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winter roost options

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by DanyyChicken, Oct 19, 2011.

  1. DanyyChicken

    DanyyChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 30, 2011
    Southern NH
    I was just curious as to what would be better for winter roosting. I have two lengths of roosts with poop boards underneath. One length the highest is a 2x4 on side and about 5 1/2 ft. long the other is a 2x3 on side and about 6 1/2 ft long. Currently the 7 birds I have roost on the highest roost which fits all of them just perfectly but I have two more chickens that will be integrated into the flock by end of November. Unfortunately with the additon of these two I do not think they will all fit on the higher but shorter length roost pole. (See picture) So I was thinking of removing the higher pole so that they would then roost on the longer length pole so everyone will fit together for warmth. The higher pole is directly under the eave vent is that bad for the winter?
    Also I was wondering for the winter are they warmest roosting on the poles or should I remove all the poles so that they will roost on the poop board shelf in the shavings. Will that keep them warmer or just make them messier sitting in the poop?
  2. Blue

    Blue Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 6, 2010
    Quote:I would just leave the roosts up. They'll definitely get messier sitting on the poop boards. My chickens have always roosted on their regular roosts through the winter, and I've never yet had a problem with frostbit toes. [​IMG]
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I'd leave things the way they are. There is absolutely no reason for them to be sleeping in their poop. They will do fine on the roosts as far as frostbite on their feet. Frostbite is the real worry.

    I know I don't have your cold temperatures. The coldest it got here last winter was (-) 4 Fahrenheit. Mine sleep on tree limbs, some in places fairly large around and some in places smaller than the narrow edge of a 2 x 4. They never got frostbite, even the ones that prefer to sleep on the smaller parts of the roost. When looking at their claws when they are sleeping, when they crouch down, their feet are still pretty well covered with their feathers. On your wider roosts, they will have absolutely no problem.

    You may be surprised at how close they crowd together on that higher roost. It could possibly hold all of them with no problem. But the main reason I would leave both roosts is that you will be integrating chickens. It is not at all unusual for chickens to be pretty cruel on the roosts when selecting their nightly roosting spots, especially when the pecking order is not fully settled or when some younger ones are definitely significantly lower in the pecking order. Until all that is settled, you might find that some of yours want to sleep as far away from the others as they can. I think when you are integrating chickens having extra roost space is important.
  4. DanyyChicken

    DanyyChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 30, 2011
    Southern NH
    Thanks guys for your advice. I quess I'll leave well enough alone then.[​IMG]

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