Animals Chickens — 23 April 2013
The purpose of the roost is to provide a place for your chickens to sleep at night.  They tend to prefer a place high up that they can squat down and close their eyes and rest.  Here are a few things to think about in your chicken roost design.
The Roost

The Roost

There are definitely more that one way to design a roost.  Sometimes it seems that we may get carried away with having things a certain way when in reality the chicken doesn’t really care.  With that being said, however, there are certain design aspects that should be followed to give the best chance for success.
Here are a few things to think about when designing your chicken roost.
  • Plan for about 8-inches (20 cm) of roosting space per chicken.  So if you had 10 chickens, you would need 80-inches  or 6′-8″ (2 m) of roost.
  • a 2-inch x 2-inch wood beam works well, but you may also consider using 2-inch x 4-inch or a natural tree branch with about the same dimensions.  Shaving off the edges will help so that the chickens can grasp the rod better.  A wide beam helps the chickens to sit on top of the beam while covering their feet.
Roost with a wide beam with rounded edges

Roost with a wide beam with rounded edges

  • Having the roost removable will help with cleaning.  Since the chickens will be spending a lot of time at this location, you can expect a lot of poop.
cleats on the wall allow the roost to be removed.

cleats on the wall allow the roost to be removed.

  • Keep the roost high off the ground.  Anywhere from 2 to 5 feet off the ground should work great.  In order for the chickens to reach the roost you may need to provide a latter or an intermediate roost (especially if the wings have been clipped).
  • Since you can expect a lot of chicken poop below the roost, it may be a good place to have a “droppings board”.  This is a board that can be removed easily from the coop and have the poop scrapped off for cleaning.
  • If you find that you need to have more than one roosting pole you can either put the roosts side by side or put them higher in elevation (as shown in the picture above).  If you are putting them side by side, try to keep about 18-inches of horizontal space between the roosts.  For multi-level roosts leave about 12-inches of vertical and horizontal space between the roosts.

I hope this helps you as you design your own chicken roost.  If only chickens could talk, I’m sure they would thank you for caring about them!

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Ben

(2) Readers Comments

  1. You answered a lot of questions on the roosting design. Thanks

  2. Glad it helped!

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