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Can you have too many nesting boxes?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by JS3TX, Nov 25, 2012.

  1. JS3TX

    JS3TX New Egg

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    I just finished my coop and it is 10' x 5' with 6' walls. On one wall I built 3 rows of 4 nest in each row. They start 30" from the floor and go almost to the ceiling. The other wall has a 4 level perch, in which my 4 hens have enjoyed for months. It starts on the floor and rises up to around 3' tall.

    My hens just started laying this past week, and have been housed in a 10' dog run with their perch prior to building their coop. I live in the southern part of Texas, so we have not had any extensive cold weather this year. So far 6 eggs. They have just dug little impressions in the ground and layed their eggs without a nesting box.

    I have filled each box with pine shavings and hope they will figure out what they are and how to use them. Most of my eggs have been found later in the day. After I check on the birds in the morning, I have no eggs. Check on them at lunch time and they have layed. I am assuming they will still use their perch at night and go to the nesting boxes only when needed, right?

    I still need to add hardie plank to the outside, but the girls moved in today. the backside has a 11' x 15' door that open up to their dog run. I am planning on building out a 10' x16' run later.

    Did I over do it for my 4 hens? I am planning on getting some more this spring. How many will this setup hold comfortably?
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  2. TallChickMagnet

    TallChickMagnet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    108, maybe more... 8 birds per box...
     
  3. Y N dottes

    Y N dottes Chillin' With My Peeps

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    u have more nesting boxes than u need,thats for sure. but it since they are aready there, it wont do any harm having more than needed.
    The main inconvenience will be if the eggs are sprad out in different oxes when it comes time to collect them, though they may choose to use the same one....thats what my 5 hens do.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2012
  4. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Welcome to BYC>
    On this forum the standard space per chicken is 4 sq feet per chicken, 10 sq feet in the run. Your 10x5 coop =50sq feet. or 12.5 chickens. The standard for nests, is 4 per hen. So you could have 48 hens with the nests you built. One thing about the roost height versus the nest box height. Chickens tend to like to nest as high as they can, so if you roosts are lower then the nests they will tend to sleep in the nests. Don't sweat the excess nests to much. I was given a per built 10 nest unit (40 hens) to put in a coop that will comfortably hold only 24.
     
  5. JS3TX

    JS3TX New Egg

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    Is it bad for them to sleep in the nest.

    I could raise the perch off of the floor if I need to.

    Should I make the higher boxes non usable by covering them up?
     
  6. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The problem with them sleeping in the nests is that the tend to poop where they sleep. As a result you get dirty eggs.
     
  7. Y N dottes

    Y N dottes Chillin' With My Peeps

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    true, u dont want them sleeping the nests....they usually like to sleep on the highest roosts, so make sure the roosts are nice and high. dont worry about them not being able to get up there....they can get up to high places easily. Though they do take the easiest route...
     
  8. Dude6710

    Dude6710 Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 11, 2012
    I made my own also but they preferred the ones I bought from fleet farm.
     

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