Roost bar diameter question....

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by TwoCrows, May 19, 2011.

  1. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    I am new to chickens and have a question about the diameter of the perch/roost. I have 4 Australorp girls. My roost bar is a 1 x 2, with the 2 inch side up. (I measured the 2 inch side and it is indeed 2 inches). I have heard about using 2 x 4 being placed up on it's larger side. But is my 2 inch roost bar enough for them? Will it cause any foot problems or anything of this nature? Thank you for any information you may have....Leyla
    Last edited: May 19, 2011
  2. welasharon

    welasharon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 28, 2010
    North Florida
    I read on here that it is better to do a 2x4 flat side up so they can sit on their tootsies and keep them from freezing in the winter so I used that. Then I thought "Gee wider is better so I put up a shelf." Umm no. They push and fight too much so I put the 2x4 back of course the polish roost on top of the screen door that separates the original pen and the addition...which is a whopping 1/2 inch wide. Now you have to understand that they have a heck of a time hanging in there....and then you have to realize they are polish so they are not REALLY chickens....that do like, normal stuff....
  3. Sorin

    Sorin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 15, 2010
    Glenfield, ny
    The 2x4 is better. Most birds when they perch, their feet "lock" around the perch, when they sit down it forces their feet to clamp around the perch so they are stable. Chickens don't do that, they are most comfortable and stable with their feet flat. Also, during cold weather it let's their whole foot be covered by their feathers so it keeps them warmer. I don't know if a narrower board will hurt their feet though.
    1 person likes this.
  4. laseterlass

    laseterlass Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 13, 2011
    Anchorage Alaska
    A neighbor was complaining that her hens lost toes last winter. She showed me her coop and it only had a 2x2 for a roost. Now they do not roost at all, but sleep in a corner of the coop on the floor. I have a 2x4 set up for my Orpies it is not very high off the floor of the coop but it is something for them to set on if they like.
  5. motoclown

    motoclown Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 27, 2010
    New Castle, PA
    If you don't get cold winters, you can use a nice size round branch.
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    A 1x2 on-flat is going to sag badly under the weight of full-grown chickens. You will either need to add some serious support (a stiffener at right angles, or props/brackets partway along its length) or swap it out for something else.

    Personally I'd go with the swap-for-something-else plan, just find a nice strong dead branch (strip the bark off first, or find one with the bark already gone) and saw it to length. A branch like this even works fine in cold climates, btw, as long as it is large-enough diameter to keep their toes flat under thier belly feathers.

    But it is not like a 2"-wide roost is going to kill your chickens, so if you'd rather just prop it up your 1x2 so it's stronger, that'd be ok too.

    Good luck, have fun,

  7. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Chicken Obsessed

    Feb 28, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    Don't have time to read all post. But

    A 2x2 is good. You can use a 2x4 turned with the 4 side up or down. If you live in a cold area up is good so they cover their feet with feathers in the winter though not necessary.

    Have fun

  8. darkmatter

    darkmatter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 10, 2009
    My ladder roost was made with 2X4 ripped length wise then rounded on the top. Been working for nearly two decades---no problems.

  9. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

    Aug 13, 2007
    North/Central Florida
    I've used natural tree branches or sapling trunks in the past. Now I use 2x2s. The birds handle them just fine.
  10. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Thanks for all the great replies! I had bought this premade coop and this is the roost bar that came with it. The bar is about 33 inches long and is double supported from the bottom at each end. I live at 7,000 feet in the mountains of New Mexico and it does get down into the single digits thru out the winter at night, even falling below zero occasionally.

    I am going to watch and see as the birds grow, ( they are only 10 1/2 weeks old now) and if I am noticing any frost bitten feet, I will make the change. But I really appreciate all the replies! [​IMG]
    Last edited: May 20, 2011

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