roost recommendations


12 Years
May 10, 2010
I have a 4x8 chicken coup thats fairly tall. I put a 1" branch as the roost that comes out from the wall about 6 inches. I have a ramp that leads up to this roost. Right now I have 3 2month of chickens that appear to use it, it seems it takes them quite a bit of time at first to get situated on it. What is the recommendation for how far the roost be from a wall and how high it should be? I am going to add some more chickens to the coop and was thinking of adding another roost higher up.

anybody have plans for a ladder type roost?
The general recommendation is 18 inches from the wall to keep it clean. It also depends if you have standards or banties. 1 " is a bit narrow for a roost for adult standards so you may need to change the roost to something wider as they grow. My chicks are also 2 months old and they love a 1 1/2" roost I have for them in their run and are starting to use the 2x4 (wide side up) in the hen house this week. You can use the narrow side of a 2x4 but if it gets really cold its best to let them roost on a wider board so their feathers cover their toes.

As for the height, you'll hear lots of debate on that. The hens love it high but today's dual purpose hens are so heavy and they can damage their liver as they drop off the roost. It is not uncommon for a hen to bleed to death from a hemorrhagic liver after dropping from the roost if they are overweight. This may be what has happened when someone comes in and finds their hen dead in the morning when she was perfectly normal the day before.
This is why mine is only 20" high. If they are a lighter breed or banty then I would go higher as they can fly well.
Can the chickens grab flat side of a 2x4 with thier feet. I was told they like rounded roosts since its easier for them to grasp. If 2x4s make good roosts I'll use those I have plent of them and they are easier to build a support for.
I am not sure how good an idea this was but my husband went in the woods and found nice round uneven as heck and sometimes gnarled limbs. He got them in various sizes and put them at various heights so they could choose what they want. If he sees one not being used he might move it to another location and see if location is an issue. They seem to love these. He put one really wide one in that no one will touch. he put it in for the rooster since he is the biggest butted thing you have ever seen but he won't use it either. It goes in the fire pile and a new one from the woods will take its place.

Its free too. I like free ALOT!
They sit on it mostly but can grab one side if needed. Many folks use the narrow end of a 2x4 or you can try a 3" wide piece of lumber. Be sure to smooth the ends of any roost so they are a little rounded--this helps keep their toes comfy. If you use a natural branch smooth the sides enough so there are no sharp edges that can hurt their feet. Every bird has its favorite size, I just like to allow them to cover their toes with their feathers on cold nights. Chickens can handle cold very well if there are no drafts and their toes can be covered and combs protected. If you are in a southern area you may not need to worry about that

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