Add more nest boxes or let them figure it out?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by gritsar, Jan 21, 2009.

  1. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    28,907
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    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    I now have 14 hens and 4 nest boxes, which used to be enough. However all my girls now appear to be cycling together. I am consistently getting 11 to 14 eggs a day all layed within a 2 to 3 hour period.
    I was in the coop this morning at laying time and it was choatic. All four boxes were filled, two with more than one hen and the other eight hens were not so patiently waiting in line. Some minor fights over boxes broke out and Lilith layed her egg on another hen's back! [​IMG]
    I really like the way the coop is arranged right now and don't want to add more boxes unless absolutely necessary.
    So far, all the eggs are making it into the boxes. Should I just let them keep doing it this way?
     
  2. jossanne

    jossanne Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 11, 2008
    Gila, New Mexico
    That really should be enough boxes for 14 hens, technically. If you built more, would they be used, or would these continue to be the favorites?

    My 26 girls currently in the coop have 9 boxes, and only 4 of them are ever used...
     
  3. sara

    sara Title Needed Here

    If you add more there is a good chance they will all keep piling into the same boxes. They seem to all like the same spot. [​IMG]
     
  4. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    28,907
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    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    I'm glad y'all reminded me about that. They do have two favorite boxes - the ones that are doubly occupied at times.
     
  5. congdon476

    congdon476 GaLLiNa LOcA

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    Dec 31, 2008
    Pueblo Area
    You could always try "adding a box" by using a real cardboard box. This way the option is there... but it's not costing you anything if they decide not to use it.
     
  6. Jennyhaschicks

    Jennyhaschicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 3, 2008
    Maine
    I have 9 (maybe 10) girls who are laying right now. They all favor the same nest boxes. One time I saw a barred rock rip my little bantam out of the nest box she wanted. [​IMG]
     
  7. SuburbanChickFarmer

    SuburbanChickFarmer Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 22, 2008
    Yep, I have three nest boxes and 10 hens and they will only use one of the nest boxes. If the box is occupied, the hens lay in the corner next to their favorite nest box! It's a very small area so the hens don't usually go back there unless it is to lay an egg.
     
  8. debilorrah

    debilorrah The Great Guru of Yap Premium Member

    Personally I would leave it - we have 6 nesting boxes for 16 hens and they ALL use the same two - and when they cycle together it is very chaotic in there. I saw two of them yelling at each other a few weeks ago and the one that was outside say down and layed her egg right there, turned around and yelled at the hen in the box and left. She was ticked!!!
     
  9. CA Bean

    CA Bean Chillin' With My Peeps

    Boy, I am so glad I read this thread. I was kinda worried that my 6 nesting boxes was not gonna be enough for my 16 gals. ( Only 2 started laying 1 week ago) I was dreading finding a place to put more nesting boxes and or having hubby make detached nesting boxes..etc. Just making the coop has been a long long hall for him/us...lets see it took us almost 41/2 months..we still need just the minor details left but atleast everybody is in the coop happy.
     
  10. kycowgirlchick

    kycowgirlchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    If they need more space they will lay their egg elsewhere. Mine will lay on the ground if need be.
     

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