Tree branches as a roost?

cluckingheck

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I’m thinking about cost effective ways to finish building the winter coop and I was thinking about using tree branches as a roost. Would I have to remove the bark from the branches or should I leave them on? What should I look for when selecting the branches? Is there any risk of bringing in diseases, parasites, etc...by using them?
 

Folly's place

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We have branches and saplings as roosts in our coop, bark on, and they work fine. For our standard and bantam sized birds, the diameters rang from 2" to 4". We also have birds roosting in the rafters, where they are 2"x 8 ' boards, narrow side up.
It's more about location, height, and social status than anything about the actual roosts, as far as I can tell.
Mary
 

cluckingheck

i wanna be a cowboy, baby ( HELL YEAH )
Jun 15, 2020
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TyCo, West Virginia
We have branches and saplings as roosts in our coop, bark on, and they work fine. For our standard and bantam sized birds, the diameters rang from 2" to 4". We also have birds roosting in the rafters, where they are 2"x 8 ' boards, narrow side up.
It's more about location, height, and social status than anything about the actual roosts, as far as I can tell.
Mary
so bark on is fine, okay. I didn’t know if there was an increased risk of bumblefoot with the bark on or not. The biggest chicken I have is my black sex-link ( BR/RIR ) cockerel who was 10lbs last time I weighed him around August. I don’t have any bantams, but I do have chicks that’ll be interested in the roost soon when mom decides to take them on it. How far from the ground should I have the roost for the chicks & mom?
 

Folly's place

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We have roosts at several different heights here. The babies sometimes start on our ladder roost, at 1', 2', and 3.5' off the ground. Nearby, there are two roosts about 3' high. In another section of the coop, there are roosts about 4' up, and then the rafters, 8' up in that section, and 9' high in another part of the coop. With forty birds right now, they all have preferred places to roost.
Mary
 

Folly's place

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The birds need enough space to fly up to their roosts, and to fly down, without hitting walls or doors. The roosts need to be above your nest boxes, and below winter ventilation.
Here our two lower windows are covered in plastic sheeting during the winter, so blizzards aren't blowing on roosting chickens!
Mary
 

ackie

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Mine are rose of sharon (a prolific woody weed) and some random thin tree that we wanted gone. But both of those arent bark heavy so I'm not sure about that. I didnt consider risk of using natural materials as mine spend all day outside anyway. They change up sleeping positions every night and sometime sleep in the actual trees instead.
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3KillerBs

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I didn’t know if there was an increased risk of bumblefoot with the bark on or not.

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I like natural branch perches both for philosophical reasons because chickens in nature would roost in trees and because my property abounds in scrub oak and pine saplings that need to be thinned anyway.

Both these have naturally smooth, tight-fitting bark.

However, if I were to use a branch from a species with rough bark or where the bark loosened as the wood dried I would de-bark it.

IMO they key thing is to choose a branch that is thick enough.
 

RoyalChick

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Mine like a very big branch (they have other options at the same height). I chose it based on it being more-or-less straight and not having too many bumps from removed branches. It has bark but I am guessing that eventually that will fall off.
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