Chicken Roosting Ideas : Give Chickens A Good Roost To Relax

I’ve noticed lately that quite a few people have found my blog by googling “chicken roost”.  This led me to believe there are questions out there about roosts, which has, in turn, led me to write this article.  Hopefully this will answer questions to those of you who may have them.

What we take for granted, things that we have found or worked out may be second nature to us, but it is important to share this knowledge as much of it is not found quickly or easily in books.

There are many questions when it comes to having a roost (also known as a perch) in your chicken coop-where should it be? How many do I need? Is it really all that necessary? Firstly, yes, to provide your chickens with the basic fundamentals of a good home you MUST have a perch. Where, how and why? Read on to find out everything you need to know about providing the perfect perch.

Why do I need a roost?

It is natural instinct for your chickens to want to roost up high (because they are descendants of wild birds which sleep in trees), so providing them with a suitably positioned roost will allow them to feel safe and protected while they sleep-a critical part of their daily activities! While they are mainly used for roosting, smaller chicks sometimes enjoy using roosts as a perch when they are honing their flying skills, or just as a rest and relax spot during the day.

Setting Up the Coop

Your chickens should live in a coop, but before you set up shop, keep this in mind: Chickens need more space than you may think. Set aside four square feet of floor space per hen, minimum. Less than that and hens will have behavioral issues, such as feather picking and bullying. Even if you have a small backyard, it’s not a great idea to keep just one hen. Chickens are flock animals and need to be with others of their kind. Start with a minimum of three chicks. By the way, a rooster is not necessary for the hens to lay eggs or to get along with each other. It’s okay to keep it to just girls in that urban flock.

Chicken Breeds

Chicken Breeds

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The coop should have height, too; a low box won’t cut it. Hens don’t sleep in nests, but on roosts. Since chickens have best friends, they like to cozy up next to each other (and stay away from the hens that they don’t like). At bedtime your chickens will jostle for a favorite spot next to their buddies. Ideally, the coop should accommodate several roosts at different heights. A wooden ladder, leaning against the wall make sure to attach it so it doesn’t fall makes an excellent roost. Plan on a minimum of six linear inches per hen.

Chicken Space

Chicken Space

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The lowest roost should be at least eighteen inches off of the floor of the coop. This is because chickens poop (a lot!) when they sleep. Chicken manure is 75 percent liquid, which evaporates and dampens the air in the coop. As the manure decomposes, it gives off ammonia fumes. You don’t want your flock breathing any of that in as they sleep, because too much exposure can lead to respiratory diseases. The further from the manure the girls are, the more healthy the environment.

Chicken Space Outside

Chicken Space

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Chicken roosting bars can be as reduced as a foot off the ground or as high as a foot approximately from the ceiling. However, if you are going to make the roost much higher than two feet, startling a number of roosts like stairs at varying heights will certainly make it easier for the hens to obtain up and down from the roost without harming themselves. Bumblefoot (a staph infection of the foot and leg) is commonly triggered by difficult landings off a roost. Leave concerning 15 ″ headroom in between the roosts to stop those on the greater roosts from pooping on those roosting listed below them.

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Tip chicken roosting ideas: When raising poultries for eggs, your roosts should be more than your chicken nesting boxes or your hens will certainly be lured to roost in or on the nesting boxes, trying to find the highest possible perch available.
Length– Permit at the very least 8 inches of roosting bar each hen. Naturally, even more is better, however you will certainly locate that specifically in the wintertime, all your chickens will certainly cuddle with each other for heat. They additionally utilize each various other for equilibrium, so you will hardly ever see them roosting anyway but side by side in a row, although in the warmth of the summer they will appreciate having room to expand.

Protecting the Coop

Unfortunately, there are many predators that want a chicken or egg dinner, including foxes, raccoons, opossums, and black snakes. Hawks and owls are hunters from above.Good fencing is a must — rats can gnaw through chicken wire. Urban flocks are best protected by wire hardware cloth. Extend it below the ground by eight inches to deter digging predators. Cover the run with more hardware cloth or hawk netting as well. Keep away burrowing animals by installing a gravel trench around the perimeter of the pen. To deter mice and other vermin, keep the sides of the coop clear of woodpiles, clutter, and other things rodents like to hide in.

