A little height is a valuable status symbol to your chickens. Their love for high places and lording it over the farmyard is why cockerels feature on weathervanes and where we get the saying “to rule the roost”.
There are several other reasons why chickens prefer sleeping high off the ground. First, they sleep more soundly at night when they have some elevation, because a little height helps them feel protected from predators. Second ,roosting bars with multiple heights also help them reinforce the flock’s pecking order. And finally, perching on a chicken roosting bar also keeps your feathered friends up off of the floor, and away from bacteria and insects living in the earth.
If you want to understand the best options available for your poultry, check out our review of standout models with all the roosting bar features you need.
A Quick Look at Our Favorites in 2022
The 10 Best Chicken Roosting Bars
1. Backyard Barnyard 30″ Stretch Roosting Bar – Best Overall
|Number of bars:||One|
This roosting bar is our top pick for all chicken owners. The extra long perch allows for multiple birds to roost together helping them to feel secure. Hand crafted from solid American hardwood and built to last, this perch is also extremely easy to assemble. Most people can put this together in less than five minutes. This is one of the only roosting bars on sale that truly is suitable for multiple adult birds of any breed and size. The Backyard Barnyard 30″ Stretch Roosting Bar will comfortably take two adult chickens.
Although it doesn’t feature multiple levels, this can be a blessing in reducing your flock’s anxiety and competitiveness about attaining the highest-level perch. The low height of the bar also means it’s suitable for chicks. You can move this unit from the brooder to the yard or coop and get more use from it than from many other models we reviewed.
2. Backyard Barnyard 2 Pack Strong Wooden Roosting Bar – Best Value
|Number of bars:||One on each|
For your flock to feel comfortable and safe, roosting is essential. This two-pack of roosting bars can help you give your birds some options. This bar is as easy to assemble as the 30 inch version. Because of the simplicity of its construction, very few people have issues putting this together. It, too, is made of durable, sturdy materials and handcrafted in the United States. By placing it in the brooder with your hatchlings, you can teach them to roost, and later move the bar to the barnyard. This has a little more longevity in that regard than many of the other models we reviewed.
The familiarity of the roosting bar may even help your birds adjust to the transition to their coop when the time comes. This is our choice for best chicken roosting bar for the money.
3. K&H PET PRODUCTS Thermo-Chicken Perch – Premium Choice
|Material:||Metal and plastic|
|Length:||26 inches/36 inches|
|Number of bars:||One|
If you’re wondering how to winter chickens and other poultry safely, check out the Thermo-Chicken Perch by K&H. This heated chicken roosting bar is a safe and easy way to provide heat for your chickens, while keeping them healthy. It gets warm, but never hot and the heat is naturally transferred from the bird’s feet to the rest of their body through their circulatory system. Other methods of keeping chickens warm in cold weather have their drawbacks. For example, when the temperatures drop in the dead of winter, people often over-insulate their chicken coops, however this can raise the humidity in the henhouse and the extra moisture may lead to frostbite. In addition, without airflow, chickens’ lungs can also be damaged by an accumulation of ammonia gas from their waste. The steady heat from this MET listed roosting bar means you can keep air flowing through the coop and warm your chickens to a healthy temperature.
Fitted with an internal thermostat, a stable and comfortable temperature is guaranteed for your backyard flock and two generously proportioned sizes are available. The one small drawback is that the metal finish may be difficult for come birds to grip and they may slip around, although most chickens do not have this issue. This is our premium pick because a heated roosting bar really is the height of chicken luxury.
4. Backyard Barnyard Jungle Gym Roosting Perch – Best for Chicks
|Number of bars:||Seven|
This is a model that’s best for baby chicks and junior chickens, rather than fully grown hens. Nonetheless, this roosting bar is a great brooder accessory. Introducing a roosting bar when your chicks are young helps them learn the importance of roosting and helps them feel safe from predators as well as socialized and entertained. Seven sturdy perch bars are perfectly sized for chicks little feet to grasp and the graduated perch heights make it easy for your little fluff balls to hop up and down.
Large, spacious openings ensure your chicks can roam, scratch, play, and explore around the roosting bar with safety and freedom. This perch comes with pre-drilled dowel rods and screws for easier assembly.
5. Ensayeer Bamboo Chicken Perch with Mirror
|Number of bars:||Six|
Chickens will quickly soil and foul any roosting bar you give them, and if keeping the brooder or coop clean is a concern, bear in mind that this roosting bar is made from bamboo, which is much easier to wipe clean than wood. This is because bamboo grain is much denser and the surface is smoother. Chicks may enjoy the little mirrors underneath when they are very small, but they will quickly grow too big to fit underneath the top perch. The multitude of bars means the smallest of birds will be able to get off the ground comfortably and gain confidence in ascending to greater heights.
Solid, eco-friendly, and non-toxic, assembly is simple. Remember to tear off the protective film on the mirror before using, as this plastic would be toxic to your flock if ingested.
6. Backyard Barnyard Chicken Perch
|Number of bars:||Three|
Roosting plays a vital role in a chicken’s maturation and development during its lifespan. You must train your flock to roost when they are young to ensure that they retain the behavior throughout their lives. This roosting bar is a must-have when it comes to brooder supplies if you want your adult birds to be well socialized and healthy. The three-bar perch is a handcrafted, natural wood product that is made of sturdy materials and is simple to assemble. The manufacturer says that this unit can be enjoyed by a single adult chicken. However, many people seem to find that fully-grown birds can knock this over easily. This may be because the weight of the perch is much less than the weight of an adult hen. Additionally, an adult bird might find the small bar size uncomfortable to grasp after any considerable length of time.
