What type of roost should I use?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Thechickentrainer1999, Jul 30, 2018.

  1. Thechickentrainer1999

    Thechickentrainer1999 Songster

    Jul 30, 2018
    North Carolina
    I'm currently building a new coop and I was just wondering what type of roost would be better/more comfortable for my hens. Should I use a 2x4, or a rounded roost like a broom stick or something else? GOD bless.
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    A 2X4 is better and more comfortable. Chickens aren't really perching birds. Also, if it is cold where you are, the flat 2X4 allows the chickens to cover their toes at night preventing frostbite.
  3. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    :welcome :frow You will probably get many different opinions. Me personally I use 2x4's with the 4" side up, but that is my personal preference.
  4. Folly's place

    Folly's place Free Ranging

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    I use small trees, from 2.5" to 3.5" diameter, bark on. Some of my birds roost 8' up in the rafters, which are 4" fence posts. I also have a ladder roost in the other side of my coop, which makes it easier for chicks to start roosting. It's also branches, bark on.
    You don't need to buy dimensional lumber, if you have something there already that can be used. I don't recommend dowels though, and it must be wood, not metal or plastic.
  5. Kessel23

    Kessel23 Hi Bug

    Feb 6, 2018
    Hi Hannah
    I use tree branches in the run, they roost out there on the branches all summer long, then inside the coop I have 2x4s, the 4 inch wide wood surface really helps to prevent frostbite on the toes but they do seem to prefer the branches when it is warm, they might also just like the cool breeze that comes through the run at night.
  6. Folly's place

    Folly's place Free Ranging

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    I'm in Michigan, have an unheated coop, and have never had frostbitten feet on any bird.
    I can't speak for places that get -40F, but it's fine here. Their little toes are covered just fine, and they are a species that's meant to roost in trees.
  7. imnukensc

    imnukensc Crowing

    May 22, 2017
    SC Midlands
    I'm uncertain why the myth is continually perpetuated on this forum that chickens can't cover their toes on anything except a 2x4 with the 4" side facing up, that it's "better" for them, and that chickens can't/weren't meant to perch. I've even read on this forum that a chicken had no muscles in its feet. Really?

    Here's a little light reading for you: https://academic.oup.com/ps/article/90/4/715/1514426

    And here's a chicken that can cover its toes quite well on a dadgum steering wheel. Compare it to the one roosting in the foreground.

    Chicken Roost.jpeg
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2018
    JaeG, trumpeting_angel, KSH1 and 4 others like this.
  8. happylittlehens

    happylittlehens Songster

    Mar 19, 2013
    I have a 2 x 4 with the 4" side up as well as a 2" round wood pole. My hens all prefer to roost on the 2" x 4" board.
  9. Folly's place

    Folly's place Free Ranging

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    It's often about 'location, location, location'! Mine jockey for prime higher places, and compatible roostmates.
    ChickenCanoe and Susan Dye like this.
  10. Howard E

    Howard E Crowing

    Feb 18, 2016
    I'll hazard a guess that fewer than 1 person in 100 on BYC is even aware that scientific studies have been undertaken to determine the optimum size and shape of roost bars, and fewer than 1 in 100 would follow them even if they did know.

    To the OP, if you want to provide what poultry science says you should, it would be a 2 x 2 or even more better, a 2 x 4 ripped down the middle to present to them a 1.5" x 1.75" roost, narrow side up, with topside edges eased over a bit. About like you would get with a 1/4" round over router bit. Some 2 x 4 studs are sold that way.....with a nice, rounded over edge.

    The notion of a 2 x 4 flat side up to keep toes warm is silly on it's face, but the concept sure sells well around here.

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