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#100239 - 11/22/11 09:28 AM Roost Design Help
JoeG Offline
Coop Cleaner

Registered: 11/16/11
Posts: 155
Loc: NY
How High Should the first one be?
What distance should they be apart?
How High should the top one be?
How Many should you have for 12 to 15 Birds?
What Thickness should they be?


My First one is about 18 Inch off the ground and then there is about 12 to 15 Inchs between each one going up and about 10 to 12 inches width ways apart.
The Dia of my RoostSticks is about 2 to 3 inchs.

How high can Chickens fly?
_________________________
2Ameraucana Roo's
2BarredRocks 2PartridgeRocks
2Black Australorp.2Black SexLinks
8Easter Egg,5Ameraucanas
2SLW,2GLW
1White Leghorn,1Spec Sussex
2Guinea Royal Purples
2Peacocks India Blue/Blk Shoulder,1JadeSpalding PeaHen
2Royal Palm Turkeys
2Rottweilers

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#100399 - 11/28/11 05:57 PM Re: Roost Design Help [Re: JoeG]
Moderator2 Offline
Administrator
Flock Leader

Registered: 09/29/04
Posts: 317
Loc: Eastern USA
Hi Joe, To give you a better answer we need to know what type and breed you plan to have.
Chickens do not do as we would expect them to. First thing to know is, they will ALL want to roost on the highest perch. If they can not all fit on the highest perch the peck order will decide who gets it. This will cause some battles so if possible try to have enough space at the top for all. The top perch should be higher than any other surface that they can perch on. My first set up had perches at the same hight as the laying boxes. ALL of them wanted to sleep in the laying boxes. It created a 12" X 12" X 16" solid cube of chickens at night. One bird on top another. Again depending on type and breed most chickens choose not to fly much as they get older. They will hop and flap almost straight up so 18" is a comfortable distance in hight between levels. As mentioned above a wider perch works better for roosting, and especially when coming down. A 2"x4" laid flat with the corner rounded off or a 4" round branch with a flat side sawed off. Cutting grooves on the flat surface will allow for better traction. About 10" of space per bird for full size, less for bantams.
Hope this helps to get you started. What ever you make, set it up to be easy to remove for cleaning or relocating.
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M2

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#100400 - 11/28/11 06:17 PM Re: Roost Design Help [Re: Moderator2]
JoeG Offline
Coop Cleaner

Registered: 11/16/11
Posts: 155
Loc: NY
I am not sure about breeds yet I was thinking of mixing different birds, All full size.
_________________________
2Ameraucana Roo's
2BarredRocks 2PartridgeRocks
2Black Australorp.2Black SexLinks
8Easter Egg,5Ameraucanas
2SLW,2GLW
1White Leghorn,1Spec Sussex
2Guinea Royal Purples
2Peacocks India Blue/Blk Shoulder,1JadeSpalding PeaHen
2Royal Palm Turkeys
2Rottweilers

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#100401 - 11/28/11 11:27 PM Re: Roost Design Help [Re: JoeG]
CJR Offline
Coop Master

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8442
Loc: Montana
You will avoid future problems, if you do not have a lot of different breeds. Each breed of laying birds, was developed for different reasons, none of which were just to please people visually or for our amusement. "Birds of a feather" is a true statement. Even different color birds of one breed are not always compatible in tight situation--but do okay when they have LOTS of room both outside and inside houses. Heavy breeds may land hard, and lighter breeds fly up and down more easily. If you have ladderstyle roosts, the top ones can poop on those further down. Not for my birds! Just try to catch a bird behind a ladder set of roosts--or collect an egg that a pullet lays on the floor behind the ladder roosts. Make it easy for YOU, as well as the chickens.

To keep the floor of your coop cleaner and less cleanout of the litter, a shelf under your roost (YES, one roost and a flat, not round). With cold nights, the highest roosting will be the warmest part of the coop and less chance of combs freezing. A landing roost, also a flat board, in front of the roost shelf,and just a little lower, will make their "going to bed" easier. AND the roost shelf is easy to clean and gives you pure droppings for your compost pile.

I have galvanized trays setting on the shelf for pens with 5 or 6 birds, roosts set a few inches above the tray, but in the pens with just 3 or 4 breeding birds (bantams) I have wood fruit boxes with a 1"x2" board across as a roost, and all the dropping go in the box. Lined with shavings, they just dump out every month==and no dirty feet to dirty the eggs.

