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  1. tarajane

    tarajane Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Am I being dumb or OCD but aren't chickens supposed to have round dowel-like roosts so their toes can wrap around it and be more comfortable ? I have heard of using everything including an old ladder but that is not round...DUH... just checking before I get my chicks....[​IMG]
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    This can be a controversial subject, many people have strong opinions about this and many disagree. They all want what is best for their chickens but there are certainly different opinions as to what is “best”.

    I’ve put up tree limbs and 2x4’s flat and on edge, mixing them up to try to get away from their established habits, to see what happens. Based on what I saw, in my opinion it doesn’t matter. Use whatever you want, that will be “best” for you.

    When my chickens hunch down on my tree limb roosts or the 2x4 on edge roost, their feet disappear under their feathers when they fluff up on cold nights. One of the big selling points for flat roosts is that it helps keep their toes warm on cold nights because their feathers cover their feet. From what I’ve seen chickens can handle that on round roosts much like the wild birds do.

    On the other hand chickens will often choose to sleep on flat shelves much wider than a 2x4 if that is in an optimum spot. They don’t have to curl their toes to be comfortable. Location is much more important than type of roost from what I’ve seen.
     
    4 people like this.
  3. shortgrass

    shortgrass Overrun With Chickens

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    Ridgerunner makes good points.

    It's all up to you ;)

    My birds hate round ones as soon as they get big enough to roost on 2x4s, with the 4" side flat. Their little chick feet loved the round small branches (dowel sized), but as soon as they start noticing that the big girls get a big board higher up, they start climbing up the "ladder" per se, and they tend to stop using the branches and prefer the boards, just because my roost is set up that way; they will almost always go for the top of whatever roost there is.

    Here's a snapshot of one if my houses, the roost is angled almost like a big ladder leaned up against the wall. The boards are 18" apart going up, and 8" apart on the lateral going in. I found one that also shows the area I separate to brood chicks, and it has the smaller branches. I also turned the 2x4s on the roost after they had outgrown the 2" side, so now they look like this...

    [​IMG]

    This was when it was first built, with the brooder.

    [​IMG]

    But then again, I have free rangers that prefer the trees, and those are most definitely round branches ;)

    Try a little of both and see what they like; but if you're in an area that sees cold winters, they would appreciate wider roosts so they can tuck their feet under their bodies at night to keep them warm, no toesies getting frostbit hanging over onto a roost :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2015
  4. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Overrun With Chickens

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    Last edited: Dec 30, 2015
  5. Folly's place

    Folly's place Overrun With Chickens

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    Things to avoid would be anything NOT wood, or smooth wood dowels, especially if they are smaller than about 2" in diameter. Roosting behavior is about location, adequate space, and the pecking order. Saplings and tree branches are free, and dimension lumber isn't, so really whatever is convenient works fine. Mary
     
  6. tarajane

    tarajane Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, thank you all for your posts. I will maybe go with limbs or I like the idea of reusing an old wooden ladder. Thank you and my future chickens thank you for educating their mamma.[​IMG]
     
  7. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Holts Summit, Missouri
    The following images (night shot mode) show several American Dominiques roosting. Foot visible is of bird standing up to stretch. Otherwise you can not see toes nor any part of legs above feet. Termperature in mid 20's F. Legs and sometimes toes of same birds exposed when temperatures increase as that is a mechanism for dumping heat. As temperatures get above optimal they stand erect, extend wings, and divert more blood to legs and face.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Roost is sized so birds can wrap toes almost all around it. Toes would not be visible with a larger or smaller roost. Primary reason I do not use smaller roosts is they can not support weight. Square / rectangular roosts are cheaper and easier to stabilize under load of birds. Larger flat surfaces OK in windless locations although they can also promote buildup of feces in direct contact with birds which does not get along well with feathers and general cleanliness of birds.
     
  8. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Roosts are like each of us. Unique. We all do things a bit differently. Whatever materials you have available to you will be the best for YOU.

    Now, "using an old ladder", old apple or orchard ladders, atleast where I am from, traditionally have round rungs. Some chicken keepers use them for roosts. A vintage or brand new orchard ladder is fairly expensive, so...some of us make something similar.
    I have several outdoor roosts or "perches" which include branches and old 2"x4" lumber with the 2"up and slightly rounded, my birds don't seem to have a problem with any of them.
    I use a hinged ladder type roost inside the coop that has round rungs which are similar to this: http://hencam.com/henblog/2015/04/hinged-roosts/
     
  9. Mahlzeit

    Mahlzeit Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I go with 2 x 2's I have for years and haven't ever had any issues with it.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    2 people like this.
  10. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Looks like 1 x 1 rather than 2 x 2.
     

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