Brooder box

frugal farmer

In the Brooder
5 Years
Sep 16, 2014
North central Indiana
Hello I have 14 adult hens ranging in age from 1 year to 3 and 4 bantam hens that were given to me and somebody else has 10-12 more they want to give to me and start fresh. I made a brooder box out of an old filing cabinet and it has 8 "nests" in it. My question is this, with the addition of another 10-12 birds will this be enough boxes? I've seen a rule of thumb is 1 box to three birds but only a handful of these birds are going to be under 2 years old so not prime laying age.
Actually, the rule of thumb I usually see is one per four hens. However, I agree, they just don't use that many. They have favorites and leave the other boxes empty. They will even decide to use a corner for a week or two and ignore the nests, or most of them, entirely.

I've always been able to scrounge something for a nest without spending money. I happen to have 5 nests for 14 birds at the moment, because the nests have stayed through ups and downs in the number of birds. They usually use two. That is a common sort of ratio I see described here.
Glad you joined us!

I think you'll have enough nest boxes. The general rule of thumb is 1 nest for every 4 hens. Your possible 30 hens divided by 4 nest boxes each equals a little more than 8 nests. So you do have enough.
Hello there and welcome to BYC!

I feel that sometimes you can NEVER have enough boxes! There is always a broody or two hogging up boxes sometime during the year. I use 1 box for every 3 birds. Any less and you may have waiting lines, arguing and if there are more than one broody, there goes 2 available boxes. So if you go with the 1 box per 4 hens, be prepared with more boxes. :)

Good luck with your flock and welcome to ours!

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