13 Chicken Roost Ideas for Chickens Roosting In Style!

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If you’re new to keeping chickens, it may surprise you to know that they don’t like to sleep on the floor. Chickens need a place to roost, relax, and feel safe at night! A place where they can sleep stress-free and where predators or pests can’t reach them.

Chicken roosts are also straightforward and affordable to build – even if you have a sizeable flock.

Not sure where to start? Then no worries – we’ve got you covered.

Festive looking tree roost for the backyard flock.

We’re about to brainstorm the best chicken roost ideas – including roost designs you can probably make using supplies you already have around your homestead.

Your chicken roost perch needs to elevate off the ground, and it should be sturdy enough so your hens can rest without stress.

Roosting perches come in different sizes, materials, and styles. Chicken roosts can be selected to suit your preference, the type of chickens you have, and the coop’s design.

We recommend the following roosting materials:

  • Trees
  • Branches
  • Ladders
  • Planks
  • Pallets
  • Clothes horse
  • Shoe racks
  • Drawers
  • Garden trellis
  • Cottage pane window frames
  • Bench 

Chickens are prey animals, and so they are constantly aware of protecting themselves from other animals. They prefer a roosting perch that gives them a height advantage if predators invade the henhouse.

It’s also more sanitary as they are not sitting in the chicken droppings, bacteria, and possible mites on the ground. Although there is a practical need for roosts, you can also design them with pizzaz.

Read More – How High Should Your Chicken Fence Be to Keep Your Chickens In? (And Predators Out?)

Best Chicken Roost Design Ideas

1. The Ladder or Shelving Style Roost

Hungry chickens perching on a wooden ladder roost.

Here’s a multi-layer chicken perch perfect if you have a substantial coop with many flock-mates. There’s plenty of roosting real estate, so your hens don’t need to panic or politic!

The ladder roost design has two side support with struts in between, much like a ladder or set of shelves would look. The ladder design is probably the most common type of roosting for chickens.

The rungs or struts can be made as wide as necessary for the amount and breed of chickens you keep. The rungs can be staggered in height so that chickens in the lower rung are not dodging droppings from chickens higher up.

Here is an excellent example of a basic ladder-style roost.

Building a Chicken Roost

How Do You Make a Cheap Ladder-Style Roost?

You can make a ladder roost very cheaply if you have access to some branches of trees! If you’re pruning your garden and lop off some tree branches, keep them, dry them out and use them to make a roost for your chickens.

Check out one of my favorite thrifty chicken ladder roosts on Pinterest. Here’s how you can build a chicken roost on the cheap!

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Can I Repurpose a Ladder for a Chicken Roost?

Repurposing a ladder as a chicken roost gives a fun, quirky feel to the henhouse. Just be sure to angle it so that the chickens on the lower rungs don’t spend the whole night dodging missiles.

Secure the ladder firmly to the wall so that if the chickens become alarmed and flap, they don’t dislodge the ladder.

You can paint the ladder in bright colors to add interest. Some people prefer to install the ladder straight across so that it forms a shelf.

2. What Is a Roosting Tree?

I love this natural chicken perch! It’s one of the simplest and most effective chicken roost ideas. The chickens immediately appreciate the lofty accommodation – and they wasted no time cozying up on the multi-leveled branches.

Roosting trees add interest and a natural country or forest feel to the henhouse. They should ideally resemble a tree, and the chickens can roost in the branches.

The simplest way to make a roosting tree is to cut down a tree (or section) with smaller boughs attached in a reasonably horizontal position. 

Some people prefer to use a naturally growing tree and build their chicken coop around it. The chickens in these coops live naturally and aren’t shut away at night. There is a risk if you have many predators, such as owls, in your area.

You can also make a roosting tree using artificial construction. A thick central length of wood with thinner pieces of wood attached horizontally could form the branches.

This artificial tree for roosting does not look quite as natural, but it does the job well enough. For chicken owners obsessed with symmetry, it would be a pleasing alternative.

Read More – 9 Homemade Treats for Chickens – Super Easy DIY Recipes!

3. Roosting Mattresses: An Interesting Alternative

roosting chickens on perch
Sometimes, a thick layer of straw works as the perfect poultry mattress! Check out one of my favorite chicken roosts that prove you don’t need to get fancy! Your chickens love perching and roosting – even if you don’t have the most lavish supplies.

Roosting mattresses consist of an elevated shelf filled with sand. Situated above this mattress is a perch or several perches.

This multi-layered approach allows the chickens to choose to sit on a perch while the roosting mattress or bedding catches any droppings.

Chickens can also sleep on the elevated mattress – which they may love because of the added security. (Chickens love sleeping off of the ground!)

