We currently have a 1 x 3 board for the girls' roost. They don't seem to have any problems getting on and off it. But some of our friends and family (who have experience with raising chickens) look at us and ask us where the roost is. They are incredulous that we use the board, saying they need something to "grasp" so they keep their balance. I have read on here that people use 2 x 4s with the 4 inch side at the horizontal so that's what we did. Now I'm wondering if we need to change this or add an additional roost, using maybe an old tree branch or something. Even at that I'm not sure how big it should be. So do I need to change this roost or should what I have be OK? Don't want the girls to be uncomfortable. Thanks for any thoughts.
So how big SHOULD the roost be?
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It is amazing how controversial something as simple as a roost is. Maybe because it is so simple that anyone can have an opinion and about anything will work. Chickens are adaptable. They can manage quite well a lot of different roost sizes. The tree branches their ancestors learned to roost on were not all that specialized.
They will not have any problem on the 1x3 with the flat side up that you have. It does help to round the corners off the plank since their toes do bend around the edges, plus it is a good idea to make sure their are no splinters on that sharp edge.
If it is not broken, don't fix it. That roost is not broken.
in the old days people did have round roost but the chicken was loosing there toes do to the frost bite so they turn the flat side up so the bird can lay on the feet . hey they can grasp on one side of it now so leave it alone.laura
Chickens are not "perching" birds; their feet are adapted to life on the ground. A flatter, wider roost is more comfortable for their feet than the kind of round pole you'd offer to caged birds like finches or even parrots.
Offer a round perch and a flat perch at the same height. Your chickens will pick the flat perch. Then will your family and friends be convinced?