We use removable perches for the hens, as these can be easily cleaned, and if red mite do strike, then they can be replaced. We needed some more though, both for the current hens, and to stock up for new arrivals, so today we built 8 more perches for the girls!
Perches are important in the coop, as hens naturally roost as high as they can at night and perches keep them off the litter so it’s important that every hen has the opportunity to sleep on a perch. When the hens are first re-homed they tend to sleep on the floor, meaning they’re sitting in their droppings – not the best for their health! To get them used to the perches, we lift them onto a perch each night until they get into the habit themselves. Being about 150mm tall these perches aren’t as high as some are but ex-commercial hens that have been caged don’t have strong legs, so this height is fine for them.
The design is fairly simple; a 150mm x 44mm pressure treated board was used for the legs, and cut into 200mm sections (picture 1), using a stop block on the mitre saw for accurate repeatable cuts. I then marked 70mm from the bottom of the leg and cut this at 45 degrees , again using a stop block so that the leg could be turned over to cut the other side (picture 2). The perches themselves were 800mm long, except for one, that was cut to 500mm to fit into the broody coop (picture 3). When all the pieces were cut the best sides of the timber for the front, back and top were selected (picture 4), and to give consistency and to speed up any measuring, I made a drilling guide from a piece of timber the same width as the perch (picture 5) then used this to drill and countersink the holes for the screws. All that was left to do was screw the perches to the legs with 75mm decking screws (picture 6), and take them out to the girls for an inspection!