How to Make a Chicken Perch

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Chickens roost at night on elevated perches.
Chickens roost at night on elevated perches. (Image: Photos.com/Photos.com/Getty Images)

If you keep chickens for eggs or meat, you must provide them a safe, comfortable place to live. Their house is called a chicken coop. Chickens like to sleep on narrow perches at night that are raised off the ground. This is called roosting. Therefore, your chicken coop must contain a perch inside to make the chickens feel safe at night. You can make your own chicken roosting perch out of lumber with only basic carpentry skills.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 x 2 boards
  • Hammer and nails
  • Sandpaper

Decide if you want the chicken perch to be suspended inside the coop parallel to the ground or slanting against one wall like a ladder. Measure the space where the perch will go.

Cut two pieces of 1 x 2 boards to the length that will fit inside the coop where you want the perch to be located. Cut several more pieces of the lumber that are each 1 foot long for the crosspieces. The number of crosspieces will depend on the length of the first two pieces. Cut one cross piece for every foot of the longer pieces.

Line up the two longer pieces of lumber parallel to each other and 1 foot apart. Lay a crosspiece 1 foot from the end of these. Nail each end of the crosspiece to a longer piece. Measure 1 more foot and nail another crosspiece, forming a ladder. Continue measuring and nailing cross pieces until you have less than 1 foot left on the longer pieces.

Sand the edges of the lumber smooth so that the chickens are comfortable on the perch.

Install the perch inside the chicken coop, either parallel to the ground or leaning against one wall. It is not necessary to nail it in place, but it must be stable. If you lean it, the angle should be low to the ground so that excrement from the chicken on the top rung of the ladder will not fall onto any chickens roosting below. Similarly, do not install the perch above a nesting area.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use 1 x 1 lumber for smaller breeds of chickens such as bantams.
  • Make enough perches to accommodate all of your chickens. Make the ladder wider for more birds. They prefer to roost as high as possible, so do not expect them to use the bottom rung of your ladder if you have a leaning perch. The bottom rung is for them to be able to climb down safely.
  • Predatory animals such as rats and raccoons can enter a chicken coop in surprisingly small openings. Build your chicken coop so that there are no places for these and other animals to get in.

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