About nesting boxes

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Cohl0406, Mar 26, 2015.

  1. Cohl0406

    Cohl0406 Out Of The Brooder

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    So I'm moving and no longer have a limit on how many hens I can have so I'm getting 4 more in about 2 weeks. I have 3 now. So with having 7 hens I will have a very large portion of my yard fenced in for them with their big coop inside to keep the dogs and neighborhood cats away. Anyway I currently only have 2 nesting boxes (they are not laying yet) would adding 2 more nesting boxes be enough or do I need more? I have room in their coop to add 2 and possibly a third that I could still reach from the egg hatch I made. 4 nesting boxes enough for 7 hens? It's possible I'll only get 3 (if one that I want isn't available) thanks for the advice! Yall are awesome and always help me so much!
     
  2. Odelia

    Odelia Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You only need 1 nesting box for every 3-4 chickens. That is unless you chose very broody breeds. If you expect a lot of broody hens I would add more boxes. Even when you provide more boxes they often will favor one or two of them and neglect the rest. How many birds can your coop house? I would put in an appropriate number of boxes for the number of birds your coop could house.
     
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  3. tcstoehr

    tcstoehr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would want at least three nesting boxes for your seven hens. Four would be fine too. Five would be overkill, but does no harm.
     
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  4. Cohl0406

    Cohl0406 Out Of The Brooder

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    I don't know how many it could hold. It's a large kids playhouse I converted into a coop. I have thought about adding a second "story" to it since its large enough. I currently have a RIR a black astrolourpe and what was supposed to be a BO but looks more like a old English game hen (def not a buff) and I'm adding a jersey giant (which I should prob add a large area for her) a Cochin, ameracauna and silver laced Wyandotte.
     
  5. Odelia

    Odelia Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What are the dimensions of the coop? Do you have a run? What are it's dimensions? Cochins are a broody breed. Is it a bantam or a standard. The larger version can be very, very large.
     
  6. Cohl0406

    Cohl0406 Out Of The Brooder

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    Let men try to find the playhouse I used for dimensions. They will have a very large run at the new house. For now my 3 girls run around my entire fenced in back yard. It will be a standard Cochin I was worried about a bantam because I didn't want it to be too small around the others.

    Do chickens stay broody even after you take the eggs? I've never really understood that and I'm still pretty new to chickens. My last girls sadly died in a fire in jan so starting over. They had just started laying.
     
  7. Odelia

    Odelia Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes a broody stays broody even if you take their eggs every day. How long they stay broody depends on the bird but often it lasts weeks. If they won't leave the box and get very upset if you take them out then they are most likely broody. They will sometimes even attack your hand when they are in the box. Most broody hens don't much like sharing their nesting box. Others do so that they can try to horde more eggs. No they don't have to have a single egg under them to still sit on the nest.
     
  8. lonniedeohio

    lonniedeohio Out Of The Brooder

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    I had the same question as far as nest count. Everything I've read suggests that Odelia's count of one nest per 3-4 chickens is the standard and if there are more nests, they will likely go unused.
     
  9. Cohl0406

    Cohl0406 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for that info! Very helpful.

    I think I'll add one more box a little larger so the Cochin and jersey giant have something a little more suited to their larger sizes. But I'm happy to get this info because I don't have to stress about possibly redoing the entire inside of the coop. It's super cute and took me weeks to finish. Hehe
     
  10. Chemguy

    Chemguy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I built a second coop last year, left the old one open. For 16 hens I have 2 sets of boxes, each with 4 spots for laying. One set of four is rarely used, and of those four only 3 see much action. That comes to about 5 hens per box under normal circumstances.

    But, if a hen goes broody, (usually in the favorite box) there is plenty of other space to go to. IMO, better to have a few beyond what you think is needed than too few.

    I should add that having extra boxes has completely eliminated the floor eggs that I used to get.
     

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