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Should I remove the roost bars?

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I have four rescue chickens. They're loving life and getting on together really well. Had them for a couple of months now. They have never used the roosting bars in the coop though. They just all cram in and sleep in the nesting area. After speaking to a few other chicken owners and chatting on other forums, I decided to just let them get on with it. It's not much extra hassle to clean their nest each morning... and I think considering the life they have come from, if they want to sleep in a cosy nest instead of on the bars that's fine. 

My question is, do people think I should just remove the bars now? It's a lot of space I can cover with some more straw or just some stuff for them to hang around on if I make that decision. Or is it likely that they will ever want to use the bard at some point? 

It doesn't really bother me either way, just wanted to see what people thought!


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Some of mine prefer sleeping in the nestbox too, but in summer I to place something in the way, as I have a very broody prone hen. 
I would just leave them in. But whatever you decide, don’t use straw. Lice and mites like to live in straw and it can be a nightmare to get rid of them.

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I have the same general philosophy as you do - I let my chickens decide for themselves how they want to live, and so long as they’re not in any danger, I let them get on with it. It’s great to hear that your four chickens are getting a much better life.

Maybe they just feel safer close together, or prefer the cosiness of the nesting area.

If they haven’t used the roosting bars in 2 months, I suspect they’re unlikely to change their routine by choice.

In your situation, I’d be tempted to take the bars out and put in something like wood shavings to see what happens. If they make use of the extra space, that’s great. If they stay in the nesting area, you’ll know that’s what they prefer and you may as well put the roosting bars back for easier maintenance.


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