How wide should the roost boards be? Cold weather coop.

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by PocketAcesMom, Jul 5, 2016.

  1. PocketAcesMom

    PocketAcesMom Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 2, 2016
    Central Ohio
    I live in Central Ohio and our winters can get below 0. I believe I read somewhere on here that the boards used for the roost should be wide enough to have the chickens completely covering their toes to keep them from getting frostbitten. How wide would you recommend?
  2. TerryH

    TerryH Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2016
    NW Arkansas
    My Coop

    Lots of different opinions on this subject but a 2x4 flat (3 1/2" side up) seemed to be the best answer when I researched it for our coop.
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    A few years ago I tried round tree limbs, 2x4’s flat, and 2x4’s on edge. The chickens didn’t seem to care which I used. I wound up with tree limbs for my main roosts, thanks to an ice storm when I was outfitting my coop plenty of tree limbs were available. I also have a juvenile roost that is a 2x4 on edge. Works for me. I notice that when the chickens hunker down on the roosts and fluff up in winter their toes disappear in their feathers on the tree limbs or on that 2x4 on edge. I’ve had a few winters with the coldest temperature around -4 F. Never had frostbitten feet.

    I’m not one of them, but many people on this forum are convinced your chickens will get frostbitten feet if you don’t use a 2x4 flat. 2x4’s flat work, the chickens will use them. There is nothing wrong with going that way. If you use lumber, I suggest you sand the edges off so they are round. That’s mainly to avoid splinters.

    And use wood for roosts. Metal or plastic transmit heat too easily. Those can lead to frostbitten toes. Using wood is more important than what shape it is in.
  4. NickChillPhoto

    NickChillPhoto Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 24, 2016
    Decorah, IA
    My Coop
    From what I've read, wider boards allow the chickens to tuck their feet under their feathers in the cold, preventing frostbite. That makes sense to me. I read that 4 inches is good, so I've used 1x4 planks for my coop roosting bars. Newly constructed, so they haven't been winter tested.
  5. PocketAcesMom

    PocketAcesMom Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 2, 2016
    Central Ohio
    Thank you so much for the fast replies. We have 2x4s available so I think we'll just go ahead and use those to be on the safe side. We'll use smaller ones out in the attached run. I'll get to add photos of our coop soon. :)

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