Roost preferance?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by fishnet1971, Oct 5, 2012.

  1. i used to use a tree stake about 6 inches around for the girls to roost on. I then heard that a 2 X 4 on its wide side was better for them (kept their feet warmer in the winter) so i switched to that last winter. This year i added a 2 X 12 for an access to the roosts (again in its flat wide side). They roost on the 2 X 4's ok, but i have heard that they prefer the round roost because it conforms to their feet better.

    What's your choice?
    Is one better than the other?
  2. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 12, 2009
    BuCo, KS
    My Coop
    I've used 2x4, 2x6 & 2x8's. I didn't like the 2x8 as it allowed too much of their body on the roost, which meant it collected a lot of poop. The 2x6 was fine but as my flock increased in size and I needed more roost space, I switched to 2x4's because that's what I had plenty of.

    My turkeys roost on a tree branch that I wired at both ends to be able to mount.

    The main thing with the chickens, I think is for them to be able to cover their feet with their body to keep them warm at night. There is really no one right or wrong answer. What you might be able to do to determine their personal preference is put a round roost and a 2x4 at the same height and see which one they use the most.
  3. Red Barn Farms

    Red Barn Farms ~Friendly Fowl~

    Apr 12, 2012
    Kentucky Heartland
    I provide both options and the chickens are the judges. The vote is in. They prefer the pine 2" x 4" to roost on. They pay no attention to the tree branch design and never use it.

    btw, lovely coop!
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2012
    1 person likes this.
  4. chicksooner

    chicksooner Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 19, 2012
    I just had to take my Roo to an avian vet and he recommended using a couple different sizes and leaving it to the chickens to choose which one they want. I have just changed out my small roosts for 2x4s. The chickens are fine with it but the guineas I have in with them I think preferred the smaller size as they are now roosting out in the run more often.
  5. JackE

    JackE Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 26, 2010
    North Eastern Md.
    IMO, with the chicken primarily being, a ground based bird, The wider flatter roost is more comfortable for them, and their big flat feet.
  6. That was my way of thinking too, they had room for almost their entire foot to rest flat on. I had read here somewhere that their foot was more comfortable on a round form as that is how their foot is formed. It just looks like they are sitting sideways sometimes on the 2X4 and giving me the stink eye. lol.

    Thanks RedBarn, My coop is my playhouse I never got as a little girl. and my 'coop house' when my DH gets mad. (instead of dog house) [​IMG]
  7. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

    May 24, 2011
    On, Canada
    I only have one roost in my coop, the 2x4 (could be a 2x6 lol) for my birds in the coop, it's over 4ft long to allow the 12inches per bird minimum(i only have 4 chickens) went with this since we have long cold winters and i understood it would keep their feet comfy during this.

    Now in their run they have logs, a box, a triangle thing(think a-frame) and an old tree branch that covers the entire width, it's even swings a little [​IMG] They all seem content with these varying options.

    ETa. I must say how cute your coop is inside!
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2012
  8. Ok, I put up 2 X 6 's and they love them!!!!! they are wide enough to put flat feet down for nighty night, but not too wide that their poop gets on it. They still are able to drop their little bombs off the edges. They seem to really be comfy on them.

    Great call.
  9. ShoreBird

    ShoreBird Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 14, 2012
    We are new to raising chickens and turkeys this year. At the recommendation of a friend who has raised them for many years, we used natural branches when building our roosts. As she pointed out to us, chickens and turkeys naturally roost in trees. We have 3 mature trees within our fenced in run, and since our chickens and turkeys have gotten older, and it is getting colder outside, they are spending more time in the lower branches of the trees. We constructed our roosts using two 2x4s for the side pieces and we found four sumac trees on our property with very straight trunks to use for the roosts. Our girls and boys huddle together on two of the tree trunks to sleep at night, but during the day they enjoy walking around on all four of them and using them for naps when it is raining outside. I spread a layer of pine shavings beneath the roosts to aid in cleaning the concrete floor and for them to walk on. We have birds with feet of all sizes (black Spanish turkeys, Jersey giants, Plymouth rocks, Ameraucanas, and Rhode Island reds), so the varied diameters of the sumac trunks allow them to choose a spot that is the most comfortable for them. Also the smooth bark of the sumacs is easy on their feet. They could also roost on the 2x4 side pieces if they wanted to, but they choose the natural shape of the sumac trunks for roosting.

  10. chicken pickin

    chicken pickin Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 3, 2012
    I have been wondering this myself. I hear different things all the time. I have round dowels in my chicken coop because that is what the plan called for. And I have tree branches in the run. They seem fine on both (I was wondering if a dowel is not ideal for the chickens?). In my turkey house I did have a 2x2 for a roost when they were a little smaller I just recently put a very large tree branch in the coop for roosting. And an even larger one in the run. They seen to do fine on both also.

    For my question:
    I am building a new coop. And it will house standards and bantams (Marans and Japanese bantams) So what should I do for a roost for them? I was thinking a 2x4 but doing it the skinny side up. Is that ok? does anyone with standards and bantams do anything special?

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