Evening time has been a little of a challenge in the coop in the winter. The hens all wanted the highest spot in the middle of the flock to stay the warmest. The roosts went higher the closer to the back wall they were and only the highest ranking hens got the prime spots. Top that off with the 2X2 inch wooden sticks that were also at a slight angle and there was a lot of adjusting, squabbling and pecking trying to get ready for bed!
We tore out those tiny annoying roosting bars and put in these long 2X4 boards! Now instead of gripping a small uncomfortable stick they have a nice fat board to put their feet flat down. They can sit down on their toes to keep them toasty warm. Chickens are really not considering flying, perching birds anyway.
Night came and there was far less squawking and flapping, but those girls were still trying to get to the higher bar. My poor hubby had to tear it apart and change it yet again! The final configuration is 2 bars at the same height. There are almost no more arguments now! The only noise I sometimes hear is when one of the hens jumps up into middle of the pack hoping to get a good spot.
One funny side effect of the roosting bar change is they are farther apart from each other now. They were so used to being on top of each other and cuddling together that the first night using the new roosts they were falling over trying to tuck their heads under the bird on the roost next to them! It took them awhile to figure out they weren’t going be sitting as close together!
The last change was the poop decks. Now that we changed the configuration we couldn’t use the custom trays. The new poop deck is just a table underneath. This new design is easy to clean and the girls seem to like hanging out underneath it. It gives them another place to hide.
Take a good look at the roost on the What the Flock YouTube channel: