Advice needed. 3 pullets sharing 1 nest box?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by mrsbos, Jan 18, 2011.

  1. mrsbos

    mrsbos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Greenacres, WA
    Two of my 3 pullets just started laying. I have one nest box. Today, it looked like both wanted to lay at the same time. One girl was on the nest box, and the other went on top of the trampoline where she laid her first two eggs. I don't want eggs laid on my trampoline. I want all eggs laid in the nest box. Can they share? I locked them both in the coop/run, but there's only room for 1 on the nest at a time. What if one goes broody (they are EEs) and sits on the nest all day not allowing the other two to use it? I have a golf ball in the nest box hoping to encourage all of them to lay there, but they keep kicking the golf ball out.
     
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    I think you are fine with one nest box unless one goes broody. Mine have their favorite boxes and wait in line to use them. Also, they nose out the fake eggs too. I just keep putting them back in when I collect eggs. They discourage egg eating.

    One box per every 5 hens is the standard I have read about on BYC and other areas of internet.

    I have no experience with broody hens, though.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2011
  3. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    They will sort it out. You're fine. Give them some time, they are beginners. [​IMG]

    I used to have 6 hens on a pen, with two boxes. They refused to ever use the second one. Now, I don't worry about it. I took it out.
    Now, they line up, if there is no rush. If a rare "emergency" strikes, [​IMG], they'll absolutely jump in together.

    With 3 hens, they'll be fine.
     
  4. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Once they all start being faithful to the box, you don't NEED the foreign objects. Can if you want. My hens always kicked out the golf ball. I don't bother with them anymore. Since you have no rooster?, you'll have to break the broodiness, I guess. Wire bottom cage, cold air and all that.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2011
  5. suzettex5

    suzettex5 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Believe it or not, you have a very common problem! I think the hens figure "If that nest is good enough for 'her', it MUST be good enough for me!" So the fighting begins...
    Sometimes they will just wait their turn, other times one will jump right in their on top of the other and lay at the same time, all squished up and all! I have 10 different nesting boxes, but the majority of my hens will only use 3 certain boxes.

    Right now, I have a big Jersey Giant hen who is brooding her clutch of 12, and the other hens are still sneaking in there somehow and adding their own eggs to the pile!! I have to check everyday to fish out the interloping eggs. I marked all the keepers at the begining so I wouldnt get confused as to which ones didnt stay under her.

    If you have a new layer (the trampoline layer), its normal for her to try different spots, but the goal is the nesting box. You could try putting golf balls in every nest, or fake eggs, you could evenglue them in if ya wanted so they dont get kicked out. Or try locking her in the nesting area until she's paid the rent [​IMG].

    Sometimes a new layer figures it out all by themselves and just starts laying in the right spot after they see how nice the nesting boxes are and how all the other girls are doing it (kinda like a peer pressure thing!).

    Try different things and try to be patient, I know its hard though!

    My dirty secret is I have one Andalusian hen who WONT follow all the other hens examples and thinks she MUST lay her egg on top of my dryer in the garage. I let her cuz its so cute to tell my kids to "Go check and see if the dryer fairy has visited and left us an egg in exchange for all our dryer lint!" They all race everyday to get that one white egg, and are so excited every time, I just dont have the heart to make her stop. So far (3 months in) she hasnt pooped on anything in the garage, so I'm letting it continue, as long as she stays so well behaved! [​IMG]
     
  6. marcumbackyardfarms

    marcumbackyardfarms Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 10, 2011
    Russellville
    We have 4 nest boxes and we have 8 hens laying eggs at the moment. All 8 of them will usually lay them in the same box.
     
  7. NYRIR

    NYRIR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 13, 2010
    Petersburg,NY
    LOL..yep,I have 6 nest boxes and they all use the same 3! Wait in line even...and if you're cleaning the nest boxes?....one Jersey always seems to want to lay right then...and will WAIT until she sees you put in the new bedding,sqwauking at you the whole time and running back and forth! [​IMG]
     
  8. KimM

    KimM Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 9, 2011
    Yep, it doesn't matter how many nestboxes you have, they will share anyway. We thought we were being nice and made 5 nestboxes for 12 chickens. Well, we are down to 10 chickens but they all use the same nest box. We could have done with one. I have had them lay under the coop if the prime box was occupied for too long.
     
  9. cluckin_crazy

    cluckin_crazy Green Bot

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    Nov 29, 2009
    Queen Creek, AZ
    Fred's Hens :

    They will sort it out. You're fine. Give them some time, they are beginners. [​IMG]

    I used to have 6 hens on a pen, with two boxes. They refused to ever use the second one. Now, I don't worry about it. I took it out.
    Now, they line up, if there is no rush. If a rare "emergency" strikes, [​IMG], they'll absolutely jump in together.

    With 3 hens, they'll be fine.

    I have 8 with 2 boxes and only one of them uses the second box. They're just particular!​
     

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