4. A Bench Can Make a Perfect Roost

chickens roosting on bench perch
Here’s a dynamic flock looking stylish and posh as ever on their bench-roost! I don’t think all chickens are this lucky. But, if you have an extra bench or piece of outdoor furniture – your hens may approve!

Using an old bench can make an exceptional roost for chickens. They can roost either on the seat or on the backrest.

If you like to spend time relaxing in your chicken house, you can use the bench for sitting on while it serves as a roost for the chickens at night.

5. Can Nesting Boxes Serve as Roosts?

Check out this luxury hotel for hens! I bet the entire coop will appreciate the privacy – and also the roosting perches outside of each nesting box.

Some people use their nesting boxes as places for the chickens to roost. The critical element here is that you elevate the nesting boxes for the chickens to experience a feeling of security.

Some chicken keepers like to decorate their nesting boxes to enhance the ambiance of their chicken houses.

There are some drawbacks to allowing the chickens to use the nesting boxes as roosts!

The biggest one is that there will be an accumulation of chicken manure in the nesting boxes. This presence of chicken manure can affect the quality of the eggs laid in the boxes.

Read More – Our 5-Gallon Bucket Chicken Feeder – Super Easy DIY and Vermin Proof!

6. Using Pallets or Lumber to Create Chicken Roosts

chicken roost north carolina farm
Repurposed lumber or wooden pallets make the easiest perches. These cochin chickens look cozy and safe while nestled in their North Carolina barn. I love how the two chickens on top found an elevated roosting area!

Pallets to make excellent, easily installed roosts. They can be hung from the roof or rest on struts or supports attached to the chicken house wall. The gaps in pallets allow the chicken droppings to fall through to the floor of the henhouse.

Chicken owners sometimes rest a ladder against the pallets for the chickens to climb up to get to the pallets.

When using pallets for chicken roosts, you need to assess the pallets carefully. Sometimes pallets are used with toxic substances, and this could cause poisoning in the chickens. It’s best to sand down second-hand pallets or use new pallets. 

7. A Clothes Horse Makes an Excellent Roost

A clothes horse making an excellent chicken roost.

A clothes horse, or portable drying rack, is easily purchased from any home shop. A clothes horse can double as a moveable chicken roost.

The advantage of this is that moving the clothes horse roost allows for easier cleaning of the henhouse.

Ensure that you stabilize the clothes horse with some heavy objects on the bottom section – doing so makes it harder to tip.

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8. Shoe Racks as Roosts

Shoe racks come in various designs, and many of them would be suitable as perches for chickens to roost on at night. Select the appropriate height and install the shoe racks against the chicken house walls.

9. Repurpose Drawers or Furniture as Chicken Roosts

chicken roost outdoors
These white hens are happily roosting upon a flat bench. I think the hens appreciate the wide-open surface area so they can rest leisurely and without tension! Looks comfortable.

You may have a shabby chest of drawers that is not suitable for use in your home anymore. Instead of throwing it out – you can use it for chicken roosts.

Remove the bottom of the drawers, keeping the back and sides intact.

Next – install poles that join the sides of the drawers to make perches. Pull the drawers out to different extents to have a ladder effect so the chickens can roost!

10. Cottage Pane Window Frames as Roosts

A chicken using an old wooden frame as a roost.

Discarded cottage pane window frames are ideal to use as roosts. Lean the window frames against a wall in the henhouse.

The chickens can roost at whatever height they choose on the window frame. My favorite aspect of using old window frames is their weight! They’re heavy and unlikely to fall if the birds flutter.

(It goes without saying to remove all glass, nails, or sharp objects from any furniture or lumber you use for your chicken roost. Keep your chickens safe! Double and triple check for safety.)

11. Using Fallen Branches or Logs as a Chicken Roost!

buff orpington flock roosting
Your chickens and hens aren’t picky! Sometimes, a makeshift fallen tree is all a chicken has to lift itself out of the muck. Outdoor roosts also help the chickens keep their feet off the icy, snowy, or cold ground.

Here’s one of the original chicken roost ideas. From nature!

Do you have any downed branches or fallen tree limbs on your homestead?

Repurposing old fallen branches or logs might be an easy and affordable way to build a chicken roost – without needing fancy equipment or tools.

Building a chicken roost with logs or branches isn’t the fanciest idea that you’ve ever seen.

But – sometimes, nature works the best. And, it’s easy enough to do as long as the tree limbs or branches are light enough to maneuver around your coop or barn.

12. Garden Trellis Can Become a Chicken Roost

Chickens roosting on an old garden trellis.

If you’re not a handyman and would like to buy a non-build roost, consider purchasing some garden trellis from your local DIY or garden store.

It’s easy!

Lean the garden trellis against a henhouse wall to create different heights for the chickens to perch on.

