I provide my flock with perching materials this not only helps keep of predators and pests t that would attack them if they were on the ground but also to satisfy their natural instincts of perching on low lying materials for comfort and security.
Chickens prefer to roost at night on perches. Perching space of 15 to 20 cm should be allowed for each bird. Birds lower in the social peck order can also use the perches during the day.
I put the cross-section of each perch bar 2 to 3 cm. Their length depends upon the number of birds you intend to house. You should put the perches within a frame, and aligned parallel to the wall, and horizontally, with a sliding, removable platform called the “droppings board” about 20 cm below the perches to catch the manure droppings.
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Your first perch bar should be placed 20 to 25 cm out from the back wall, and subsequent ones at 30 to 40 cm intervals. The droppings board should touch the back wall and extend 30 cm in front of the front perch bar, as this will allow the birds to land from their flight from the floor before seeking a perching spot.
Your droppings boards should be a maximum of 75 cm from the floor of the house, and the perch bars should be about 20 cm above the droppings board. This will to facilitate you in cleaning of the droppings board.
Fowls deposit over half their droppings at night, and the use of the droppings boards thus helps to keep the floor clean. The manure can then be easily collected, dried and stored in empty feed sacks for use as an excellent fertilizer for plants requiring organic nitrogen. The area under the droppings board then becomes an ideal site for a communal nest.
You are on your way to having a healthy poultry flock, ensure the manure is collected regularly to avoid buildup of ammonia that would affect the respiratory system of the birds and good luck in using the manure or selling it to farmers.
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