7. Vehomy Chicken Roosting Bar
|Number of bars:||Three|
The Vehomy Chicken Roosting Bar is more appropriate for chicks than for fully grown adult hens. This bar is suitable for poults as old as 10 weeks of age, depending on the breed of your chicken. Because of its lower height and smaller size, it’s a perfect perch for teaching chickens to roost on. As your girls get older and they take on weight, you’ll need to replace it with a bigger one. The design of this bar works great for young birds, but the bar needs to be much wider and higher for mature birds.
Overall, this roosting bar seems reasonably sturdy and easy to set up. Despite its popularity, some people have found the wood splits and warps during construction, while others have had no complaints. It’s because of these mixed reviews that we have marked it a little lower on our list.
8. Vehomy Chicken Roosting Bar with Holes
|Number of bars:||Six|
We have reviewed Vehomy products several times in this list, because the company specializes in chicken toys. According to them, the purpose of their products is to make farm animals’ otherwise boring lives a little more fun. We agree that this roosting bar is better suited for providing chicks with a novel experience than providing adult hens a place to relax over the long term. Having said that, this roosting bar will provide a focal point for interaction among your flock members and will stimulate your chicken’s instinct to climb.
With six sturdy bars, the chickens’ legs are going to get a workout jumping on and off this chicken perch. Chicks can hop on the bar, hide underneath, and look through holes in the side boards to see what’s going on. Although construction is straightforward, be aware that some people have bought their own bolts to assemble this unit, as they couldn’t get the wing nuts to work.
9. Popetpop Bird Stand Rack
|Number of bars:||Three|
The Popetpop Bird Stand Rack is a great way to encourage your chicks to develop their balance and coordination—and to have fun. Your little feathered friends will have hours of fun playing with this toy. Climbing and playing is also safe, as the natural woods used in the design of this product are non-toxic and environmentally friendly. There is no doubt that this roosting perch will become the center of attention once it is set up. You can expect your flock to sleep on it, hop around on it, and push each other off it. The quality-to-price ratio for this product has been criticized by some people; others state that it is too small and can only be used for a very short period. However, if you want a roosting perch for young hatchlings, this one is our pick for very small birds.
10. Rocking Pig Roosting Bar
|Number of bars:||Three (only one is usable)|
There is no doubt that this Rocking Pig Roosting Bar features a unique design. A roosting bar is situated between two boards shaped like pigs, and both are curved along their bottom edges. This means that the whole unit will rock back and forth when your chicken climbs aboard. Some chickens are a bit more adventurous than others. There is no doubt that this is a novelty item, one that you can classify as being more fun than useful. Despite that, it might be worthwhile to try it if you want to keep your chicks happy and entertained. Featuring a hardwood construction, this handmade wooden chicken perch is made from American pine and would make a great addition to any chicken brooder, coop, or pen.
Buyer’s Guide – Purchasing a Chicken Roosting Bar
How Big Should My Roosting Bar Be?
Chicken roosting bars should be at least 2 inches wide and preferably 4 inches wide. Chickens do not wrap their feet around a perch like wild birds. In fact, they prefer sleeping flat-footed. This provides added protection from frostbite in the winter by using their roost as protection for their feet and using their body to protect themselves from above. Furthermore, this prevents mice and rats from nibbling on chicken toes while they sleep.
How High Should My Roosting Bar Be?
The height of chicken roosting bars can be as low as a foot off the ground or as high as a foot or so from the ceiling. If the roost is going to be much higher than two feet, staggered roosts like stairs will make it easier for the chickens to get up and down from the roost without getting hurt. Hard landings off a roost are often the cause of bumblefoot (a staph infection of the foot and leg). It is best to leave about 15 inches between the roosts to prevent those on the higher roosts from pooping on those roosting below. Raising chickens for eggs requires you to build roosts higher than the nesting boxes, otherwise your hens will roost in or on the nesting boxes, searching for the highest perch available.
How Long Should My Roosting Bars Be?
Roosting bars should be at least 8 inches long per hen. You will find that especially in the winter, all your chickens will snuggle together for warmth. In the summer, they appreciate having room to spread out in the heat, so you will rarely see them roosting in a row.
Using these reviews for chicken roosting bars, you should be able to teach your chicks to roost or create a nice roosting area for your hens to sleep peacefully at night. Our top pick is the Backyard Barnyard 30″ Stretch Roosting Bar because it is the biggest and sturdiest product available. Our second favorite is the Backyard Barnyard 2 Pack Strong Wooden Roosting Bar; we love the flexibility that the separate perches give you in deciding how to set up your coop. Whichever perch tickles your fancy, we wish you and your chickens many hours of happy sleep!
Featured Image Credit: Bondareva Elena, Shutterstock
Oliver (Ollie) Jones – A zoologist and freelance writer living in South Australia with his partner Alex, their dog Pepper, and their cat Steve (who declined to be pictured). Ollie, originally from the USA, holds his master’s degree in wildlife biology and moved to Australia to pursue his career and passion but has found a new love for working online and writing about animals of all types.