To build a chicken roost, you need appropriately sized pieces of wood or other material. Pay close attention to the location, and give the birds enough space. Consider whether multiple roosts in various locations are needed to keep the flock happy.
- Choose the material
A chicken roost or roosting rod should be made of material that is comfortable to the chickens and will not damage their feet. Wood is a good choice. Either boards or branches that are at least 2 inches wide are acceptable. Plastic or metal, such as pipes, can be too slippery for a good grip and may be too cold during winter.
- Give enough space
Allow for 8 to 10 inches of roosting space for each chicken. A large flock may require more than one roosting rod. Leave about 15 inches of space between the highest roost and the ceiling of the coop. Chickens like to be high up, but they need enough room to stand up comfortably on their roost.
- Avoid the wrong location
Because chickens digest food while they sleep, they will excrete waste from atop the roost. For this reason, do not build a roost above nesting boxes or in a location that will be too hard to clean. Avoid placing roosting rods above feeders and waterers in the coop as well.
- Consider adding different roosts in various locations
Depending on the personalities of the chickens, roosts may need to be constructed in different locations. Chickens have a pecking order, and some chickens may not be allowed to sleep in the "top spot." Offer roosts in a staggered pattern of heights, ensuring no chickens are directly below another. Some chickens may prefer a different view, and younger chickens may be too small to get to the higher roosts.