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.
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.
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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:
- Clothes horse
- Shoe racks
- Garden trellis
- Cottage pane window frames
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.
Best Chicken Roost Design Ideas
- Best Chicken Roost Design Ideas
- 1. The Ladder or Shelving Style Roost
- 2. What Is a Roosting Tree?
- 3. Roosting Mattresses: An Interesting Alternative
- 4. A Bench Can Make a Perfect Roost
- 5. Can Nesting Boxes Serve as Roosts?
- 6. Using Pallets or Lumber to Create Chicken Roosts
- 7. A Clothes Horse Makes an Excellent Roost
- 8. Shoe Racks as Roosts
- 9. Repurpose Drawers or Furniture as Chicken Roosts
- 10. Cottage Pane Window Frames as Roosts
- 11. Using Fallen Branches or Logs as a Chicken Roost!
- 12. Garden Trellis Can Become a Chicken Roost
- 13. Wooden Roosting Bars
- Chicken Roost FAQs
- Choosing the Best Chicken Roost Idea Without Second-Guessing!
1. The Ladder or Shelving Style Roost
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.
We found a hand-made roosting bar perfect for your baby chicks! Here's how you can help make your chicks feel safe while resting in their coop.
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!
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.
2. What Is a Roosting Tree?
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.
3. Roosting Mattresses: An Interesting Alternative
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.
4. A Bench Can Make a Perfect Roost
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?
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.
6. Using Pallets or Lumber to Create Chicken Roosts
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, 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.
Do your chickens deserve a fun toy that also serves as the perfect hen hangout? Then check out this beautiful chicken swing. It's hand-made in the USA and will complement any coop!
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
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
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!
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
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.
Lean the garden trellis against a henhouse wall to create different heights for the chickens to perch on.
13. Wooden Roosting Bars
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.
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!
Choosing the Best Chicken Roost Idea Without Second-Guessing!
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.
If you want a hand-crafted chicken perch made in the USA, then look no further! It looks beautiful, and it's sturdy. Perfect for your barn, coop, tractor, or run.