What Is A Chicken Ladder? How To Buy Or Build One?

You may have heard the term “chicken ladder” coming up in discussions among chicken keepers and wondered what this device is used for in a chicken coop. Chickens require roosting options and access to the upper reaches of the coop or access to an elevated coop door. Enter the chicken ladder, a simple yet essential component of many chicken coops.

A chicken ladder can be a functional addition to a coop to give the chickens a suitable roosting location or provide access to an elevated coop door. Creating a DIY chicken ladder is not difficult, but commercial alternative options are available if this route suits your chicken-keeping situation.

We will explore the definition of a chicken ladder, why it’s an important part of a chicken coop, and how you can buy a ready-made one or build a customized one yourself. So, we have got you covered whether you’re looking to buy a heavy-duty chicken ladder from a reputable brand or planning to build a unique ladder-style chicken roost.

Understanding Chicken Ladders

A chicken ladder, also known as a tiered roost or perch, provides a pathway for chickens to access different coop levels, providing them with a natural and comfortable way to rest and move around.

Understanding the importance of a chicken ladder and knowing how to buy or build one can greatly enhance the well-being of your flock.

A chicken ladder is more than just a set of steps; it’s a vital part of a chicken’s environment that enhances the coop’s suitability for your chickens and provides additional comfort to create content chickens. A ladder perch or A-frame roost serves as a pathway, enabling chickens to roost, explore, and feel secure in their surroundings.

Different Types Of Chicken Ladders

Understanding the different types of chicken ladders is essential for choosing or building the right one for your flock. Here’s a closer look at some common types.

  • Ladder perch. A simple and traditional design, often made of wooden rungs, provides a natural feel for the chickens.
  • A-Frame roost. A freestanding structure that resembles the letter ‘A,’ offering stability and ease of access.
  • Custom ladder-style chicken roost. A modern take on the classic design, often incorporating recycled materials or unique features.

Another aspect to remember is that a chicken ladder can be intended for different purposes in the chicken coop. One option is to serve as a perch or roost where the chickens will sleep overnight. The second purpose of a chicken ladder is to provide access to a coop that is elevated from the ground.

A ladder used as a roost must be made with specific measurements to give the chickens sufficient individual space during the night and prevent social problems among the chickens.

A ladder intended for coop access does not need to adhere to these specifications as closely as a roosting ladder. An access ladder must simply provide convenient and easy access to the coop for the chickens. They will not be spending any extended time on this coop structure.

Some chicken keepers prefer to use a ramp to access a raised chicken coop door instead of a ladder-type design.

Chicken Ladder Importance In Chicken Coops

The chicken ladder is not just a functional piece; it’s an integral part of the chicken’s daily life. This means some thought must go into selecting the right ladder design, size, and material to ensure the comfort of your birds.

Some aspects to consider when choosing a chicken ladder include the following.

  • Promote natural chicken behavior. Chickens naturally seek higher ground to feel safe; a ladder provides this opportunity.
  • Enhance mobility. It allows chickens to move freely within the coop, promoting exercise and exploration.
  • Improves chicken health. Properly designed ladders prevent injuries and contribute to the overall well-being of the flock.

Considerations For Choosing The Right Chicken Ladder

There are several aspects of your chicken coop that you should consider when buying or making a chicken ladder.

  • Size and space. Ensure the ladder is appropriately sized for your chickens and fits well within the coop.
  • Materials. Choose durable and safe materials for the chickens, such as untreated wood.
  • Safety features. To prevent accidents, look for designs that include properly spaced, securely fastened rungs and proper slope and steepness.

Understanding what a chicken ladder is, its various types and its importance in a chicken coop is the first step in ensuring the happiness and health of your flock. Whether you opt for a traditional ladder perch, an A-frame roost, or a custom ladder-style chicken roost, the right chicken ladder can make all the difference in your chickens’ lives.

How To Buy A Chicken Ladder

Purchasing a chicken ladder may seem simple, but it can become challenging with various options and considerations. This section will guide you through the process, ensuring you find the perfect ladder for your flock.

Chicken Ladder Buying Options

Many new chicken keepers prefer to buy a chicken ladder to quickly prepare their coop for the chickens’ arrival. I prefer making my own chicken ladders, but if you opt to buy a ladder, here are several options to source a quality product.

  • Online Retailers: Websites like Amazon and specialized poultry supply stores offer a wide range of chicken ladders.
  • Local Farm Stores: Many local farm and feed stores carry chicken ladders and can provide personalized advice.
  • Big-Box Retailers: Stores like Home Depot often carry heavy-duty chicken ladders from brands like Acro Building Systems.

