Are you looking for the perfect chicken roosting bar ideas for your flock?
Chickens, much like their wild counterparts, will often find an elevated place to hunker down for the night.
As the sun begins to dip and the day turns to dusk, chickens will automatically begin their nighttime routine of roosting, most often in their coop.
Still, it is not unusual to find a feathery pile on a number of elevated things around the farm (a tractor, fence post, gate, picnic table—you name it!)
If you’re unfamiliar with perches and roosts, our chicken roost article takes a deep dive into why your birds require a perch.
And our FAQ section should clear up any other perch-related ponders!
Now that we got that cleared up, it’s time to dive into the best chicken roosting bar ideas for inside and outside the coop!
Best Chicken Roosting Bar Ideas For Inside the Coop
Inside roosts will be used mainly for sleeping at night. Therefore, proper spacing and placement are to be strongly considered.
Depending on the number of birds, an angled roost comfortably fits chickens and occupies the least space.
Below are different materials and options for your indoor roost:
1. A tree branch or small tree
Easily accessible on most pieces of land, a small tree or large branch makes for an excellent roosting bar (and it’s free!)
2. Bamboo cane
Bamboo is often grown as a privacy hedge, and if the canes are appropriate size can work as a roosting bar as it
grows relatively straight.
3. Old ladder
Older wooden ladders work wonders as a chicken roost. Easily fastened to the coop wall and removed for cleaning, an angled ladder provides the perfect perching opportunity.
4. Dimensional lumber
2x4s with the edges rounded off allows for proper spacing and design. The roosts can be built and fastened to the wall.
Best Chicken Roosting Bar Ideas For Outside the Coop
As an enrichment activity and to bring added enjoyment to your flock, outdoor roosts can be provided for daytime activity.
Keep in mind that chickens may begin to roost outside, so it’s best to ensure they are used to going into the coop to avoid predator attacks at night.
Your outdoor roost options could be the following:
5. Wicker furniture
Old wicker furniture (without the cushions) can make for a great pen piece!
Not only is it relatively pleasing to look at, but it’s often free. They also provide a seat for you to enjoy watching your flock.
6. Pallet boards on a post
If you have an old fence post lying around, place one in the middle of your run. Mind the distance to your fence, though, as a chicken will use this as a launching point.
Dismantled pallet boards can be attached to the post at different lengths, heights, and directions for birds to fly up and down during the day.
A platform at the top makes for a fun treat station. Just look out for those aerial predators!
7. Jungle gym
An old climbing jungle gym is fun for the whole family! Chickens enjoy jumping from section to section, surveying the view above and below.
8. Garden Trellis
A garden trellis on the coop’s side appeals to the eye and the birds!
9. Chicken swing (made of log)
A wide log (bark on) attached by chains from a higher tree branch adds hours of excitement to your pen.
Some chickens enjoy the swinging motion, while others prefer it stationary. Hang one to find out which you prefer!
10. Windowpane frames
Another fun thing to do with old wooden window frames! Removing the glass and staggering them on posts make them fun (and pretty) perch.
11. Roosting tree
If you had the foresight to build your coop amongst the trees, kudos to you!
Chickens enjoy the leaf litter, shade, and exceptional insect menu a tree provides.
Another added benefit is turning one into a roosting tree.
Choosing a safe height and limbing the tree above that slightly gives the birds an extra enrichment activity but won’t have you scaling a pine late at night searching for your roosting chickens.
12. Tiered wood rounds
A fun, free chicken perch idea. Bury a pole or log in the ground. Cut wood rounds from a downed tree. Shave the side, fasten it to the pole with brackets in a tiered succession, and it’ll be a constant race to the top!
FAQs on Chicken Roosting Bar Ideas
Why do chickens roost?
Chickens, evolving over thousands of years, have maintained one trait that ensured their survival—roosting.
Chickens roost mainly to avoid predators. Being relatively heavy sleepers, chickens are less likely to suffer an attack while resting at a higher vantage point.
Roosting also enables a chicken to warm its feet by hovering over and tucking its legs underneath its feathery body.
Interestingly, chicken hierarchy plays an important role in which chicken gets the highest roost!
The birds lower on the totem pole (and roost) are more susceptible to a predator attack, while the higher birds remain relatively safe.
Roosting at night also enables a chicken a clean and safe spot to catch their zzz’s.
Chickens poop when they sleep; a chicken who sleeps on the ground (or worse, in a nesting box) is far more likely to be exposed to bacteria, mites, and other nasty parasites they’d avoid on the roost.
In addition to that, the eggs in the nesting box where a hen sleeps will be covered in bird excrement, and no one wants that!
When constructing your coop, roost placement is incredibly important as most of the poop will be below the roosts, so it should be easily accessible and covered with the proper material to clean.
How can I encourage my chickens to roost?
Roosting is natural for chickens, but sometimes young birds or adult birds relocated from one coop to another will not immediately find the roosting bars you have provided.
Akin to the phrase “like a sitting duck,” chickens are more or less immobile once they settle in for the night.
Therefore, as dusk rolls in, it is best to encourage your chickens to enter the coop.
Placing a chicken on the roosting bar for a few nights will encourage the bird to go there independently.
Which roosts do chickens prefer?
For sleeping, chickens prefer a flat, broad surface with rounded edges.
Birds, unlike bats, do not fully curl around their roost to hang by their toes.
They balance on the bone in their foot while their toes curl around the edge of the roost.
Roosts made of wood are the easiest for chickens to use as they provide the best grip and mimic a live tree.
Chicken Roosting Bar Ideas: Happy, Healthy Roosting Chickens!
Chickens enjoy roosting, and they have been doing so since their creation.
Constructing roosting bars doesn’t have to be pricey or overly complicated.
With a little imagination, an old log becomes a chicken roosting bar overnight!
In order to keep your hens healthy, safe, and enjoying life – roosts and perches are a must-have in or out of your coop!