yet another roost/nest box question thread (sorry!)

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by austinchicken, Jun 24, 2008.

  1. austinchicken

    austinchicken Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 16, 2008
    Sorry if this repeats anything from other threads.

    (1) Nest boxes: At what height does one need to start thinking about providing a perch for the birds? We're leaning toward Orpingtons or other larger breeds, so I'm thinking of putting the boxes at about 12" rather than 18". Do you think they will need a perch on the front at that height to help them get in?

    (2) I assume that ideally the end of the roost would be at least a foot from the entrance to the nest boxes so that they don't track poo into the boxes? True or not?

    (3) Does putting roosts at different heights "enable" peck order behavior or at least provide another cause of fighting in the coop? (I've heard that chickens will all want to be on the highest roost.)

    Thanks so much for this wonderful site and the very helpful forum
     
  2. arlee453

    arlee453 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    Chickens like to roost, the higher the better. Many people use a roost structure that looks like a ladder with roosts at varying heights arranged so that they aren't directly above each other (you don't want the birds on the top pooping on the ones below)

    Roosts should be provided pretty much anytime - i don't have roosts in the brooder, but once they are old enough to go out I do provide them.

    Nest boxes, on the other hand, don't need to be introduced until around 16-18 wks. I covered my installed boxes up with cardboard to keep the girls out until they were closer to laying age to discourage them from sleeping in the boxes.

    Also, having the nest boxes lower than the roosts will help discourage them from sleeping in the boxes also. Since the poop where they sleep, you will end up with a box full of poop and dirty eggs when the time comes. It's easier just to train them on the roosts BEFORE you add boxes since they are such creatures of habit.

    once they get used to sleeping on the roosts, that's where they will generally go unless you force them off the roosts for whatever reason.

    Hope this helps!
     
  3. ravenfeathers

    ravenfeathers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 23, 2008
    vermont
    Quote:i think this is why a lot of folks are doing roosts where all the bars are at one height. it doesn't make as efficient a use of coop space, but could prevent fighting for the high points.
     
  4. austinchicken

    austinchicken Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 16, 2008
    Thank you--very helpful indeed. People here are so nice!
     
  5. austinchicken

    austinchicken Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 16, 2008
    Quote:And thank YOU. I'll probably go ahead with the original plan to have two roosts at the same height unless someone else weighs in to talk me out of it!
     
  6. austinchicken

    austinchicken Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 16, 2008
    Still hoping for a reply about the need for perches at the 12" height. Do I need them, or will they be fine to hop into those boxes without them?
     
  7. CarlaRiggs

    CarlaRiggs Chillin' With My Peeps

    Many birds like to check out the nest before going inside. So perches are always a good idea. [​IMG]

    Carla
     
  8. austinchicken

    austinchicken Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 16, 2008
    Thanks, Carla! I guess I'll go ahead and add that little detail.
     

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