Chicken roosts

We have regular size and bantam size chickens, and also guineas.  They each seem to roost differently and I don’t know if that’s  typical or not.

I had read my chicken books before I got them and before we built the coops. Of course roosts are very easy to add to coops or move or take down so don’t get too worried about what will work or not.  Just give it a try and move it to a better location if necessary later.

I had read in my books, STOREY’S GUIDE TO RAISING CHICKENS (Gail Damerow), and THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF COUNTRY LIVING (Carla Emery) , perches should be 2 to 4 feet off the coop floor, allow 18 inches between birds and 18 inches away from walls, using 2 x 4’s or similar. Stagger them so birds are not right underneath each other so their droppings during the night land on the floor and not a bird. 

My bantams don’t perch at all and the books said they would only need about a foot above the floor anyway.  They prefer to sit in a nest box or hunker in the shavings.

My guineas don’t like to be inside unless it’s cold or nasty out.  They will sit outside on the ground, or sit on top of the coops.

My regular sized chickens do like roosts, so on one side of the A-frame coop are the water and food, and the other side are staggered roosting ledges under the sloping roof.  The nest boxes sit in between both spaces on the back wall.

nestbox (dishpan in frame)

nestbox (dishpan in frame)

In the morning when collecting eggs and rousting out any broody looking hens I use a cat litter  scoop that I hang on a nail ona wall stud, to clean out the nest boxes and swirl around the shavings under the roosts to incorporate droppings into the shavings and Stall Dry powder I have in the litter.  It helps keep out flies and the Stall Dry can help keep bugs at bay, like ants and flies. Occasionally I will haul out the garden hoe and dig down into the litter and give it a good toss, so everything will keep breaking down.  Eventually I will scoop out about a third of the litter and replace it with fresh, using the old stuff in my compost heap.

nestbox frame

nestbox frame

angled view into one side of coop

angled view into one side of coop

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