All hens only use one box

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by jayhopeter, Oct 26, 2009.

  1. jayhopeter

    jayhopeter In the Brooder

    Oct 26, 2009
    Wakefield, MI
    I have 8 hens that are laying now(3 are still not laying) and I have setup 5 similar nesting boxes that are old wooden beer crates. The problem I'm having is that they all want to lay in the same box, this causes quite a mess when there a 2 hens trying to squeeze in the same box and 2 more waiting on edges of the boxes. I have tried to move the hens that are "on deck" to the other boxes but they quicky jump out and go back to the waiting for popular box to become available. The popular one was the first box that I installed(when the first hen starting laying) so that could be the problem. I installed the rest the following week when I was up to 4 layers. Has anyone had similar issues or any suggestions?
  2. chicken ridl

    chicken ridl In the Brooder

    Jul 27, 2009
    I have the metal hanging box with 10 holes.
    Every day most of the eggs are on the top east end.
    I have no idea how to change that.
    I have also seen 2 in the same hole at the same time.
    I also have one that always lays out in the yard or on the floor in the corner.
    Silly chickens.
  3. AmyRey

    AmyRey Songster

    Jun 25, 2009
    lol @ "on deck"

    Mine do the same thing. It's like the line to use the ladies room at a concert. I only have four though, so it's never really bothered me much.
  4. wombat

    wombat Songster

    Jun 23, 2009
    Have you tried putting some golf balls in another nesting box?
  5. jayhopeter

    jayhopeter In the Brooder

    Oct 26, 2009
    Wakefield, MI
    Lol it is like a line to the ladies room! I guess it's not really huge concern for me either it just seems the hens that are waiting seem stressed out and are quite vocal. I will try the golf balls in the other boxes and see if that works out... thanks!
  6. PortageGirl

    PortageGirl Songster

    Nov 8, 2008
    Portage County, Ohio
    I would try removing that one box. If it was there first, and it's not too much trouble, then just take out that box. They may all resort to one of the other boxes again, causing the same problem all over, or hopefully they'll spread out a bit. I have a large tray on top of two more traditional boxes and it's about 4 who like the open tray, and 4 who like the lower left box, with 2 who like the lower right. One who goes outside and lays in the ivy.

  7. koifarm

    koifarm Songster

    My 18 hens all lay in two boxes out of the five I have set up. Every now and again an egg will appear in one of the other boxes.
    Hens are just funny, just when you think you have em figured out, they do something else....
    you can try putting a cloth or towel over the face of the other boxes, might work....
    Have fun!
  8. ams3651

    ams3651 Songster

    Jan 23, 2008
    NE PA
    I took out the divider in my box so its like one big box, 2 can fit at once. But depending on how big you want to make it you could fit more. Thats what worked for me.
  9. blurose

    blurose Songster

    May 25, 2008
    Winston, Oregon
    Communal nesting is normal chicken behavior. When my dad had 100 hens and 18 nests in a row, they only used 3 of the nests. My first flock had 4 nests in a row and only used 1 of them. My present flock....I got smart and only put up 1 nest box (but it is a 2ft by 4 ft cantelope crate) and everybody is happy (all 36 of them). [​IMG]
  10. redstars

    redstars Songster

    Mar 15, 2009
    south dartmouth ma
    Quote:Good Idea.
    I will be taking out a divider tomorrow.

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