What Should a Roost Be Made Of, How High, and What Size?
This can be a complicated question because the answer somewhat varies. Although most articles you’ll read will say 8 inches per bird, this in my opinion is an argument waiting to happen. When it comes to chickens, space means everything. Bigger is better to keep peace among a flock. If the roost is too small the birds lowest in the pecking order will be bullied.
It’s best to avoid plastic and metal roosts, plastic is slippery, and metal can be either too cold or too hot, depending on the climate where you live.
Wooden 2×2 roosts are the favorite, the flat surface allows chickens to roost comfortably and also allows them to cover their feet in cold weather. Round roosts make keeping their feet warm difficult. You can use 2×4 roosts too, but keep in mind that’s a bigger surface and may be harder to keep clean.
The roost should be long enough to accommodate all the chickens in the flock. Ideally, each chicken should have at least 10 – 12 inches of roosting space.
The roosting bars should be higher than the nest boxes, at least 3 feet high, but some higher would be preferred with a ladder or ramp to access. This also helps prevent injuries from your birds jumping down from a high roost. Harmony among the flock keeps everybody happy, so having more than one roost is recommended.