Chicken hogging nest box

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Chicken Kat ZA, Nov 18, 2014.

  1. Chicken Kat ZA

    Chicken Kat ZA In the Brooder

    Oct 12, 2014
    Joburg, South Africa
    Hi all

    I have a question regarding chicken behaviour:

    I have an Orpington who lays fairly regularly (about 5 times a week) but on the days she does lay, she causes such problems in the flock. When she goes into the nest box, she hogs it for HOURS. She's not broody, she does eventually leave, she just likes to really take her time in there.

    The problem I'm having is that even though I have 6 nest boxes available for my flock of 7, all the chickens who are laying (about 3 - with one wanting to start soon) want to lay in this one nest box for some reason. They will not even look at any of the other nest boxes which I have scattered around in an attempt to find a place they may want to lay. I've even tried to put a dummy egg in the one directly next to the popular box to try convince my ladies to try it, but they just won't.

    So now when my lady Orpington is in there, the others either stand out-sides squawking or try climb in there with her to lay (which is usually met with the most unGodly screetching from the Orpington)

    Can anyone suggest something I can do to either convince the Orpington to lay faster, or the other chickens to make use of the other nest boxes instead? I feel bad for them wanting to lay and feeling they are 'unable' to :(
  2. Frizzlett98

    Frizzlett98 Songster

    Jun 22, 2014
    Southwest Virginia
    I had a broody Silkie that took up 1 of only 3 nestboxes. It's the favorite nest box too. I had to leave an egg in another nest box to get my others to lay in there instead of with my Silkie. It worked except for the occasional egg under my broody that wasn't hers. Then I moved my broody one box over to the least favorite nest box which worked great. You could maybe try moving the Orpington when she goes to lay into a different nest box with a fake egg. Chances are that she'll go back. Or you can try even covering up the nest box she hogs, forcing her to find a different one. So many ideas running through my mind. Hope you find something that works.
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  3. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Crowing

    Apr 11, 2011
    Personally, I'd just leave them to sort it out on their own. I have a 12 hole nest box, and they use 1. And, at times, there's a line of chickens waiting to get in there. Or 3 in the same box attempting to lay at the same time. Occasionally, when they just can't seem to wait any longer, I'll find an egg or two in the box right beside the favorite, but usually they're all in THE nest box.
    1 person likes this.
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    I'd try putting fake eggs/golf balls in all but a couple of the other nests....and maybe mix up which nest the fake eggs are in.
    1 person likes this.

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