What fun to design and build a new coop! My houses are built on skids, so they can be moved (sold), wired for all kinds of plugins and lights, including motion light outside. They are fairly small houses and most dividers inside can be removed for larger pens inside, but for breeding birds, most are in trios, but still lots of room to fly up, window in each section, LOW windows to allow winter sunshine on the floor--and no sun in summer to keep the houses cooler, if they are inside. Good luck... CJR



Edited by CJR (11/28/11 11:39 PM)

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#100406 - 11/29/11 06:54 AM Re: Roost Design Help [Re: CJR]
JoeG Offline
Coop Cleaner

Registered: 11/16/11
Posts: 155
Loc: NY
Mine is on skids to just in case I decide to move it. I planned on getting two different types of birds. I am trying to figure out a way to make a catch tray to help with clean up.
_________________________
2Ameraucana Roo's
2BarredRocks 2PartridgeRocks
2Black Australorp.2Black SexLinks
8Easter Egg,5Ameraucanas
2SLW,2GLW
1White Leghorn,1Spec Sussex
2Guinea Royal Purples
2Peacocks India Blue/Blk Shoulder,1JadeSpalding PeaHen
2Royal Palm Turkeys
2Rottweilers

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#102305 - 02/19/12 07:51 PM Re: Roost Design Help [Re: JoeG]
Coopman Offline
New Egg

Registered: 02/19/12
Posts: 4
Loc: Connecticut, USA
Hello CJR,
Thank your for your insightful explanation of roost placement. Iím new to keeping chickens, and have just designed my first coop. It never dawned to me that theyíd all want to roost at the same level. Iíll have to reconfigure my coop.
Iím starting with ten chicks: 2Barred Rocks,
2Rhode Island Reds,
1 Black Australorp,
3 Araucanas,
1Buff Orpington, and 1 Buff Brahman.

Your idea of providing a metal tray below their perch is brilliant. My perch will be 27Ē above the floor. Iím planning to build a ladder to the perch. Are your trays a few inches below the roost resting on shelves? Is it true that a bird will often poop in the evening from their perch?

Thank you in advance for answering any of the above.

Best,
Mark

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#102307 - 02/20/12 12:11 AM Re: Roost Design Help [Re: Coopman]
CJR Offline
Coop Master

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8442
Loc: Montana
Mark, I will look for a picture of the tray under the roost. The roost is removeable, just lift it off.... take out the tray (you would need 2 trays side by side, as they would be too large to easily remove every two to 4 weeks to empty) ..compost or other place to spread. Chickens poop all night and it piles up under each bird. If you do not have a shelf or tray, it all goes on the floor--dirty in just a few days and Collected on the shelf or tray, you will find it piles up fast--and you can tell about their condition by the shape of the poop. They leave several kinds and colors that are normal. Ladders are cute, but are just in the way. Try to collect an egg on the floor behind and under the ladder! Yes, there will be occasional eggs layed on the floor --Chickens FLY, even jump or hop up to their roost. If your roost is wide enough for all 10 birds when they are adults, one roost is enough, but two roosts one behind the other, will give them room to choose who they will roost next to. They will roost close to each other unless one is shunned or picked on by others. The shelf should be wide enough so they can land on it and then hop on to their roost. Mine have a single roost in front of the shelf, that they fly up to, and then move to their roost. And not round poles for roosts, chickens can't balance or hang on to them easily-a nice 1x3 makes a comfortable roost and they cover their feet while roosting to keep toes warm in winter.

Except for several larger pens that can hold 10 or more, occasionally, my pens that have just 3 or 4 bantams, the roosts are wooden grape boxes with 2 1x2s nailed across. Lined with plastic cut from the cedar shavings sacks, the boxes are just taken down and dumped and the plastic keeps the wood box bottom clean. If the boxes are cleaned often enough, and the floor litter is kept dry, there is no smell in houses. Even though the birds are outside in summmer, if the roost boxes are not emptied before they are full, in hot weather,--the house would be pretty smelly--doesn't have to be!

I've been unable to post pictures for some reason, but can send you pictures via email, if you send me your email address; Send me a PM CJR

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#102312 - 02/20/12 07:39 AM Re: Roost Design Help [Re: CJR]
Coopman Offline
New Egg

Registered: 02/19/12
Posts: 4
Loc: Connecticut, USA
Hello CJR,
Although Iíve read everything I could get my hands on, I never once came across anything that said my chickens could jump/fly up to their roostís. Iím laughing at my ignorance; of course -they are birds.

The 1X3 lumber was also a great detail. I was planning to use a few old dowels, which are round, and clearly not comfortable.

Once again, thank you for your response and expertise. Itís very appreciated.

If itís not too much trouble, Iíd really appreciate seeing your shelf, roost configuration.
My personal e-mail is:
markevanblack@optonline.net

Best,
Mark

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#102760 - 03/11/12 08:43 AM Re: Roost Design Help [Re: Coopman]
JoeG Offline
Coop Cleaner

Registered: 11/16/11
Posts: 155
Loc: NY










_________________________
2Ameraucana Roo's
2BarredRocks 2PartridgeRocks
2Black Australorp.2Black SexLinks
8Easter Egg,5Ameraucanas
2SLW,2GLW
1White Leghorn,1Spec Sussex
2Guinea Royal Purples
2Peacocks India Blue/Blk Shoulder,1JadeSpalding PeaHen
2Royal Palm Turkeys
2Rottweilers

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#107504 - 12/26/12 03:58 AM Re: Roost Design Help [Re: JoeG]
Frank23 Offline
New Egg

Registered: 12/22/12
Posts: 4
Loc: UK
Roost should be design with proper ventilation and safe custodian of birds. As there is need of window for crossing air and proper space for food supplying should be design. In cold weather these windows should be covered with glass.
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