What is a roost Pole and what is its purpose?

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by mennenfarm, Nov 6, 2014.

  1. mennenfarm

    mennenfarm Hatching

    Nov 6, 2014
    What is a Roost pole? What is the purpose of it?
  2. chickenlover09

    chickenlover09 Chirping

    Jul 17, 2014
    A roost pole is a pole that you put across the coop, and the chickens sleep on it. I've seen really cool ones where people put tree trunks across the coop and the chickens love pecking at it as well.
  3. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida

    Feb 25, 2014
    Northwestern Wyoming
    My Coop
    Chickens like to roost up high at night. When they sleep, they don't respond to much at all - hence the reason it's easier to check on one that might be having an issue while it's on the roost at night rather than try to catch it during the day. They roost because they feel safer from predators.

    The terms "roost" and "roosting pole" are used interchangeably. Many people, me included, a use 2x4 with the widest, flat side up. That way they aren't trying to cling to a round pole and sleep, and their toes aren't exposed to cold air. Instead they can literally sit right on their feet to sleep, keeping them warm in winter. That said, many people use round poles for their chickens and it works just fine. But a lot of times when the question is asked, "Why won't my chickens roost on their pole", a few questions back at the poster will yield the information that they are using a closet rod or something narrow like that. Good thick branches also work very well, as long as the birds don't have to curl their feet around a uniformly narrow rod.

    In addition to the 2x4 roost, I have two tree limbs out in their run...one ranges from 3 to 4 inches in diameter from one side to the other and they like having the different sizes on the same roost. The other is more uniform in size from end to end, about 4 inches in diameter.

    Edited for spelling.
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2014
    2 people like this.
  4. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Crowing

    May 14, 2014
    Welcome to BYC! Glad you decided to join our flock. Blooie has given you the straight information on roost poles (or roosting bars). I've always used the 2 X 4s, wide, flat side up and they work very well. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have. We are here to help in any way we can. What kind of chickens do you have?
  5. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Bird is the Word

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Hello there and welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    X3 on the roost bar. Chickens love to get up off the floor to sleep at night. For heavy breeds, don't keep the bar up high to help prevent hard landings and sprains. I keep heavy breeds and my bar is one foot off the floor. Bantam types can be kept up a bit higher. A 2x4 with the 4 side up works well. Something the birds can sit flat on and keep their feet under all their feathers on the breast to keep them warm. Feet are susceptible to frost bite. Give each bird at least 1 foot of bar space.
  6. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years.

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    Make sure the roosts are far enough away from walls, so the birds can turn around .. [​IMG]
  7. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons

    Apr 23, 2014
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC! Please make yourself at home and we are here to help.

    By instinct, chickens want to roost (sleep) in the highest point available and be gathered together in a group for protection and warmth while they sleep. Your chickens will be happy if you play to their instincts when you are designing their living space. A roost should be at least one foot off the ground. If you have more than four chickens than be sure to provide more than one roost.
    A roost is just basically a pole, branch or piece of wood that chickens grip and sleep on. The easiest way to make a roost is to use just a simple "2X4" and position it so that the 4" side faces up. This insures that the birds cover their feet while they sleep. Unlike wild birds, chickens like to sleep flat footed.

    Chickens love to be as high off the ground as they can when they sleep so try and make it as high as possible. But if it’s really high then you will need to provide another roost or two so that the heavier breeds have a way to jump up. Make sure you completely sand the roosts so that your birds don’t get splinters while sleeping. And make sure you place the roosts away from any areas you don’t want your chickens pooping, since chickens do about half of their pooping at night. In other words, don’t put the roosts near the nest boxes since hens won’t lay in dirty nests.

    Good luck!
  8. JustJean

    JustJean Hatching

    Apr 28, 2015
    I'm so new to chickens. I just assembled a new coop. It's supposed to be big enough for 6 chickens (it's not) but there is no roosting pole and I don't see anywhere there is room for one. I'm assuming the roosting pole needs to be inside a covered area.
  9. nj2wv

    nj2wv Songster

    Jan 14, 2015
    Lost Creek ,WV
    Welcome to BYC !!

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