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Chicken Roosts

Roosting Flock of Chickens

Chicken Roosts, The Basics

It is the nature of wild chickens to roost in tree limbs to escape predators. This instinctive behavior, however, is still present in domesticated chickens such that even when you put them in confinement, they will find the best chicken roosts available.
Other than perpetuating this basic instinct, the act of roosting also has other benefits for your chickens.Roosting puts your birds far from the ground when they are sleeping. This is one of the basics of what chickens need. Keep in mind that the ground is where most of the harmful bacteria are deposited. Chicken droppings and dung are pooled on the earth and immediately becomes breeding sites for bacteria which can cause illnesses to your birds. Allowing your chicken to spend the night on the ground puts them at greater risk for infections because the ammonia emitted from these droppings can cause respiratory diseases like infectious coryza in your birds.

Moreover, the ground also has crawling insects like scorpions and centipedes that can attack your chickens, especially at night. While it is true that they are no match for your birds at daytime and make sumptuous meals for them, chickens can hardly see scorpions and their ilk at night. Just one sting from them can make your bird sick or worse, kill them. They are also vulnerable to predators like rats, foxes and snakes when left to sleep the night on the ground. When they have chicken roosts to sleep on, they are not easily reached by these predators. More importantly, they are able to see these as they approach and are thus able to defend themselves.

FeatherinBarred Rock on Chicken Roostsg also gets affected if you leave your birds without chicken roosts. Their chicken droppings will get stuck on their feathers, vents, feet and other parts of their body, making them smell and causing their feathers to get soiled and ugly. When they are perched on their chicken roosts, their droppings will just fall to the ground and they are kept clean as a result.

Other benefits of providing chicken roosts for your birds include protection from sudden floods and fluctuations in ground temperature and the chance for your chickens to exercise their wing and leg muscles as they fly up and come down from it.

Chicken roosts can either be made from rounded dowels, natural tree limbs and even PVC pipes, although the last type of material can be pretty slippery for your chickens. They can either be rounded, measuring around two inches in diameter or can also be a simple two by four board. When using planks for chicken roosts, make sure that you rough off the edges and smooth them with sand paper so that your birds will not get splinters while being able to conveniently hold on to their roosts.

Chicken roosts should be placed as high from the ground as the design of the coop allows and be securely attached to the chicken coop. There should be about ten to twelve inches of roosting bar space per hen. Make sure that the roost is not positioned above water or food feeders to prevent them from being contaminated with chicken droppings.

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