6 hens = 1 nest :(

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by JoBean1987, Oct 9, 2014.

  1. JoBean1987

    JoBean1987 In the Brooder

    Oct 1, 2014
    Wildwood Alberta Canada
    I'm having a few issues with my hens all trying to crowd into one nest. They will take turns laying during the day but at night they all thing they need to pile into one nest and if we miss a couple eggs because they laid late I come out in the morning to broken eggs :(

    Is there a way I can stop the crowding?
  2. familyfarm1

    familyfarm1 Crowing

    Jun 9, 2013
    Northern Virginia
    You first need to put in some roosts.
  3. JoBean1987

    JoBean1987 In the Brooder

    Oct 1, 2014
    Wildwood Alberta Canada
    They have roosts they won't use them. I Guess I can try and put one on the ground to start.
    They are the 1 year old breeding stock from a hatchery. So idk if that has anything to do with it.
  4. philnj

    philnj Chirping

    Jun 2, 2014
    Townsend, DE
    Go in at night and physically put them on the roosts it may take a few days but they should get the idea eventually
  5. deacons

    deacons Songster

    Oct 8, 2013
    New Hampshire
    Yep, I have 8 hens who have 3 nests to choose from but all line up (or crowd in 2-3 at a time) to use the same nest. For whatever reason, it's their favorite one.

    Agree on the suggestion to help encourage them to roost at night. You could also physically block off the nests for the night, provided you can get out relatively early in the morning to give them access first thing.
  6. tcstoehr

    tcstoehr Chirping

    Mar 25, 2014
    Canby, Oregon
    I would barricade the nest boxes with wire fencing or whatever is available. I would do this just before roosting time and remove it at daybreak. Every day for a week or two. It's a nuisance but it will force your birds to look elsewhere for a roosting spot and may or may not get them to use the roosting bar. When the barricade is removed permanently, they may continue their new habit of using the roosting bar. I did this with a single hen that was sleeping in a nesting box and it worked.

    I have to wonder why your hens aren't using the existing roosting bar. Some possibilities:

    Is the bar lower that the nesting boxes? That would make them want to roost in the nesting boxes.
    Is the bar too high to jump up to? If so then add an intermediate step of some sort.
    Is the roosting bar too narrow? Or not made of wood?

    A picture would be helpful since we have no idea what your setup looks like. A picture might reveal the problem.
  7. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. .....

    Mar 9, 2014
    My Coop
    X 2

    There are a lot of things that *could* be going on that is causing the issue you are having - so having the best information possible is going to help narrow down what change, or changes, you can make to make you and the flock a little happier about sleeping arrangements.
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2014
  8. deacons

    deacons Songster

    Oct 8, 2013
    New Hampshire
    I think my chickens are reading BYC!! I swear, for the past 8-10 months, they have ONLY laid in the nest on the far left- you can even see that I've basically stopped putting any straw in the middle or far right nest.

    But look what I found today: 1 egg in the usual nest (left) and 4 eggs all the way over on the right.

    I guess they were inspired by getting called out online...

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