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Community nest box or dividers?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I am preparing to build external nest box(s) for my coop.  I am curious if the majority of you use dividers or just have a large box.  The only one I have seen in person is a neighbors and he just has a large box off his coop that is 4 foot long and 12 inches deep. He says they have always used it fine.

 

I am planning on starting with about 8 hens in my 6x8 coop.

Any pros and cons to dividers v one large box?

post #2 of 5
Ours prefer the privacy of a single covered nest box. However, it's extremely hot here during the summer so they transition to an open communal nest when it starts to get warm outside
EDIT: We have 11 and they refuse to use more than 2 covered nest boxes.
Edited by lovemy6hens - 2/24/16 at 6:05am
post #3 of 5
One disadvantage I can think of to a community nest is if you want a hen to go broody in there and hatch chicks it could get messy during hatch.

Occasionally I get a hen that wants to lay somewhere other than my nests. I made a couple of my nests so I can lock a hen in there, which has come in handy for different things. One of those is when I catch her on her other nest to lay an egg, I lock her in the nest I want her to use until she lays her egg. Once is usually all I have to do this to retrain her to use a nest though I’ve had to do a few hens twice.

Another way I use those lockable nests is when I see a hen in there laying, I can lock her in and remove any other eggs that might already be there. That way I can tell which hen is laying which egg. That comes in really handy when I’m evaluating pullets to see which I want to add to my laying/breeding flock and which go to the freezer.

I like my lockable nests and I let my broody hens hatch and raise chicks with the flock. For those reasons I prefer individual nests. But I think you should do what is most convenient for you and how you manage your chickens. I think people care about this a lot more than the chickens do.

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

Reply

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

Reply
post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the info, sounds like I will be putting dividers in.  It won't really cost any more as I have materials around. 

post #5 of 5

I would make a community nest box with removable divider.

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