Roost Question!


11 Years
Mar 29, 2008
Snohomish, WA
I built my roosts out of 1x1 boards. I think the actual measurement is a bit more than 1", maybe 1 and 1/2. Anyway, here is my question. Is that too narrow? My chickens are sleeping in their nest boxes instead of on the roosts, but I'm not sure if that is because its cold or because they don't like to stand on the narrow roosts.
I think a two by four with rounded off edges would be preferable. They don't actually perch by wrapping their toes around something. They sit as flat-footed as possible to balance their breast weight therefore the four in. side would be up. Some folks don't bother to round off the edges, but I've read that you should. It might be more comfortable for any toes that hang off a bit.
I use 2x4's ripped in half, with edges rounded.Are your nest boxes higher than yiur roosts? If so, try raising the roosts or lowering the nest boxes as its my observation they like to roost as high as possible. My nest boxes are near the floor.
I'm using 2x3's for my roosts, but I read to be sure to leave enough room so they can spread their feet and nestle their breasts down on them to stay warm in the cooler temps. We'll see how they fare, cause I can always change up if need be.
IMO, 1" to 1.5" is too small for standard breed birds, especially the larger standards. They are probably not comfortable on them and that's maybe why they are sleeping elsewhere. For bantams, those would be fine. To me 3" is a perfect size, but since 2x4's are actually less than 2" on the small side, you could go with 2x4's and sand them till they were very rounded on the edges. I lucked out and got a heavyweight pallet where the crossmembers were obviously originally 2x4 pieces and had been machine-rounded to maybe 3" or slightly wider. I sanded those and used them for about half my roost bars. The rest are just 2x4's.
Thanks for all the input. I think I will change my roosts to 2x4's and see what happens. I'm introducing some new chickens tonight so it might be a good time before they arrive. Maybe they will incourage the existing birds to try again.
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