chickens won't sleep on roost and lay eggs in coop


In the Brooder
6 Years
Aug 28, 2013
Hello! we have 8 chickens, ( 4 RRI, 2 isa browns and 2 buff oppringtons.) When we check on them at night they are all laying near the food and water even tho we have two roosting poles, OR they are sleeping in their nest ( our girls are afternooon layers) is this ok/normal ? we live in MI and the cold months are coming upon us we just wanna be sure that it's ok for them to be doing this.
ALso the last 3 days we have checked there have been eggs laid in the coop rather than the nesting box ( we have 4 boxes for 8 chickens SO more than enough) we think it might be the 2 isa browns and 2 buffs because they are only 6 months old compared to the RIR who are a year and a half.
any suggestions ?
are the roosting poles higher than the nesting boxes? if not, lift them higher.

this is classic chicken behavior. they will sleep in the nesting boxes if these boxes are higher than the roosting poles, and they will not lay eggs in their sleeping spots, but all over the coop.

good rule of thumb:

nesting boxes low

roost poles high.

put stray eggs in nesting boxes to teach chickens where to lay them.
Yep we did the "ladder" system with our roosting poles, and boxes are low, so I don't know why they are doing that. Lol Is this ok for them to continue doing with the cold weather coming up in the next few months or can we train them to sleep up on the poles ?
does anyone else have suggestions to make the lay on roosting poles ?
Could you post pictures? Maybe somebody will have an idea if they can see what it looks like? Usually chickens by that age really want to be up to roost, so odd your adults are doing that.
Sure I will take some pictures once I get home from work this afternoon.

Roosting poles.. and nest .. roosting poles are above the nest and they are thick like a 2x4.. the guy we got our hens from said this is what he had and suggested we too have this since the chickens were already used to this..
Any suggestions!???
OK, I am kind of confused. Your coop is divided in half with the nesting boxes on one side and the roosts on the other? The left part with the plywood board are the nesting boxes? Is there any sort of front edge to the nesting boxes?
The roosts look good, you might consider putting the 2x4 so the large side is up, especially if the birds are preferring to roost somewhere else. How far away is the higher one from the back wall?
well our coop is probably 8 feet long by 4 feet wide. I just was inside so it looks smaller than it actually is. The nesting boxes are off to the side but nesting boxes are about 1/2 in of length of coop. I think we have it so the larger side is up with the roosting pole. The first one is about 12 inches off ground, second is about 20 and there is an easy 10-12 inches above the 2nd one. It's also probably 6 inches or so away from back wall

It's weird because the chickens will go on coop during day, but not at night. Like I just went to check on them and three on sitting there on the roosting pole right now.

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