Adding roosting bar space question


12 Years
Oct 6, 2010
Bay Area, CA
Looking for some advice about adding roosting bar space in my house. I have a tiny house. It's basically 3 feet by 3 feet. There's an extra foot off one side but that's for three nesting boxes. So I've got a 3 foot long roosting bar inside the house. Great for 3-4 hens.

I'll spare you all the details of how I got here but I've got 2 adult hens outside in the house and 3 babies who will be ready to join them in several weeks. So 5 hens on a 3 foot bar is rather tight.

Someone suggested adding in another 2x4 at a right angle to make a cross. Or I'm thinking I could even just add one 16" section of 2x4. That would be plenty of space to accommodate 5 hens.

My question is, am I going to have issues because the hens are not all lined up in a single line? Someone is going to be sideways to the other hens. I suppose possibly two hens will be sideways depending on how they decide to bed up at night.

Any other issues you can think of that are not good with this arrangement?

I'm not handy and while I can saw and sand a piece of 2x4 and nail it up there, I don't want to go through all that effort if I'm just asking for trouble.

I'm open to other suggestions too. One thought would be to remove the existing roosting bar and add in two parallel bars. But that may make it tight for them to jump up there. It's about 18-20 inches up off the floor. So not too high up. But I do have a Jersey Giant and she needs some runway to get herself up there. I've put in a old piece of 6 by 6 on it's side and she'll step up there and then jump to the roosting bar. That's worked well.

Another option is to take down the existing roosting bar and put in something like this:

Although I would probably need to make two bars or again, make it into a cross shape to get a bit more space. The issue with this is that I like to scoop up the dropping every morning (I have sand on my floor) and this would definitely get in the way. Having the bar up off the ground is nice.

I think if I was working with those space limitations, I'd opt for an off-balanced T shape about 10 inches out from an adjacent wall, tying in to your existing roost. I might lower your roost just a little...make sure it's not higher than 18 inches. That should be low enough that even with not much clearance your JG should be able to make it up there. That'll give you 3 ft. plus 2 ft. I'm not a fan of roosts shaped that way, simply because I think it encourages pecking (since where the cross or T is they're somewhat face to face), but you simply don't have a lot of options.
Another option could be a hinged 2 rung ladder style roost. It would take up most of your indoor space when down, but you could hinge it to lift up for cleaning...???

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