13. Wooden Roosting Bars

Adding more roosting space to the chicken coop.
Here’s a clever roosting bar system with hinges. I’m sure the hens will appreciate all of the added real estate!

Roosting bars are one of the most efficient ways to build a reliable platform for your flock.

The only downside is that building manual roosting bars may require some carpentry skills – and the tools for the job!

On the plus side, if you have some spare lumber collecting dust around your homestead, then you can save some cash.

Another advantage of roosting bars is that you can build multiple roosting bar layers. You can make your roosting area as big or small as you want to manage your big or small flock.

CHEAP And EASY DIY Chicken Roost!

Read More – Do Chickens Eat Ticks? Or – Will Ticks Eat Your Chickens?!

Chicken Roost FAQs

We know that getting your chickens roosting and relaxing is a lot of work!

That’s why we’re happily answering some of the most common chicken roost questions.

Find answers below!

How Do You Get Chickens to Sleep on a Roost?

Sometimes chickens have been raised in a coop or hatchery where there were no perches for roosting at night. They don’t know how to perch on a roost.

Here’s how you can teach chickens to roost. Enter the henhouse as the chickens settle in for the night. Then pick up each chicken and put them onto a perch!

This method (of manually placing your hens on the perch) may seem arduous. But you should only need to do it for three or four nights, and the chickens will start to get the idea.

You may also find some are a bit slow! You will need to put them onto perches for up to a week. Manually!

Why Are My Chickens Roosting During the Day?

Chickens sometimes roost during the day. It does not indicate that there is something wrong with the chickens. Chickens that want to rest during the day may feel safer resting on the elevated roosting sites. 

Chickens that are molting may feel vulnerable or extra tired. It’s not unusual for molting poultry to roost during the day. It also provides some relief from the sun, which may burn any exposed skin.

Keep your eyes on chickens that are almost permanently roosting during the day. She may be experiencing bullying by others in the flock. You need to assess your chicken politics carefully, and you may need to rearrange your roost to stop the bullying.

Why Do Chickens Roost?

Chickens roost for protection against predators and pests! Foxes, coyotes, wild dogs, raccoons, and other predators may hunt chickens. Flying high into the trees is a chicken’s best bet for a sound sleep.

Chickens aren’t the only birds that roost, you know. I’ve even seen wild turkeys roost!

I was shocked the first time I saw a flock of wild turkeys flying high into the tree so they could roost at night! To my amazement, the turkeys flew up high into the trees – much higher than I thought they could.

I’ve noticed that turkeys seemingly roost around the time it gets dark. Maybe around dusk. I think the turkeys realize that they’re easy to prey upon when it gets dark.
Since first encountering wild turkeys, I’ve seen at least one different turkey flock roost high into trees.

The turkeys seek a large enough roost for the entire flock. (They love tightly grouped trees for roosting – the bigger, the better!)

I suspect your chickens and hens love roosting for the same reason. They know it’s way too dangerous to rest on the floor. The entire flock would be susceptible to ravenous predators otherwise!

How Do You Make a Cheap Ladder-Style Roost?

A cheap ladder-style roost is easy to make if you have some tree branches. If you’re out pruning your trees, keep the excess tree branches! Dry them out and use them to make a ladder roost for your chickens.

There are some great ideas on Pinterest for building chicken roosts cheaply.

Can I Repurpose a Ladder for a Chicken Roost?

Yes, you can repurpose a ladder for a chicken roost! Make sure you angle the ladder to prevent droppings from above falling on the heads of the chickens below. Ensure the ladder gets firmly attached. Don’t let it wobble or fall over!

Decorate your ladder with paint for a quirky chicken coop addition. You can also install the ladder horizontally. That way, it’s a shelf rather than angled upwards.

Choosing the Best Chicken Roost Idea Without Second-Guessing!

Backyard chicken relaxing on a padded roost.

Many different new or used materials can perform when making roosting perches for chickens. You may choose to build your roost or repurpose an item to use as a chicken roost.

The most common type of roost is a ladder-style roost. Some chicken owners decorate their chicken roosts elaborately!

But, as long as they are functional, the flock will be happy to use any decorations or toys you decide.

The crucial element in roosts is that they should be elevated and allow chicken droppings to fall to the henhouse floor. Cleanliness is key!

If you have multiple levels, stagger them so that chickens lower down are not bombed by the feces of the chickens higher up.

Remember, roosts make happy, relaxed chickens.

Read More – 10 Free Chicken Tractor Plans You Can Easily Make Yourself!

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05/09/2024 02:26 am GMT

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One Comment

  1. This is a lot of bad ideas. Chickens don’t wrap their feet around a bar, limb, etc. They need a wide smooth 2X4 with the 4 side to sit on. Not the 2 side to perch on.

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