If you think about it, no part of a coop is unimportant, and that goes for the chicken coop roosts as well. This is where your chickens sleep and rest, and designing a chicken coop roost that fits the needs of your flock is important. Those who may be new to raising chickens may not know that chickens hate to sleep on the floor.
They do not like sleeping in nesting boxes either. What they do prefer are well-built roosting bars or platforms.
Many experts agree that the reason chickens prefer to sleep on a roost is simply because it makes them feel safer. Chickens will often huddle together on a single roost, thus giving them the feeling of being safe during the night.
A good roost is placed above the ground. This, too, adds to the flock’s sense of protection. Many of the predators that hunt chickens are unable to get up onto a roost—or at least not easily. When chickens are well rested and feel safe in their coop, they produce more eggs and behave well.
It has often been noted that chickens will sleep at the highest level possible within the coop. This is where you want to place your roosting bars or platforms. It is important that you not place your nesting boxes above the roosting area as this may cause the birds to want to sleep in the box. As a general rule, chickens will defecate while they are sleeping and you do not want that happening where your eggs are being laid.
Chicken coop roosts should all be at the same height. There are some reasons for this.
If you install Chicken coop roosts at various heights, you may end up with a flock of chickens that are fighting over the higher areas. As mentioned above, chicken instinct is to sleep as high up as possible, and they will fight over that spot.
Second, those chickens that are roosting below those higher up will be splattered with waste. You certainly do not want that.
The better option is to design your chicken coop roosts all at the same level, using crossbars if needed to get enough roosting space for all of your birds. Generally, you want to allow about ten inches of roosting space per bird.
Many of the online chicken coop plans that you can buy will come with detailed instructions on how to construct your chicken coop roosts. Before you buy your chicken coop plans, it is best to have some idea as to how many adult chickens you want to raise at one time. This will make it much easier to select the proper size coop and chicken coop roosts.