Chickens to nesting boxes ratio

K0k0shka

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
Jul 24, 2019
3,371
9,030
487
Boston Area, MA
My Coop
My Coop
I know the recommendations are something like 3-5 hens per box, and that they tend to have favorite boxes and will all lay there even if you give them lots of extras... And at 2 boxes for 5 pullets, I should be fine... but I’m starting to wonder if I might need to add more. Two of my pullets started laying a few weeks ago, and when they do, it’s a big deal. It’s a flock-wide event and they all gather to watch the layer and cheer her on. The two layers like to lay at the same time, taking up both nests, and the rest stand in front of them and look on, providing commentary along the way. So what happens when all 5 start laying? Will they all be crammed in there on top of each other? The size of the boxes is as recommended - 12x12 inches and about 18” tall... I don’t know how many chickens will fit in each. Do I need to add more boxes? Or will the chickens wait their turn?

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Auntiejessi3

Crowing
Oct 20, 2020
1,413
3,446
456
Central Texas
My Coop
My Coop
I know the recommendations are something like 3-5 hens per box, and that they tend to have favorite boxes and will all lay there even if you give them lots of extras... And at 2 boxes for 5 pullets, I should be fine... but I’m starting to wonder if I might need to add more. Two of my pullets started laying a few weeks ago, and when they do, it’s a big deal. It’s a flock-wide event and they all gather to watch the layer and cheer her on. The two layers like to lay at the same time, taking up both nests, and the rest stand in front of them and look on, providing commentary along the way. So what happens when all 5 start laying? Will they all be crammed in there on top of each other? The size of the boxes is as recommended - 12x12 inches and about 18” tall... I don’t know how many chickens will fit in each. Do I need to add more boxes? Or will the chickens wait their turn?

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Your nesting boxes are adorable!
 

U_Stormcrow

Free Ranging
Jun 7, 2020
4,672
13,634
536
North FL Panhandle Region / Wiregrass
I have 7 boxes, 4 your size (plus an inch or three), three larger. I have, in theory, 20+ layers at this point.

Not uncommon to find three eggs in the first box, skip a box, 2 in the next (the one between boxes 1 & 3 is identical to boxes 1 & 3...), 1 in the next, 0, 2, 1. The last four boxes are also identical to one another. They will wait for their favorite boxes, till they can wait no more.
 

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