When building a backyard chicken coop an important factor for the birds is the design and construction of the roost. You want your hens to be comfortable. Chickens don’t sleep in their nesting boxes or on the floor, they huddle together on a raised platform, the chicken coop roost, for safety from predators and warmth. No matter how safe and warm your coop is, that is in their nature.
Chickens like to roost on the highest point in the coop, but if you put the roost too high, they will not be able to reach it and might end up sleeping and defacing, in their nesting boxes. You want the roost to be higher than the nesting box, but not directly above, since this could cause quite a mess. You might be tempted to construct the roosts at multiple levels, as this can look quite attractive, but it not best for the birds. Dropping will end up on the lower bars and your hens might even fight over the space.
To keep the dropping in check, you could place ‘litter’ boxes on the floor of the coop. This makes clean up easier and it is very important to keep the coop clean for the health of your chickens.
The best design for a chicken coop roost is to have the bars intersecting at right angles and at the same height. Have the horizontal bars be about ten to twelve inches long so there will be plenty of room and no fighting for space. The best material to use is wood. You can use metal for the good chicken coop roost, but wood is easier to work with and will match better with the overall look and feel of the coop.
Just make sure the roost is strong enough to hold the weight of the chickens. Smooth all the edges so your chickens don’t get hurt and so they can get a good grip when they sleep.
A good chicken coop roost will ensure well rested, healthy hens.
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