Roost? 2X4 or....?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by clairabean, Jan 3, 2011.

  1. clairabean

    clairabean Songster

    Nov 7, 2010
    Kootenays of BC!
    Up until a week ago the chickens had a driftwood stick, about 1" wide to roost on. They loved it and I loved to see all 13 of them lined up roosting. It managed to get cracked, so I replaced it with a 2X4, flat side up.

    Now they will not go on it. One or two hop over/across, but they will not roost on it at night.

    It is cold here, about -20*C (-4*F), so I would like to see them using the roost instead of just laying on the coop flooring, or using the nesting boxes. [​IMG]

    So, what is up with that? I know I can't MAKE them, but.....??[​IMG]
  2. Liamm_1

    Liamm_1 Songster

    force them onto the roost, and if they refuse, give them time-outs....
  3. clairabean

    clairabean Songster

    Nov 7, 2010
    Kootenays of BC!
    force them onto the roost, and if they refuse, give them time-outs....[/

    Heehee. I will take away their video games.​
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2011
  4. heathersboers

    heathersboers Songster

    Dec 2, 2010
    I have notice with my chickens that if they cannot curl their toes around it-they will not roost- You might want to try a 2x2 -we have had great success with those. ??
  5. KaylaBird

    KaylaBird In the Brooder

    Nov 25, 2010
    Sunny SoCal
    I have been wondering about this too, we are just finishing up building our coop and I huffed and puffed about needing to get a 2x4 for the roost after reading that you need a 2x4 for full grown hens. Now im skeptical and really hope they will use it [​IMG]
  6. tammyd57

    tammyd57 Songster

    The roost is new to them. Chickens are wary of new things. You could try picking them off the floor and putting them on the new roost after dark (might take a few days trying this). If they can't see, they won't be as quick to jump down. Then it won't be new anymore and they will be more prone to accepting it.
  7. chick-george

    chick-george In the Brooder

    Apr 10, 2010
    My girls love their roost. I have four 2x4's attached diagonally in one corner of my coop. The 2" side is the top side. They do like to have some toe curling. They aren't crazy about the alternate roosts I put inside that consists of a twin sized headboard placed horizontally next to the diagonals though. It may be that the "roosts" on the headboard are not smooth, like the 2x4's. They are carved in hourglass shapes. It did take my adopted hens a few days to join the others in the corner but now that it is snowing in the SoCal desert all 8 of them are snuggled up. I think most often they end up where they want to be. [​IMG]
  8. crazeetxn

    crazeetxn In the Brooder

    Sep 20, 2010
    West Texas
    Try a 2x2 and see what happens. If you have the tools and rip down 2x4 , then you can essentially end up with 2 2x2s [​IMG] Just make sure you round over or sand the edges down a bit. Other than that, they probably just don't like the change. A little coaxing though and they'll get it...
  9. PepsNick

    PepsNick Back to Business

    May 9, 2010
    Egglanta, GA
  10. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Given that probably half of BYC uses 2x4s as a roost quite successfully, I don't think it's reasonable to claim that 2x4s are inherently unsuitable. Chickens on a 2x4 DO typically lap their toes around the edges btw.

    And something wide-ish like a 2x4 is a lot smarter in cold frostbite-risk regions than is a smaller roost where the toes end up lower down and not covered by tummy feathers.

    My money would be on them avoiding it simply because it is new.

    But if you feel they want something more round and sticklike b/c that's what they're used to, just go get another old dead tree branch. I'd suggest making it larger (like 4-5" diameter) because your winter temps are below freezing, but OTOH they are not MUCH below freezing so I suppose the risks involved in using a narrower one are probably not huge.

    Good luck, have fun,


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