Roost material selection ?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by Denninmi, Jul 10, 2010.

  1. Denninmi

    Denninmi Songster

    Jul 26, 2009
    What type of material makes the best roost for turkeys? This will be inside their permanent enclosure and then inside the shelter within the enclosure. I plan on putting the roosts fairly high up so they are in the "attic" of the structure for maximum winter warmth -- I can heat this area pretty effectively over the winter without costing too much since it's a small area (maybe 72 square feet), and I figure it will actually be warmer near the top since heat rises.

    Natural branches or cut lumber? And, should it be all the same size, or is it better for their feet to have varying sizes? I have always heard that caged birds like parrots should have an assortment of different sized perches for the health of their feet, but I don't know if this is true or just an old wives tale.

  2. thaiturkey

    thaiturkey Songster

    Feb 22, 2010
    We use branches, mainly because we have them freely available. In any case, we try to keep everything as natural and simple as possible. A diameter of around two inches seems to suit our birds but, again, branches will vary in diameter along their length, giving the birds some choice. For a while just before dusk our birds settle on a rustic fence that has rails up to four inches in diameter.

    When you set the height of your roosts remember that the birds have to fly up to them and need some horizontal distance in which to gain height. I wouldn't set them very high. Ours are at about two feet but heating isn't an issue for us. I understand that roosts should be set all at the same height to avoid fights for the highest one.
  3. Tunastopper

    Tunastopper Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 9, 2010
    I have been building roost more all weekend. I am using 2X8. I have stairs that go up to the top roost for the bigger turkeys to use. I do not like mine to high up. To many hurt legs if they are to high. They do not seem to rub the breast when they have a nice smooth surface to rest on.
  4. Lagerdogger

    Lagerdogger Songster

    Jun 30, 2010
    Aitkin, MN
    I use untreated 2X4 to give them a slightly wider perch. I only do this because I read it in a book and it seems to work fine. Any rationale for changing would be interesting to hear.
  5. pdpatch

    pdpatch Songster

    Apr 5, 2008
    Hastings, Nebraska
    We use untreated 2x4's turned on there side and about 2 feet off the ground, they are all the same height. As far as cold goes they can deal with cold temps, but cold wind is a different store. With no wind, they were happy down to -10, but with a 10 mph wind or above, they were not at the same temperature. In colds climate with wind you really do need to insulate the coop if at all possible. This helps reduce the difficulties of keep them happy in the winter, and it keeps the heating bill down.

    You do need to avoid heat lamps, as the extra light will trigger the hens to start laying to early. I you use a electric heater get one with a tip switch in it. so if it tips over it will shut off. You should also make a metal stand or shelve to set in on so there is less likely hood of it coming in contact with something flammable.


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