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  1. kuntrychick

    kuntrychick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 19, 2009
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    I know many people here use 2x4s "flat side up" for roosts & I'm hoping to get hubby to put some in the new coop this weekend. But, I also want natural tree branches in there. Is there a rule on what thickness/diameter they need to be? What about branches approximately 4" or so?
     
  2. goldies99

    goldies99 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i use 2 x 4 flat side up....that way they can lay feet flat and keep them warm for winter.....a round branch is ok as lokng as its big enough....
    they dont grip things like wild birds with their feet
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2011
  3. MissJenny

    MissJenny Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Safety first -- be sure the branch or bough in question is wide enough -- 4" or so and smooth -- so nothing pokes or splinters their feet -- that would be a fast track to bumble foot.

    If you don't like the look of a 2"x4", could you paint it and stencil the side? Tack tree branches, burlap or straw to the side?

    Jenny
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    If you look closely, you can see how much their feet wrap around tree branches. You can also see where chose to roost when they had free choice. These were taken in the summer, so they had no reason to try to stay close to keep each other warm.


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    [​IMG]

    Tree branches 4" in diameter will work great, even if they taper down to 2" or so on the far end. They will love them. A 2x4, either side up, will also work well. If you use a 2x4, I suggest sanding the corners, partly to round them a bit to make it more comfortable to them when they "don't" wrap their feet around them but mainly to remove splinters.
     
  5. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

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    Chickens DO wrap their feet and they DO hold on if you give them something that allows them to do so. My chicken book recommended a 2x2 with rounded off corners so they could wrap their toes and feel secure. I wanted to use a natural branch so following the commonly found advice here, I put in 4" diameter branch, bark stripped. They kept jumping on and slipping off. So, since I already had the 4" pipe hangers, I replaced it with a 4" diameter round branch, heavily-textured bark on, and that solved the problem. My folks are using 2-3" branches and they have Brahmas! Nobody is getting frozen toes.
     
  6. pintail39

    pintail39 Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi, At first I used both 2x4 and natural branches, the hens liked both equally I think but I got rid of the branches b/c they were way too hard to clean. the 2x4's I spray down, rub on the grass, spray again and let dry . Guess you could just replace the branches as they get gunked up with poo.
     
  7. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

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    ??? There is not one speck of poo of my roost. Feather dust, yes, but no poo. Perhaps because there is only one long roost and nowhere for them to be above it?
     
  8. pintail39

    pintail39 Out Of The Brooder

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    maybe my girls are just messy :}
     
  9. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

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    They can get the occasional smudge of poo on the roost, if they happen to have some on their feet. I don't usually get a lot of poo on the roost, but over time it doesn't look like it just came from the lumber yard. They get smudges of mud on it in rainy weather, too, at times. I usually run a sharp scraper over it, whenever it needs it. I like to keep a scraper hanging on a nail on the coop wall.

    I also gently round the edges of 2x4s that I use for roosts.

    I would use a wider, branch, too. If you ever have a mite problem, make sure you treat the bark thoroughly, since it has a lot of crevices that mites can hide in. It doesn't mean you shouldn't use a branch, just be aware of that.
     
  10. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:Absolutely! I pre-treated by spraying until wet with an organic fruit tree spray (neem and pyrethrum) and left it in the sun to dry. When I do the annual deep-clean, I intend to repeat this process. You don't want to give the nasty little buggers any safe haven.
     

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