HOW WIDE SHOULD THE ROOST BE?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Fawn and Fam, Oct 19, 2013.

  1. Fawn and Fam

    Fawn and Fam Chillin' With My Peeps

    268
    7
    93
    Apr 2, 2013
    We have Easter Eggers. I was wondering how wide their nighttime roost should be for their feet? I don't know if this makes a difference but we live in Michigan where it obviously gets very cold (ex: Muscovy need a wide flat roost to protect their feet from the cold).
     
  2. Scott H

    Scott H Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,391
    137
    178
    Oct 29, 2012
    Twin Lakes, ID
    My Coop
    So do chickens. 2x4 or 2x6 set with the wide side up works great.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  3. alibraun

    alibraun Chillin' With My Peeps

    181
    2
    61
    Oct 19, 2013
    ohio
    hi! can I ask Scott a question pls??
     
  4. jetdog

    jetdog Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,282
    130
    148
    Jun 18, 2013
    Massachusetts
    2x4 side up is perfect for larger breeds to be able to cover their feet with their feathers, get a 2x4 double joist hanger and drop the 2x4 in, removes easy for cleaning and just drops back in.
     
    2 people like this.
  5. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

    7,556
    360
    311
    May 24, 2011
    On, Canada
    I have a 2x6 for mine, a 2x4 is fine too just using spare wood lol
     
  6. Sam3 Abq

    Sam3 Abq Chillin' With My Peeps

    203
    14
    108
    Sep 13, 2013
    Albuquerque, NM
    I'm planning on using natural tree branches (1 1/2 - 2" diameter).
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. bluebirdnanny

    bluebirdnanny Chillin' With My Peeps

    854
    107
    168
    Feb 16, 2013
    I'm going to do mine as a test of their preference...... See if it changes during seasons.

    2x6, 2x4, large branches from windfalls etc.

    During the summer they have perched on fallen Speckled Alder trunks or wind broken branches of the pine trees.

    In nature birds use what they can curl a toe around and move to larger branches that fit the natural curve of their feet. I am wondering if this is why we who keep birds end up with bumlefoot problems. Forcing on un-natural shape perches. Hence my test.
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    17,956
    2,632
    466
    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Wooden dowels 3/4 to 1.5" will do as will branches already mentioned.
     
  9. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

    7,556
    360
    311
    May 24, 2011
    On, Canada
    My ladies only have one perch a 2x6 that said they free range so can roost throughout the day on a zillion things, that all said they love to flop under the cedar trees so actually from what i have seen choose to only perch as night comes, the main issue is making sure they can cover there feet for the long winters that is why i opted for the wide perch in the coop.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2013
  10. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    20,495
    3,890
    506
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Interesting how you can get so many differing opinions on something like this. I wonder how many people have actually seen a case of frostbite on chicken’s feet or actually know of a specific case instead of just “THEY say you have to do this”?

    Bluebirdnanny, that’s an interesting question on bumblefoot. Bumblefoot is an infection, usually from a cut or splinter. I wouldn’t think the shape of the perch or roost would make any difference but I can’t say for absolute certainty. I do suggest anyone that uses lumber for roosts should sand off the sharp edges, not so much to make it comfortable for their feet as to remove splinters.

    Try your experiment but may I suggest a couple of changes. Add a 2x4 with narrow side up as well as wide side up. And mix them up occasionally so you are checking the roost width and not the location of the window for preference. I’ve tried a couple of short-term experiments like that and found that mine pretty much prefer location they are used to over roost type. But you may get different results. And if you try it yourself, it’s not some stranger over the internet telling you something.

    To me, perching is what they do during the daytime, resting on something at heights. Roosting is what they do at night. Just so I’m clear on what I’m saying. Yesterday I saw a 16 week old cockerel perching on a 3/8” wide piece of plywood I use as a door on a small isolation coop. I’ve seen young chickens roost on things pretty narrow but nothing that extreme.

    Fawn and Fam, I don’t see anything wrong with your using a 2x4 with the flat side up, just round off the corners to make sure the splinters are gone. That way you don’t have to worry about who is right. I use tree branches with some ends smaller than the 1-1/2” width of a 2x4. Some of mine roost on those smaller ends even in winter. But my coldest nights are normally just a few degrees below zero Fahrenheit. I’m sure your winters get colder than that.

    Good luck!
     
    3 people like this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by