Chicken fence

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No fencing is secure against nighttime predators (weasels can slip through a 2-inch gap!). Always close your hens inside the coop at night. If you can’t be home at dusk, purchase an automatic door. But don’t worry, the chickens happily put themselves to bed as soon as it gets dark, and will all be inside before the door closes behind them.

Feeding Your Flock

Chickens require two supplements to their diet: oyster shell for calcium (to build strong eggs) and granite grit (to aid in digestion.) Offer these items to your flock free choice. A source of clean, fresh water is of the utmost importance. Dispensers designed for poultry will keep the water flowing and clean.

Chicken Eating

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The average six-pound hen will eat upwards of four ounces of feed and drink four ounces of water a day. She’ll also produce four ounces of manure daily and her egg weighs about two ounces. Keep her glossy and healthy with a balanced diet.

Managing Temperatures

Most new chicken keepers worry about their hens staying warm during the winter. Actually, cold is rarely a problem. A chicken has about 9,000 feathers, which keep her plenty toasty. Don’t use a heater, which is unnecessary and is always a fire hazard (chickens create a lot of dust and the air in the coop is highly flammable.) Hens do need to stay out of strong winds and they appreciate it if you shovel snow out of their pen. The most important winter chore is to keep the waterer from freezing. Even a couple of hours without fresh flowing water can cause health issues. A heated metal pad designed for use under waterers is available at most feed stores.

Chicken Weather Conditions

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Do worry when the temperature soars. Chickens are prone to heat stress and will die in extreme hot weather if there’s nowhere to escape the sun. Put up a shade tarp if necessary. Chickens won’t drink warm water, so provide cool water in a shady spot. When temperatures near triple digits, cool things off by hosing the roof of the coop and the dirt in the pen. Some coops can benefit from a fan to move the air.

  • Material – Many things can be used as roost material – an old wooden ladder, tree branches, wooden dowels or new lumber with the edges rounded and sanded so they can’t get splinters.  Chickens will also roost on flat surfaces such as a 2×4 or a shelf.  This can also help prevent frostbite in cold coops because rather than their toes wrapping around the roost they lay flat and their feathers cover them.  Metal pipes don’t work as well as wood because they can’t get a good grip.
  • Size – they should be about 1 inch in diameter for bantams or 2 inches in diameter for regular and larger breeds.
  • Height – A couple of feet off the ground is sufficient.  If you are going to make the roost much higher than 3 feet, staggering the roosts at different heights {like stairs} will make it easier for heavier breeds to get up and down from the roost without injuring themselves.  Just make sure to not put the roost directly under one another or the chickens on the lower roosts will end up covered in droppings.
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Make sure they have sufficient head room as well.  If you have a rooster, they will want to stretch their neck up and crow from the roost and, therefore, will need a bit more room.

Space Requirements – typically, about 10-12 inches of space per chicken will be sufficient.

  • Location – when planning your coop, you need the roosts to be separate from the feeders, water’s and nesting boxes because they will drop a large amount of droppings when they sleep.

Unsuitable Materials

Metal has been used but is limited by a couple of things:

  1. The first being temperature. In winter it gets so cold that birds’ feet can literally ‘stick’ to it and in summer can get hot enough to cause discomfort.
  2. The second thing is that it is smooth and can be difficult for a bird to hang onto especially if it is round.

Plastic is quite frequently used in some of the cheaper store bought coops. Do yourself, and your birds, a favor and rip it out if you can. Replace it with wooden bars.

Plastic can warp if it gets too hot or and can actually shatter if it gets too cold. Plastic shards can be eaten by chickens or they can walk on them – neither is desirable. Also, the birds cannot grip the smooth plastic very well.

Most Suitable Material: 

Wood

Wood is probably the best material to make perches from, it is durable, you can make them to your own specifications and you can use what might be lying around the house or yard.

