2x4 for roosts?

Erin80

Songster
Apr 16, 2017
756
837
221
Can I use a 2x4 or should we use 2x2?
We currently have two 2x4 roosts in the coop (our birds don't roost yet, they still sleep on the floor at 8 weeks old!) that the birds fly up onto off and on....and they are getting covered in poop. I'm wondering if 2x4 is too wide? I wanted their feet to be comfortable and warm in the winter....that was my main reason for using 2x4s.
 

ChickenMammX4

Songster
Mar 17, 2015
1,044
243
161
SW Ohio
Ours have a 2" x 4" (4" side up) for the roost. The thought was keeping their feet warm in winter.

We had a rounded 2" x 2" bar in front of the nesting boxes, the hens wouldn't use the boxes, we changed it to a 1" x 4" (4" side up) and they seemed to like that much better.
 

chickjoy11

Chirping
Mar 16, 2017
45
16
74
St. Louis area
I have used 2x2 and my hens have all used it. I am thinking that I may use 2x4 in the coop addition based on what I have read in the BYC forums. I too would like to hear more of other peeps' experiences. I think bumblefoot may be an issue.
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
27,513
20,794
907
Southeast Louisiana
You will find that different people have different opinions on this. Some are absolutely adamant that you have to have a flat 2x4 or you are just cruel. Others are equally convinced that your roost has to be round (like a tree branch) or you are torturing your birds. A lot of people use 2x4's on edge or 2x2's but don't seem as passionate about this.

I've tried 2x4's flat, 2x4's on edge, and tree branches, mixing them up and moving them around to try to negate the issue of position. From what I've seen the chickens don't care about the shape of the roost, where it is in the coop is what is important. Mine like the highest spots and being near the window seems important.

Erin, I can't remember where you are located so I don't know what your winters are like. When mine roost in the winter on my tree limbs or 2x4 on edge, they squat down and fluff up their feathers. Their feet disappear among their feathers. Centrarchid had some good photos showing that. My winters seldom get much colder than a few degrees below zero Fahrenheit so I don't have the extreme cold some people have, but I'm not at all concerned about their feet getting cold. If I lived where it regularly gets 40 below I might feel differently, but I have not seen any problems at all from cold feet.

I do believe it is important to use wood for roosts, metal or plastic are good heat conductors and can lead to frostbite, wood is a good insulator. And if you use a 2x4 or something else sawn, I suggest you round off the corners. Just a few hits with sandpaper should do it. That's not mainly to give them a round edge to grip but is more to avoid splinters.

I personally don't care which you use or how you position them. They all work. You'll find supporters and critics no matter what you do. But that criticism will not come from your chickens.
 

Hokum Coco

Crowing
8 Years
Dec 6, 2012
4,274
3,643
477
New Brunswick,Canada
You'll find supporters and critics no matter what you do

Ridgerunner covered the topic and hit on all the important issues.
I will state however that most BYCER's go with the 2x4 wide side up.
This is from the consensus I derived being a member for 4 years.

Who knows if it is right or wrong?

I personally have a mixture of roosts 10 of my 13 birds choose the wide 2x4 two prefer the round branches one prefers the nest box.
Height and maybe pecking order is the ruling factor I come to believe.

I will also add there are informed critics who have reasonable facts to back up their position.
You seem like an intelligent person and I am sure what ever you decide will work out just fine.
 
Last edited:

hlhutchinson

Songster
5 Years
Aug 26, 2015
642
662
231
Casper Wyo
Ours have a 2" x 4" (4" side up) for the roost. The thought was keeping their feet warm in winter.

We had a rounded 2" x 2" bar in front of the nesting boxes, the hens wouldn't use the boxes, we changed it to a 1" x 4" (4" side up) and they seemed to like that much better.[/QUOTE
Do the use the 1x4 to get to the nesting box or do they sleep on them?
 

hlhutchinson

Songster
5 Years
Aug 26, 2015
642
662
231
Casper Wyo
While 2 x 4's may seem big now, they will be good when the birds have grown up. Roosts need to be cleaned, and should be part of your coop chores.
With a 2x4 (4 side up) do they stand on it flat footed when they are grown? We too are building our cooo and debating on the size of the roots and ya a 2x4 just Lois so big I have to remember our chickens are still growing
 

Ol Grey Mare

One egg shy of a full carton. .....
7 Years
Mar 9, 2014
20,622
15,047
821
Oregon
My Coop
My Coop
You will find that different people have different opinions on this. Some are absolutely adamant that you have to have a flat 2x4 or you are just cruel. Others are equally convinced that your roost has to be round (like a tree branch) or you are torturing your birds. A lot of people use 2x4's on edge or 2x2's but don't seem as passionate about this.

I've tried 2x4's flat, 2x4's on edge, and tree branches, mixing them up and moving them around to try to negate the issue of position. From what I've seen the chickens don't care about the shape of the roost, where it is in the coop is what is important. Mine like the highest spots and being near the window seems important.

Erin, I can't remember where you are located so I don't know what your winters are like. When mine roost in the winter on my tree limbs or 2x4 on edge, they squat down and fluff up their feathers. Their feet disappear among their feathers. Centrarchid had some good photos showing that. My winters seldom get much colder than a few degrees below zero Fahrenheit so I don't have the extreme cold some people have, but I'm not at all concerned about their feet getting cold. If I lived where it regularly gets 40 below I might feel differently, but I have not seen any problems at all from cold feet.

I do believe it is important to use wood for roosts, metal or plastic are good heat conductors and can lead to frostbite, wood is a good insulator. And if you use a 2x4 or something else sawn, I suggest you round off the corners. Just a few hits with sandpaper should do it. That's not mainly to give them a round edge to grip but is more to avoid splinters.

I personally don't care which you use or how you position them. They all work. You'll find supporters and critics no matter what you do. But that criticism will not come from your chickens.


Can I get an "Amen!"?
 

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