A recent post on Facebook perches prompted me to do a quick post on my perches. . There are a lot of different types and views on perches and after keeping chickens now for three years, I realized the old fashioned idea of round perches, like a thick broom handle, were wrong. The girls suffer tendon and joint issues trying to balance. In winter they like to hunker down with their feet flat and covered with their bodies, feathers fluffed for warmth. If they trued on a round perch, they’d simply tip backwards and fall off!
Some of my hens and rooster Ronnie, have foot problems. It means they cannot perch on a thin pole. Rather than consign them to the floor which also takes them away from the flock hierarchy at night, I designed a completely different style perch. I actually haven’t ever seen table top ones…well there has to be a first!
My girls love this tabletop one. I have three coops and everyone piles onto these, no problem. There are rounded, flat and also squares for special need girls or like Ronnie Rooster here who had an amputated toe. He needs a flat area to balance on, or he can’t sleep with the girls.
The table ss easy to clean and if anyone wants to change places they just step off onto the table, trot over to the new place and done. No falling and actually we have had far less squabbles.
Front row are top girls, back is for the insomniacs…Doobie far right, back often jumps down and potters about. It appears the higher you are in the pecking order…you sit on the left. It’s complex.
Ramps to reach the perches and everything is lightweight and easy to scrub. The tables are metal with plastic tops, so very easy to clean. I use chopped hemp for bedding.
The other great aspect is cleaning. Get any horrid mites or want a deep clean, I just take it outside and replace with a fresh perch set until this one is scrubbed. In winter I can move this deep into the coop to keep warm. In summer it goes out into the covered run to get the cool breezes. Flexibility all the way. No poop on the floor and no back pain having to bend down to clean. It’s knocked alot of time off cleaning which I can now devote to the girls instead.
My guineas too have flat perches. Nine if this roosting over a metre high. Pipi couldn’t jump. Perhaps an old injury. She needs a flat plank just 50cm off the floor. Really it’s about observing your chickens and poultry. Like you want a good night sleep, so do they and in winter it’s dark at 4pm, so it’s long night to try and sleep, balance and avoid falling. In fact when it’s time to get up, more often than not, my girls are still snoozing. Luckily Doobie starts her egg song at 10am, and that’s it, everyone us running out to escape that cacophony!!!