All hens using the same nesting box! Normal?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Kmath, Feb 19, 2015.

  1. Kmath

    Kmath Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 19, 2015
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    Hi there. I'm new to the chicken owner world. Recently got 6 Golden Comets. We build a nice 4x4x5 coop and 8x8 fenced run. They all seem to be using the same nesting box when I have supplied 4! They poop in the others. Is this normal to all use the same box and have one hen lay on all the eggs?
     
  2. Mtn Laurel

    Mtn Laurel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Totally normal. You only need one nesting box for about 3-4 hens because they'll all want to use the same one. I went to a larger "communal" style box because of that. There were three girls piled in there this morning.

    To keep them from pooping in the nesting boxes, make sure your roosts are higher than the boxes. They'll instinctively head for the highest ground when going to bed at night.
     
  3. Ravynscroft

    Ravynscroft For the Love of Duck Premium Member

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    It is very normal, no worries. As long as they aren't breaking the eggs, I really wouldn't worry about it.
    I have 6 hens in one coop with 6 boxes... they will wait in line (no joke, they stand on the ramp) to use the same box, lol. :)
     
  4. Kmath

    Kmath Out Of The Brooder

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    Awesome thanks. Ill go to grab eggs and 6 are in one box.:)
     
  5. Ravynscroft

    Ravynscroft For the Love of Duck Premium Member

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    Yup, happens all the time, lol... We can make them the biggest and best coops, runs, roosts, and boxes as we can and just like most animals they will decide what they like and how they like it no matter what we do... :D
     
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  6. jtn42248

    jtn42248 Overrun With Chickens

    I have 23 hens and 10 nesting boxes. They only use 5 of the nest. Makes it easier to gather eggs though.
     
  7. song of joy

    song of joy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, that's normal. However, it's not normal for them to be pooping in nest boxes, unless they're roosting in the nest boxes. This is something you want to discourage by either blocking off 2 of the 4 nest boxes and/or making sure their roosts are higher than the nest boxes.
     
  8. Kmath

    Kmath Out Of The Brooder

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    Can I put cloth over the boxes to discourage them sleeping in them? I found this pic online it's what I'm considering.[​IMG]
     
  9. song of joy

    song of joy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That type of cloth may encourage use of the boxes for nesting (as it increases privacy and darkness), but will probably not discourage use for night-time roosting. You would want to use something that would deny them access to the nest boxes they are sleeping in (e.g., cardboard, hardware cloth, etc.). This would be a temporary solution, and only used long enough to re-train them to use the roost bars, which may take a couple of weeks.
     
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