What type of wood should you use? If you buy your timber, it will need to be untreated wood. In this day and age, it is hard to know what chemicals are used on treated wood.

The edges of the wood should be smooth and free from splinters. Many sources recommend you sand off the edges, but I find that 2x4s’ are rarely ‘straight edged’, so I leave them intact.

Chicken Coop Roosting Ideas

Chicken Coop Roosting Ideas

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The dowels dependence to have to undertaking also than than 11/2 inches in diameter. Intend on at the very least six inches of roost per chicken. In the winter they’ll build up in the works for heat, in the summer season they won’t crowd so tightly with each other. Hens are fussy regarding that they sleep alongside, for that excuse a lot of room will the whole protect taking into to spats.

Note that this roost is related to the wall as well as joints. I can raise it as much as tidy knocked out it. Likewise note that it raids the wall at an angle. This pretension the hens in the region of the lower rungs don’t attain pooped upon by the girls again. I subsequent to tiered roosts because the earliest chickens make use of the behavior to earn their means to the summit, as competently as to profit beside subsequent to anew in the hours of daylight.

Chicken Nesting Boxes

Chicken Nesting Boxes

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Chicken Roosting Ideas. Roosting bars are where your chickens dependence to land to snooze during the night inside their coop. I acquire questions regularly from people constructing their totally own coops wondering exactly just how the roosts should be developed: exactly how tall, out of exactly what material, just how much apart, thus right here’s the complete you need to learn about roosting bars.

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Sleeping on the ground likewise leaves them much more vulnerable to virus and microorganisms in the litter on the flooring of the coop, along with external bloodsuckers such as termites and also louse that like the dark, warm, damp location in between the hens’ bodies and the straw or shavings you make use of on the flooring of your cage, so you want your hens to perch on their roosts at night.

Feeding Hacks

Set up grazing frames

When you have limited space, another way to give chickens access to fresh forage is to set up grazing frames.These are basically boxed gardens for your poultry. You simply grow grass, lettuces, herbs, or other plants. Then cover the grazing frame with chicken wire, weighted or tied down at the sides so the chickens can eat the tops of the plants but can’t reach the soil to uproot them. (Read My Chicken Scratch shows how to build a simple covered frame.) Remember, you can use almost anything that can hold soil and be covered with wire or netting. You can even repurpose a child’s sandbox or wheel rims.

Make a DIY waterer

To cut down on starting costs, put together as much as you can without resorting to pricey accouterments. Instead of buying a waterer, consider making one. You can make a waterer from a glass canning jar and a glass dish, a nifty rail-mounted automatic waterer, or a mess free waterer from PVC pipe and a bucket that fills outside the fence.

Create a DIY chicken feeder

Instead of buying a feeder, build a feeder out of PVC pipingwood, or a 5-gallon pail.

Feed on the cheap

There are all sorts of ways to feed your chickens. Consider allowing them to scratch in the compost pile and keep a vermicomposter in order to add more high-protein worms to their diets. You can also sprout grains, which will turn one pound of barley seeds into 4.3 pounds of fodder in one week. Fresh Eggs Daily offers all sorts of ideas for a more varied poultry diet, plus a list of safe and unsafe foods.

They’ll happily dine on insects and weeds, thereby eating less of the commercially prepared layer or breeder feed you provide. To supply both chickens with extra bugs, whip up a DIY solar bug trap.

You can also offer all sorts of kitchen and garden scraps, although it’s best to avoid bread, crackers, popcorn, and similar foods. Backyard Chickens offers an extensive list of fruits, vegetables, seeds, and proteins.

Summary

Removable is ideal since you can take them out regularly, and dust the crevices well before replacing. Some folks take the perches outside and spray with Neem oil, set them to dry on a good, sunny day before replacing.

If your perches are fixed however, you can just be diligent about dusting the small spaces between perch and wall.

Roosting bars are recommended in any cage for the ease of right of entry and security of the flock. Understanding what to get (and plus exactly what not to get) considering establishing roosts for your yard chickens will in the in front preserve nature healthy and balanced and then enjoyable as they genuine taking place in for the evening. Chicken Roosting Ideas.

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