Considerations When Buying Chicken Ladders

As with buying any commercial product for your chicken coop, there are certain factors you should keep in mind while sourcing the ideal product.

  • Size and Design: Choose a ladder that fits your coop and accommodates the size and number of your chickens.
  • Material: Opt for durable materials like untreated wood or hand-welded metal that ensures safety and longevity.
  • Functionality: Consider the ladder’s slope, steepness, and overall design to ensure it meets your chickens’ needs.
  • Price: Compare prices across different retailers and consider your budget without compromising on quality.

Check Reviews And Recommendations

If you are looking online to source a chicken ladder, you should consider certain checks and balances before committing to a purchase.

  • Read customer reviews. Check online reviews to gauge the quality and functionality of the chicken ladder.
  • Ask for recommendations. Reach out to fellow chicken keepers or online forums for personalized advice and suggestions.

Buying a chicken ladder is more than just a transaction; it’s an investment in the well-being of your flock. By understanding the various buying options, considering top brands, and paying attention to essential factors like size, material, safety, and price, you can find the perfect chicken ladder that suits your needs and enhances your chickens’ lives.

How To Build A DIY Chicken Ladder

Building a chicken ladder yourself is a cost-effective option and allows you to customize the ladder to your chickens’ specific needs.

This is my preferred choice for providing my chickens with a ladder. A DIY custom-built ladder has the advantage that you can customize the size and structure to cater to your coop and your chickens.

In this section, we’ll walk you through the process of building a DIY chicken ladder, complete with materials, step-by-step instructions, and safety considerations.

Materials Needed To Build A Chicken Ladder

Before starting the chicken ladder build, you must gather the necessary tools and materials for the project. Here is a table of materials you’ll need to build a ladder-style chicken roost.

Untreated Wood Planks4For the sides and rungs
Screws20To secure the rungs
Sandpaper1To smooth edges
Hand-Welded Metal Hooks2For attaching to the coop
Paint (Non-Toxic)OptionalFor aesthetics, ensure it’s chicken-safe

Step-By-Step Guide To Build A Chicken Ladder

The following step-by-step guide is for a basic design, and the lengths of the sides and rungs will differ based on your unique requirements.

  1. Cut the wood. Cut the wood planks to the desired length for the sides and rungs.
  2. Assemble the sides. Attach two planks parallel to each other, ensuring they are level.
  3. Attach the rungs. Space the rungs evenly and screw them into the sides.
  4. Smooth the edges. Use sandpaper to smooth rough edges and prevent potential injuries.
  5. Attach the hooks. Attach hand-welded metal hooks to the top for easy attachment to the coop.
  6. Paint (optional). If desired, paint the ladder with non-toxic paint suitable for chickens.

Safety Considerations For Your DIY Chicken Ladder

If you are new to keeping chickens, there are some safety considerations you should keep in mind when building a DIY chicken ladder. If the ladder is built without taking these aspects into account, it could result in injury to the chickens, or they will simply refuse to use the ladder.

  • Slope and Steepness: Ensure the ladder has a gentle slope that’s easy for the chickens to climb.
  • Rung Spacing: Space the rungs appropriately to prevent slipping or trapping.
  • Materials: Use untreated wood and safe materials that won’t harm the chickens.
  • Attachment: Ensure the ladder is securely attached to the coop to prevent accidents.

Chicken Ladder Build Tips And Tricks

Some tweaks you can incorporate into your DIY chicken ladder build include the following.

  • Customize. Feel free to customize the design, size, and color to match your coop and chickens’ preferences.
  • Recycle. Consider using recycled materials or repurposing old ladders for a sustainable option.

Building a DIY chicken ladder can be a rewarding project that provides your chickens with a functional and personalized pathway. By following this step-by-step guide and considering essential safety features like slope, steepness, and rung spacing, you can create a great chicken ladder that serves your flock well.

Additional Ideas And Accessories For Chicken Ladders

A chicken ladder is more than just a functional piece in a coop; it can be a centerpiece of creativity and innovation. We will explore some additional ideas and accessories that can enhance the chicken ladder, making it practical, engaging, and aesthetically pleasing.

Chicken Activity Center

Why stop at a ladder when you can create an entire chicken activity center? The following are some ideas to enhance your chicken ladder and coop.

  • Chicken swings. Add swings alongside the ladder for extra fun and exercise.
  • Climbing frames. Incorporate climbing frames to encourage natural climbing behavior.
  • Interactive Toys. Attach interactive toys that stimulate the chickens’ curiosity and intelligence.

Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Chicken Ladder Options

Embrace sustainability with  your chicken ladder by incorporating these ideas.

  • Recycled materials. Use recycled wood, metal, or other materials to build an eco-friendly ladder.
  • Natural elements. Incorporate natural elements like tree branches or stones for a rustic look.

By exploring additional ideas like chicken activity centers, modern designs, and sustainable options, you can transform a simple ladder into a centerpiece for your flock.

Chicken Ladder Tips And Common Mistakes

Whether you’re buying or building a chicken ladder, knowing the best practices for this structure and avoiding common pitfalls can make the process smoother and more successful. In this section, we’ll explore essential tips and common mistakes to guide you in creating the perfect chicken ladder for your flock.

Here are some valuable chicken ladder tips to consider.

  • Understand Your Chickens’ Needs. Consider your chickens’ size, breed, and behavior to choose or design the right ladder.
  • Prioritize Safety. Ensure the ladder has a proper slope, steepness, and properly spaced rungs for safety.
  • Choose Quality Materials. Opt for untreated wood or heavy-duty materials that will last.
  • Regular Maintenance. Regularly inspect and maintain the ladder to ensure it remains safe and functional.

Common Chicken Ladder Mistakes To Avoid

People new to keeping chickens may be unaware of potential pitfalls when installing a chicken ladder in the coop. Avoid these common mistakes when buying or building a chicken ladder.

  • Ignoring Size and Space. Choosing a too-big or small ladder for the coop or chickens can lead to problems.
  • Compromising on Safety. Neglecting safety features like proper slope, steepness, and secure attachment can cause accidents.
  • Using Treated Wood or Toxic Materials. Using treated wood or toxic paints can harm the chickens.
  • Overcomplicating the Design. An overly complex design may look appealing but can be impractical for the chickens.

Chicken Ladder Troubleshooting And Solutions

You may encounter some issues with the ladder or with the chickens after installing your new chicken ladder. The following are some potential problems and how you can address them.

  • Chickens are not using the ladder. Adjust the slope, add more rungs, or consider the ladder’s placement.
  • Wear and tear. Regularly inspect the chicken ladder for wear and tear and replace or repair parts as needed.
  • Safety concerns. Continuously monitor the ladder’s design and safety features and make necessary adjustments.

Creating the perfect chicken ladder combines understanding, creativity, and attention to detail. By following these tips and being mindful of common mistakes, you can be certain that your chicken ladder is aesthetically pleasing, safe, functional, and tailored to your flock’s needs.

Chicken Ladder FAQ

We have compiled some answers to new chicken keepers’ questions regarding chicken ladders.

1. Why Is A Chicken Ladder Important?

A chicken ladder, also known as a ladder perch or A-frame roost, is a structure that allows chickens to access different levels within their coop. It promotes natural behavior, enhances mobility, and contributes to the overall well-being of the flock.

2. Can I Buy A Chicken Ladder, Or Must I Build One?

You can either buy a ready-made chicken ladder from stores like Home Depot or online retailers or build a customized one yourself using materials like untreated wood and hand-welded metal hooks.

The choice is really up to you and the method you prefer. Those without appropriate DIY skills or insufficient time may opt for a commercial product, but building a custom chicken ladder is preferable.

3. Can I Decorate Or Customize My Chicken Ladder?

Absolutely! You can customize your chicken ladder with modern designs and seasonal decorations or even create a chicken activity center with swings and climbing frames. Using recycled materials is also a great way to add a personal touch.

If you decorate your chicken ladder, use items or decorations that will not threaten your chicken’s health.

4. What If My Chickens Are Not Using The Ladder?

If your chickens are not using the ladder, you may need to adjust the slope, add more rungs, or consider the ladder’s placement within the coop. Observing your chickens’ behavior and making necessary adjustments can help.

Another reason is that the chickens may be reluctant to try something new and will need some time to adjust to the new structure in the coop and start using the ladder.


The humble chicken ladder, often overlooked, plays a vital function in the daily lives of our chicken flocks. From providing a natural pathway to enhancing safety and well-being, chicken ladders are essential to a well-designed chicken coop.

Whether you’re a seasoned chicken keeper or a newcomer to the world of poultry-keeping, we hope this guide has equipped you with the knowledge and inspiration to choose or create the perfect chicken ladder. Prioritize safety with features like proper slope and properly spaced rungs.








Owen Jung

Owen is the co-founder of Our Daily Homestead. Own grew up in his parent's homestead in Illinois and learned all things gardening, sustainability, and off-grid living while he was young. He now shares his knowledge through this website.

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