Where to place roosts (4x4x8' coop) 8-12 birds

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by PacsMan, Apr 10, 2009.

  1. PacsMan

    PacsMan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 8, 2009
    Salt Lake Valley
    I have 12 hens and a 4x8 coop.
    I know I know, "4 feet per bird. A 4x8 coop isn't big enough for 12..." [​IMG]

    But, they'll have 1000 square feet of run, and I may split the flock up have 4 of my 12 in a tractor, and 8 in the coop. But I digress...

    My roost question is;

    I've got a 4 foot high, 4 foot deep, 8 foot wide coop. (Think 4 sheets of 4x8' plywood with 4x4' sides. A square box.)

    Now, I can't figure out where to put a roost ladder. As near as I can figure from reading for the last 45 minutes, these are the roost rules;

    1) lowest roost starts at 24" from the ground
    2) roost should be 18" from wall
    3) roost lenghth should be 10-12" per bird.
    4) there should be 12" (or 18") for head room (not clear on this)
    5) lowest roost should be higher than nest box
    6) don't put nest box under a roost

    Are any of these rules.... 'bendable'?

    Do I have enough room to make a small roost ladder? (with maybe 2 roosts). Or should I do 2, 2 level roost ladders?

    I'm heading to Home Depot for 2x4's now...

    Help... [​IMG]

    Marty
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2009
  2. scooter147

    scooter147 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would just do two parallel roosts at about 30 inches high. The 18 inch rule from the wall and aprox 14-16 apart.
    In a small coop such as yours the ladder roost will take up quite a bit of room, the method I use will allow plenty of room for the chickens and make it easy for you to clean.
     
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Ontario, Canada
    1) lowest roost starts at 24" from the ground
    2) roost should be 18" from wall
    3) roost lenghth should be 10-12" per bird.
    4) there should be 12" (or 18") for head room (not clear on this)
    5) lowest roost should be higher than nest box
    6) don't put nest box under a roost
    Are any of these rules.... 'bendable'?

    I'm not sure how many are "rules" -- some I'd call "conventions" that have developed for various reasons but outside of their original context may not be very relevant.

    You do need 8-12" per bird... just for geometric reasons, so they FIT [​IMG]

    If the roost is not at least 12" from its parallel wall, preferably a bit more, again, the birds will not *fit* well, also you'll get a buncha poo on your wall.

    Likewise, they need 14+" of headroom just to FIT.

    And if your roost is not the highest perchable place in the coop, they will not sleep on the roost, they will sleep on the other place and that may be inconvenient (poo in nestboxes, birds in rafters, whatever).

    Height of roost above ground depends on what you can provide; obviously people with 2 1/2' tall tractors are not putting the roost 2' above the floor <g>, instead 6" or so. In a somewhat low-ceilinged coop, you have to decide, do you want the roost so low they can easily hop over it when wandering the floor, or high enough they can easily walk under it? It is likely to come down to the peculiarities of your particular coop.

    Roosts can perfectly well be over nestboxes, all mine are that way (3 pens plus tractor) and I have had *zero* problem... the nestbox roof is a wide droppings board. There are certainly arguments for doing it otherwise, and you do need the roof/droppings board *wide* enough if you stack them (so there's a slight overhang), but I see no reason not to do it if that seems most convenient.

    Does that help any?

    As scooter147 says, you are probably best off thinking in terms of a single roost, or two parallel or in an L shape -- in a small box like that, a ladder style would take up a lot of room and make it pretty difficult to clean under the roost, whcih of course is the part that most needs cleaning anyhow [​IMG]

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat​
     
  4. PacsMan

    PacsMan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 8, 2009
    Salt Lake Valley
    Quote:5 barred rocks
    4 red sex links
    1 Osterlorp
    1 RIR
    1 Buff Orpington

    Not that I want to get it down to the inch, but, 11 of the 12 require 10+ inches. The Buff, 12+ right?

    Marty
     
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Ontario, Canada
    Honestly, I think how well the birds are getting along at the moment has a WHOLE LOT more to do with how much roost space is necessary than the physical width of the birds [​IMG]

    Pat
     
  6. PacsMan

    PacsMan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 8, 2009
    Salt Lake Valley
    Quote:You've been a wonderful help (on more than one of my posts!) I've got the nest boxes in the new coop, and I now imagine where the roosts are going to go.

    Something similar to what son #3 is making here for the chicks. (except in a full chicken size and screwed to the floor)

    [​IMG]

    And done

    [​IMG]

    BTW, this one didn't work until we put stabilizers on the legs. Those chicks are tough on roosts! [​IMG]
     
  7. Oceanseve

    Oceanseve Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Guthrie, OK
    We are in the middle of revamping our coop and run. The new coop is 4 1/2 feet by 10 ft, with the next boxes in an adjacent doghouse. Starting at the opposite end as the next boxes we are planning on attaching 2X4 braces for the roosts at 18", 36" and 54" then running all three bars parellel to each other about 24" off the ground, giving them roughly 20" above the roost. For a 4X8 coop that would give you 3 1/2 feet at the end to put nest boxes if your feeder and waterer are outside. If you are wanting to keep your feeder and waterer inside, then perhaps you could have your nest boxes jut out of the actual coop.
     

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