A 2″ by 4″ or 2″ by 2″ board works nicely as a roost. You can also use a tree branch measuring between 3″ to 6.” I used a 2 x 4 and rounded off the edges with a circular saw, and these are working like a champ. This step is not necessary, but I’ve found that they are able to grip onto the roost better when it’s slightly rounded. A view of my roost and walkway leading to the roost is pictured below.
I made sure to place the roosts where the droppings are not in my way when I enter the coop so I don’t have to clean it off my shoes after being inside. Depending on the type of coop you build, you may also want to consider positioning the roosts where you can easily clean up the droppings.
Chickens seem to like roosting higher in the coop at night, so I positioned mine about 4 feet off the ground. I then constructed a ladder (or walkway) leading up to the roost. Since we clipped their wings (more on this in a bit), they are reliant on walking instead of flying. So it’s important to build a ramp that will allow them to climb. The design is very simple – basically an 8″ wide board which angles up from the floor to the roost with some make shift “steps” nailed on and spaced every 5″ or so. Basically – just something they can use to “grip” onto as they walk up. Also pictured is a cool idea of simply using roofing shingles – very clever, and perhaps less work to put together! (See images below)
Back to wing clipping, just briefly – we clipped the outer part of the wings – on one side only. Don’t worry – this does not involve pain for the chickens in any way, and it prevents them from taking flight. The wings are clipped toward the outer part of the wing where there is no blood supply. We didn’t clip their wings at first because we thought it would hurt them. They kept flying over the fence, however, and and we lost one to a neighborhood dog. Thus, the wing clipping, and consequent ramp from the floor to the roost inside the coop. There is a great illustration on wing clipping on the Backyard Chickens website link below.
As you can see – it’s pretty darn simple to make a roost! Feel free to comment below on roosts that have worked for you. Thanks!