Wide roosts can cause issues, particularly with large birds. We had an 11 month old BJG that developed a huge breast blister because of the wide roosts. He was big, and his keel bone was rubbing on the wide roost. This caused the breast blister and it took quite a bit of treatment and time to fully recover from it. When the chickens perch on a more narrow board, they cover their toes with their fluff and their feet stay warm. Also, no friction from their keel bones rubbing on the board and causing issues. So, we ended up turning all the roosts to the narrow side and have not had any further issues, and we still have very large BJG. Some people use a 2x4, narrow side up, others use wood closet rods, others use branches.I see some people recommend wide perches (the wide side of a 2x4, for example). The idea is that the chickens' feet are flat and their belly feathers cover their toes. I'm not sure if it actually makes a difference, but it probably doesn't hurt either.
All good advice.Just make sure they have a dry coop - damp air or damp bedding is most likely cause of cold issues. Helps if they can drink without dipping sensitive danglies into the water And plenty of ventilation to keep the ammonia and moisture from building up in the coop
What is enough bedding. The height and the type of bedding please. Now I have 1 inch of pine shavings...any suggestions?Give them suitable roosts, and enough bedding on the floor, and they will usually be fine.
I see some people recommend wide perches (the wide side of a 2x4, for example). The idea is that the chickens' feet are flat and their belly feathers cover their toes. I'm not sure if it actually makes a difference, but it probably doesn't hurt either.
One other thing I heard about perches: avoid metal perches in cold weather. (Thinking about how cold metal gets, as compared with wood, that made sense as soon as I heard it.)
Correct but I'm trying to avoid the frozen water issue.If the chickens can sleep in a place with no wind (fresh air is good, wind blowing through is not), they will usually be fine with no heater.
It depends a little on how cold, and what breeds. But normal-sized chickens with normal-type feathers are typically fine even when the inside of their coop is below freezing. I do mean that literally--you walk in and find their water frozen, but the chickens are fine.
If it helps, think of wild birds--they sleep outside all winter long. Feathers really can be quite warm!