Perches...Dowels or 2x4?


In the Brooder
11 Years
Sep 17, 2008
Southern Maine
Hey all...
I need to add some new perches for the littleuns but I am torn as to which would work best...large dowels or 2x4s? I have read pros and cons of both....What do you use and why?

I go out in the back yard and cut a growing branch or sapling about 1-1/2" dia. The bark gives the girls a little more grip, the wife & I like the natural look and the price is just right.
I agree to dowels, if by that you mean a completely circular piece of wood. That's the wrong shape for a chicken's foot. Chickens don't grip with their toes the way perching birds do.

If you live someplace with cold winters, a flat perch also means the chickens can cover their toes with their breast feathers when they roost at night, meaning no frostbitten toesies.
The dowels are usually better; more natural. But 2x4s are usually cheaper and easier to build with. Also depending on how cold your winters get, the 2x4s are good because then the chickens can cover their feet when roosting.
I use those kind of perches, too, although I give the branch a good spray with Adam's Flea and Tick spray and put it out in the sun to dry before I use them. Natural tree branches can occasionally harbor mites from wild birds.

When the branch gets poopy, I just throw it out and get a new one. I like not having to clean perches!
While chickens certainly can wrap their toes around something, they do not *grip* it like normal perching birds do (finches, parrots, whatever).

I notice that the original poster is in Maine. Thus, cold winters. It is fairly important that whatever you use it result in your chickens' toes being flat enough that they can easily cover them fully with their tummy feathers, vs frostbite. So IMO your choice is between the flat (wide) side of a 2x4, or a fairly large-diameter tree branch (or other round thing), like maybe 5" in diameter, ish.

Good luck, have fun,


New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom