November 11, 2012

Learning How to Roost

Let me put this into perspective. I had to learn how to roost. The chicks were already programed and they had to teach me. Before I started this chicken thing I had to read, learn from other post but the best advice came from the girls.

In the coop-et

I guess their first roosting spot was in their coop-et we built. It was also an experiment to test round verses square perch. The chicks appeared to be more stable on the square. Also I had it only 4 “ off the floor. I was thinking chickens don’t really fly and they looked too fat to make the effort to jump. I learned this was not true every time we opened the top and they attempted escaping.

Whats this thing?

When the big day came and they moved into the coop and run, it was Sunday evening and no time to put in perches. So I had an old ladder we put into the coop to use until the next weekend came. This was OK but everyone wanted the top position.

The first set of perches

So the following week came and I prepared 1.5” x 1.5” perches and beveled the edges. To position them, I notched out boards and attached to the side. I put in small wood wedges to make them tight. My logic was to put in three perches, two in the back and one closer to the front where the door was. This would give them plenty of room to spread out.  I was also thinking the back of the coop with the lower roof would be more cozy and this was also the location of the ladder we were using.

Front perch by door

Back two perches that I thought would be their favorite

On the first night they came in and seemed excited about their new sleeping area.  I was concerned about the height being too low but that was no problem. They settled in, 3 in the back and 3 in the front.  As the next few nights rolled by it became apparent that the front of the coop was prime position. There was an argument every night and two would be pushed off to move to the back. By the in of the week all 6 were crowding on the front perch. I am guessing it is in front of the window on the door and they like looking out.

Front to back perch added. I took out the front cross perch the first night

So a few weeks later I considered an update due to their continued growth and there was no way they could all fit on one perch. I had some old metal brackets that came out of my dad’s green house used for shelving. So I cleaned them up and put them in the coop so they would have one long perch from front to back. I removed the other three perches. That night they came in looking a little confused. As they settled in, three were perching on the metal cross bar holding the perch close to the window and the others seemed unhappy with the 90° change in position.
Added back the front cross perch the second night

So I put the original cross bar back in and added a piece of wood on the metal bracket. So far everyone seems to be happy. There is still a little pushing and shoving to be closest to the widow but I’m sure there will always be some drama.

Added wood on top of the support bracket to keep their feet warm

In the case of our chickens, they like to sleep together. I guess they keep each other warm. So forget the books and discuss directly with your chickens what they like!

I'd really like to hear your experiences with roost-building and pecking order!



  1. I've heard and read about the drama over roost positioning, sounds a lot like your story! I just now put my 7 week old chicklets in their coop, big day! The roost is very high, made for adults so hopefully they won't try that out but use the one a few inches off the floor that runs the length of the coop. We shall see!

  2. Thank you for sharing this post on my Facebook page! I'd love it if you linked up with me at at the Clever Chicks Blog Hop!

    I hope to see you there!
    Kathy Shea Mormino
    The Chicken Chick


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