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Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by ACaliforniaChick, Jan 15, 2011.
Does a standard wooden closet pole make an adequate roosting pole?
Not really. It will work in a pinch, but chickens aren't true roosting birds--they really prefer to "rest" on a board as opposed to curling their toes around a pole. You (and your chooks) would be much better off using a 2x4 flat side up for a roost. That will give them the ability to rest on the board and cover their feet for warmth on those colder nights.
If you haven't gotten your roost set up yet I'd also encourage you to do a search on "poop boards." They're a great time saver when cleaning the coop and also give more usable floor space since you can use the area under the roost for feed/water, nest boxes, or just running around room.
Quote:She's right. Chicken feet are made to stay flat, not curled like wild birds. A 2" x 4" board, widest flat side up allows them to nestle down over their feet, keeping them warmer.
Poop boards are wonderful! They really help keep the coop cleaner.
Thanks. My coop (http://www.forshamcottagearks.com/poultry-housing/orpington-poultry-house.htm) didn't come with a roosting pole. It has two nest boxes on each side with a ladder type ramp to get into the boxes. The literature said the hens would roost on the ladder and the poop collects underneath where they can't tramp through it. But, they all prefer to sleep in the nest boxes which then need to be cleaned daily. Someone suggested a roosting pole attached higher than the nest boxes as they like to sleep in the highest spot. I'm hoping I have enough room to add one. And, why on earth was the coop designed w/o a proper place to roost?!
Quote:The silly claim? To persuade you it was not a problem. Why done? Profit$.
The chickens want to roost on the highest comfortable spot they can find. Mine like their 2x4 (wide side up) roost in the non-drafty corner .
I just used some tree limbs on small trees about 4"s round and cut them in half. kinda more natural!!
Nothing wrong with round or rounded roosts, lots of people use them. Chickens can curl their toes to an extent, but do like to rest their body on their feet. In cold climates their feet get the most warmth from the flat side of a 2x4 or even 2x6. A really big roo may even want a larger surface to sleep on, like a shelf. I have one that sleeps on top of the nesting box, which is flat and linoleum. No hassle to scrape the poop off it in the AM. People use closet poles, too, but IMO they are not thick enough. I like those 4" or 5" tree branches cut in half, if it's not terribly cold there. Actually it is often recommended to round the edge a bit if you use a 2x4.
Originally I used the narrow side of a 2x4, before I found BYC. When I read about using the wide side, I changed half the roosts. They went right for the wide ones.
I use 2" thick bamboo, and I've never heard them complain.
I do use natural tree branches sometimes as roosts. I try to pick a smooth barked branch that is about as wide as my chickens' feet or a little wider. I sand down any rough edges and give the branch a good spraying with Adams Flea and Tick spray, then let the branch dry in the sun before I put it up for use.
I also have used 2" by 1" boards with the edges planed down and sanded (I have tiny bantams, so this is the width that is suitable for them).