get up there. Where they stay on the roost is determined by pecking order and where their buddies are sleeping so once they get up there mine maneuver around to get where they want to be. Chickens lower in the pecking order sometimes get knocked to the ground as stronger-willed chickens move them out of the way.

    Also, some chickens, always the hens in my flock, can be real brutes when on the roosts. They’ll go out of their way to peck and abuse lower ranking chickens when on the roosts. This happens a lot when I integrate brooder-raised younger chickens into the main coop or when a broody weans her chicks and leaves them to make their own way with the flock. This is a common enough occurrence that I put up an additional roost lower than the main roosts and horizontally separated so these chickens have a safe place to go that is not my nests. If you have chickens at a different maturity level especially you probably need more roost space than if they are all the same age. Chickens like to roost on the highest thing they can but they don’t like being pecked and abused.

    I’m a believer in providing as much space as you reasonably can. Don’t get silly about it but I have fewer behavioral problems if I don’t pack them in like sardines. Some people do quite well with 8 feet of roosts for 12 chickens, but my personal preference is to go with more. Of course you can try it and if you need to, add another one later as long as you allow for it in your coop layout. A good sign you need another is if they start sleeping in your nests. You’ll need some flexibility in your coop design anyway, things never work out exactly as you planned.

    Good luck and welcome to the adventure.
  10. CrazyTalk

    CrazyTalk Songster

    Jun 10, 2014


    As an example - I've seen 16 (non-bantam) chickens all squished onto one half of a 2x4x8 roost and doing fine (albeing some squabbling for positions as they get in place) - and I've seen roosting where birds are spaced out and get really nasty with each other. The particular birds are a huge variable here.

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