Roost diameter too small for cold weather?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by SmittenChicken, Nov 17, 2010.

  1. SmittenChicken

    SmittenChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 23, 2010
    I've read a few posts that talk about how flat roosts are better, as chickens have an easier time keeping their toes warm. I'm wondering just how big of a deal this is?

    This is my first year with chickens, and they live in a 50s-era coop (dirt floor) that came with the house I'm renting. Their roosts are round wood, about the size of a broomstick and are probably original to the coop. We're in Colorado, so it gets pretty cold but not humid. The coop has open eaves at the top and isn't insulated, but has deep litter and south-facing windows. We have 13 LF pullets in about a 20x10 space.

    I'm not really in a position to build new roosts, but I'm wondering if it would be possible (or even a good idea) to put something over the round roosts? I'm thinking of maybe that gray foam pipe insulation - would they eat that? I don't want to create a new hazard or freak the chickens out by changing things, but I also don't want any frostbitten toes. I'd love to hear your suggestions and experiences on this - thanks!
  2. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2010
    Forest Grove, OR
    If they have the wide side of a 2 X 4 then they can sit on their feet to keep them warm. Plus they don't have to put so much effort into balancing.
  3. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    yes they will eat the insulation......which reminds me I need to replace the stuff that USED to be on my air conditioner/heat pump pipes coz I think it's more important in the wintertime.....
    Gee thanks! LOL

    Mine do fine with the narrow side of 2x4's, but it doesn't really get that cold in Arkansas. I have some roosters that prefer roosting on the top of the cattle panel fence, seems awful narrow to me, but there's plenty of other options and that's where they go [​IMG] don't know how it will suit them as it gets cold [​IMG]
  4. chauqg

    chauqg Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 13, 2009
    I have used 2x4 or 3" limbs from trees with equal success. I think the prefer the trees so I rounded the corners off the 2x4 and cut them in half. My roosts are 18" off the ground and level about 16" apart. They work perfectly, are simple to remove all at once when removing the litter from the coop or when moving the litter around inside.

  5. SmittenChicken

    SmittenChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 23, 2010
    Thanks, guys. I may see if I can incorporate some tree branches or 2x4s into their roost area somehow so they at least have some options. Any ideas would be much appreciated!
  6. KimberlyJ

    KimberlyJ Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 13, 2010
    Before I spent alot of money, or even time worrying about this, I'd ask my chickens what they think. Simply go out with a flashlight on a cool/cold night. Take a look around and see if your chickens have their feet covered with their they seem sturdy on the round perch or wobbly? We provided three different kinds of perches and they STILL prefer the rafters and the tops of the next boxes.
  7. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Chicken Obsessed

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    I too have the old style coop and the round roosts, mine are more about the size of a shovel handle, and one is a shovel handle. Anyway, I have had chickens in this set up for 3 years, they have never heard of the 2 x 4 and don't seem the worse for it.

    It gets cold here in western SD, but it is a dry cold. Mine have had no problem. mk
  8. 7L Farm

    7L Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 22, 2010
    Anderson, Texas
    I prefer the 2x4 edge ways. I have gone out & checked their feet & their completely covered.
  9. joebryant

    joebryant Overrun With Chickens

    Chickens are not like songbirds. Their feet are NOT meant to wrap around something like a "broom stick". They need something closer to being flat; otherwise, they lose their balance and fall off. Whatever is used, it should be flat enough that they can easily squat and cover their feet because their toes can freeze and fall off. The 3 1/2" side of a 2- X 4-inch board is ideal; anything larger can collect poo, and anything smaller can cause them to fall off the roost while they sleep and/or have frozen feet.
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2010
  10. Caseman

    Caseman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 22, 2010
    Lexington, KY
    I use round poles about like a shovel handle. chickens will not fall off the roost ..I got bantams who roost on a wire fence and never fall off.. what ever the size they will cover their feet. they like to roost next to a roof in barns I have seen them 30 feet off the ground sitting on a 1 by ..don't worry about them they will be fine on your roost..[​IMG]

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