Because most chicken coops for sale in Sydney come with roosting bars, my avid followers often ask me why these fixtures are important. Honestly, I didn’t have any idea about it until after my research and of course, after asking various experts. So in hopes of enlightening everyone about its uses and importance, I came up with this informative article. Thought you would need this, too.
Before we go deeper into the topic, allow me to tell you what a roosting bar is.
What Are Roosting Bars?
A roosting bar is a place where chickens perch at night while in a chicken coop. As soon as it gets dark, they get into the coop and find themselves a comfortable place, which is a roosting bar, to settle down and sleep for the night.
Why Chickens Need Them
When sleeping, chickens always prefer to be high up the ground. That way, nothing could disturb them and they will be sure they are safe against predators that attack during the night.
These creatures also have a pecking order to observe. While the one with the highest rank should take the highest perch, those in the lower hierarchy of the flock order must take the other lower spots.
As the owner, you also don’t want your flock to be susceptible to bacteria, pathogens, and parasites like lice and mites. Thus, it is better to provide them with roosts to perch on at night.
The Ideal Location
To be able to find out the best place to install the roosting bar, you have to know an important fact about your chickens. That is, they poop while sleeping.
If a roost is very close to a well, it is very possible that it will get dirty because of the manure. Hence, if you have a large breed, position the roost parallel to the wall. Around 18” away from it is okay. Additionally, consider making it easy to remove. You still want to clean and disinfect it, don’t you?
If you already know about these things, you can easily install the roost in an area where you don’t always go walking around when gathering eggs. With a little planning, you will realize how these installations can make a difference in the life of your flock.
How Wide Should It Be?
There is no exact rule that states how wide a roosting bar should be. However, many poultry farmers prefer their roosts to be at least 2 inches wide on one side and 4 inches on the other.
Unlike wild birds, chickens don’t wrap their feet around the roost. In fact, they just sleep flat-footed. So to keep them away from rats that like to bite on chicken toes and to protect them from suffering from frostbites during winter, position the wide side of the roosting bar upwards.
How Long Should It Be?
Ideally, every hen should have a roosting bar that is at least 8 inches. But you have to consider that in the winter, these birds will group together for warmth. They even show off great balance as you can notice them roosting side in different ways in one row. So the longer the roosting bar is, the better.
How High Should It Be?
When it comes to the height of the roosting bar, you get to decide. You can position it as low as one foot off the ground or maybe a foot distant from the ceiling. But if you are considering the second option, it is best that you prepare several roosts and install them like stairs at varying heights. By doing that, it will be easier for your birds to climb up and down without compromising their safety.
Yet, as mentioned above, chickens poop when they are sleeping. Therefore, it is best that you leave around 15” of space between every roosting bar.
Cleaning the Roosting Bars
You know that the roosting bars could get really filthy when you try cleaning it first thing in the morning. In order to easily get rid of all the dirt, you can use a metal paint scrape. Do this every after you let your flock out.
Once in a while, use a stiff brush and a mixture of water and vinegar to scrub the roosts. After that, let it dry in open air.
Now that you know a lot about chicken coops, you can already keep your flock secure and safe. Besides that, you can also allow them to roost happily. But then again, your task does not end there. As a poultry farmer, you also have to make it a point to help your girls lay fresh eggs. Well, you can easily deal with that task if you buy a chicken coop for sale in Sydney. But if you want to do things on your own, check out the eBook I wrote below.