Should I Build A Roost Outside of My Coop?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by ILikeBirds, Aug 28, 2014.

  1. ILikeBirds

    ILikeBirds In the Brooder

    Aug 11, 2014
    SW Washington
    I have a couple raised beds in my run because it used to be a garden. I've noticed the girls like to "perch" or "roost" on the sides of the raised beds or on my wheel barrow when it is left in there during the day. So I was thinking about making a small roost that was maybe covered for the chickens to hangout on during the day, but I am worried that they will start roosting there during the night instead of in their coop which will certainly not do because they of course won't be safe from predators.

    So what do you guys think, good or bad idea?
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    My opinion? No. You are correct in assuming that they might want to roost there at night. No matter how secure a pen is it cannot be as secure as a well built coop. You want them to roost in their coop at night, locked up safe from predators.

    You mention a roost that would be "maybe covered". IMHO, the entire pen should be covered in something that is at least aerial predator proof and have at least one section that is shaded to allow them to enjoy their pen but have shade. Again IMHO, having chickens in a run that has no covering at all is as dangerous as free ranging, if not more so. Chickens in a pen that is open on top, with no place to hide when Mr. Hawk or Mr. Falcon comes visiting (and they will), makes the chickens (pardon the pun) sitting ducks.
  3. ILikeBirds

    ILikeBirds In the Brooder

    Aug 11, 2014
    SW Washington
    Yes my whole pen is covered in bird netting to keep predators out. I mentioned a top on the "maybe roost" because I live in Washington and it might give them a place to stay out of the rain OTHER than some large Doug Firs and underneath their raised coop.

    Maybe perching on the raised beds will have to suffice for them [​IMG]
  4. tcstoehr

    tcstoehr Chirping

    Mar 25, 2014
    Canby, Oregon
    I did it and I think it's a good idea. I put it in a shady location where they were protected from sun, rain and hawk attacks. A place where they already seemed attracted to. If you think they will roost there all night in your situation... do you not have any place already where they might do so? If they're not doing it already, why would they start? And if they do, then you can get rid of it.
  5. trudyg

    trudyg Songster

    Jun 3, 2013
    North Alabama
    Mine are out all day long, so a roost/perch in the pen isn't an issue. They hang out with the tractor under it's cover and roost on it and the riding mower. The favorite place, tho, is on the swingset. We built a big one for the grands, so the ladder steps are 2x4 on edge and there's a roof for protection from rain/sun. Can't swing out there now but they love it.
  6. ILikeBirds

    ILikeBirds In the Brooder

    Aug 11, 2014
    SW Washington
    That's what I was thinking, if they don't roost on the raised beds at night already, why would they start roosting outside the coop now? I'm going to do it!

    trudyg do they ever roost ON the swings? I've seen people on here build swings for their chickens.
  7. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Songster

    Dec 15, 2011
    SE Pa.
    This is my day shelter. They use it mostly in the mornings and evenings. I put a feed trough and plan to add water. Yes it has a polycarb roof. No problems yet with them wanting to use it to sleep at night.
  8. ILikeBirds

    ILikeBirds In the Brooder

    Aug 11, 2014
    SW Washington
    I like that! Nice looking birds too!

    I built one yesterday and they jumped on it right away. No problems with them trying to roost on it either.
  9. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    I have multiple roosts in my run, just a broken shovel handle stuck into the woven wire kitty corner. And in the morning, and evening I have had birds on it, but my birds ALWAYS go into the coop at dark. Always

    I have a pallet up on blocks so they can get under it or on top of it, and it really helps birds get along, they can get a way from each other. I have a large box that in the winter, I put a plexiglass on the south side and makes a sun porch for them.

    I do have an enclosed run, as in over the top. My birds frequently free range, but if I have to keep them in the run, they are happier with multiple roosts and places to get out of sight.

    Mrs K
  10. ChirpyChicks1

    ChirpyChicks1 Songster

    Jul 22, 2013
    I don't call my roost in the run a roost, I call it a "chicken jungle gym" [​IMG] I started free ranging my flock in the spring so they no longer "play" on it but when they were locked up all the time then yes, they used it a lot. Nothing special and certainly has never kept them from going to bed properly

    1 person likes this.

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