Roosting Bars Angled Up?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by hawkeyext, Jan 17, 2017.

  1. hawkeyext

    hawkeyext Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 5, 2016
    New York
    I had a relative graciously help build the roosting bars in our coop. The plan was to have the ladder setup as pictured below, but the bars themselves would be flat-side-up. Due to the weight that the bars would need to hold (plus the fact that I left him alone) he placed the bars angled upwards.

    While this makes sense due to the weight involved, I'm concerned about the chickens feet. Everything I've read says they should be round or flat.

    The chickens immediately hopped on and have slept on them since, but am I causing any long-term damage to their feet or legs? Any thoughts?

  2. thomasboyle

    thomasboyle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 28, 2013
    Northwest Hills of CT
    Try an experiment. Change one or two of the perches so they are flat side up as you originally intended. See if the birds prefer the flat ones or the angles ones. To truly get scientific results, you would want one side (left ) of the perch to be flat, and the other side (right) to be angled. Chickens often perch on the top perch, so they may ignore flat vs angled and simply perch on the highest one. Let us know which one they prefer.
  3. hawkeyext

    hawkeyext Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 5, 2016
    New York
    Hi, that sounds like a great experiment but unfortunately the way our system is set up it's not as easy to reconfigure as it may sound. (Plus we have way too much going on at the moment.) If I ever do get around to it I'll let you know.
  4. ScottandSam

    ScottandSam Still learning Premium Member

    Dec 24, 2016
    Shell Knob, Missouri
    If u nailed it or screwed it just pull out you fastened it with.Then measure between the boards (they look thicker than a 2x4) running from the wall to the floor. Cut your 2x4 to fit in between them and screw or nail them in flat (level). It would be rather simple to change it that way.

    If you find they like the angle better. It could be angled that way by sitting flush with the top edge of the wall to floor boards.

    Just a thought although I understand been to busy.

  5. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 18, 2016
    It looks to me like you have a ladder style, with 4 roost bars. If the ladder is screwed to the wall in one place such that you can rotate is up to clean (it better be), then rotate it up and put in another screw or so to mount it such that all 4 roost bars are level, which places the flat side up. Or better yet, rotate it up to level, mark the bottom of the side piece, then mount a different block at that height and let the roost bars rest on it. That way you can rotate it straight up to get back there to clean.

    My thoughts are YES, that corner up is bad for their feet. A birds foot is made to grasp it's perch. The front toes go over the front, the weight is born on the middle and the back toe then grasps it on the back. When you see a standing bird drop down on the roost, the motion of dropping down flexes a tendon, causing it to lock the feet to the perch. The perch has to be shaped such that then can. Ideal shape is that same 1.5" x 1.5" roost bar, with the top two edges rounded over slightly. Ideally, you would use something like a router with 3/8" round over bit to smooth them out.

    There are a lot of theories floating around about this. My reference for how it should be done comes from poultry husbandry books from long ago when they actually did scientific studies about all this to form their conclusions:


  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I’d take a different approach, I don’t think it will take a lot of time if you have the tool. Take a power sander out there and flatten the tops of those roosts. I don’t know what sanders you have available but with a decent one it shouldn’t take that long. A planer could work well too but I don’t think most people have those anymore.

    Just knock that sharp edge down some to take off the sharp point. You can round it a bit if you wish. That will also get rid of potential splinters that could get in their feet and get infected.
  7. WesleyBeal

    WesleyBeal Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 28, 2016
    Douglas County, Minnesota
    Alternatively, if setting up a router and holding the pieces is a chore, a jack plane could round over those sides well enough, without needing to remove the boards from the coop (or the ladder, for that matter).
  8. hawkeyext

    hawkeyext Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 5, 2016
    New York
    I'll try lifting the ladder up first. My thinking is that it might need to be lifted too high, meaning I'll have to create a ramp of some sort but it's worth a shot. Otherwise I might have to remove them all and rip them quickly with a table saw. We'll see... (I guess I was secretly hoping someone would say it's fine for their legs but that doesn't seem to be the case!)

    Thanks for the tips and advice everyone.

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