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#110347 - 08/16/13 07:31 PM Roosting Question
WilCrow Offline
Chick

Registered: 04/23/13
Posts: 10
Loc: Kansas
I have two barred rock pullets that are about 19 weeks old. I close them in at night in an old playhouse that is four feet by four feet by six feet. Their roost is a two inch by two inch board that runs the length of the play house about eight inches from the back of the playhouse and is two feet above the ground. There are windows on each side of the playhouse that are about a foot in front the roost. The bottom of the windows are level with the roost. I notice that the pullets roost facing the back (east)wall. Is this normal? Can I tell by the roosting behavior if their house is too warm, too cold, or if they are not secure? The play house has a Dutch door in the front and there is a window in the top section. The window in the door is covered with plexi-glass and does not open. The side windows have plexi-glass panels that slide open and closed. I'm not sure how to know how to regulate the temperature and ventilation using the windows. The windows are about a foot square.

Any help you can give me is greatly appreciated.

WillCrow

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#110350 - 08/17/13 03:58 AM Re: Roosting Question [Re: WilCrow]
Foehn Offline
Administrator
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 1968
Loc: New Zealand
Most of my hens face away from the light source, looking at the back wall and in the summer, they avoid roosting on the part of the rail that is opposite the window, so I think it is normal to try to be in a dark place. I would suggest that your roost is a bit on the narrow side for big birds. I have a 4x2 inch roost with the 4 inch side upwards and they sleep in that. in the winter, and I expect your winters are very cold, the hens will have much warmer feet if they can lower their feathers over them. (You could also tack a length of old carpet over the roost for the winter.) I found that on narrow roosts, big birds get sore pads on their feet which might contribute to bumble foot.
Your heights and distances from the wall sound about right.
There is a simple meter you should be able to get that measures maximum high and overnight lows. It would help you to determine the daily temperatures over 24 hours and you would then be better able to judge how your coop is for the hens. If you have predators, you might consider bars or heavy netted wire over the windows so if you open them at night during the summer, the hens will still have some protection.

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#110352 - 08/17/13 05:39 AM Re: Roosting Question [Re: Foehn]
WilCrow Offline
Chick

Registered: 04/23/13
Posts: 10
Loc: Kansas
Thanks so much for your help. I do have cage wire covering the windows to keep predators out. I will get a different roost board.

Thanks again.

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