Communal Nest Boxes

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by orchidchick, Jan 2, 2009.

  1. orchidchick

    orchidchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 23, 2008
    south florida
    Have any of you used or had success with shared nest boxes (without dividers)? I have a long one that will be an add on to the coop now that I'll be adding a few more and in the interest of keeping it cooler I was entertaining the idea of leaving it open.

    Wasn't sure if they'd treat it as one and still wait....or pile in next to each other. I know the sex links don't have a tendency to get broody, but one is a barred rock. And I guess I am just trying to anticipate. It's 30' long so not quite long enough for 3 divisions.

    Thanks for your insight!

  2. bluie

    bluie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 18, 2007
    From what I have learned on this forum, they like a little privacy. They might appreciate some dividers. Mine aren't laying yet, though they are old enough.
  3. orchidchick

    orchidchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 23, 2008
    south florida
    Thanks, Bluie.

    I thought of that too but what they use now affords them no privacy whatsoever so it's not something they are used to. I'll see if I still have a pic of their current box.


    I'll cut a hole in that back wall and the new box will run the length of the wall under the window. It will be for what I though was 7 hens total. It looks like I have a roo in there tho!

  4. Marlinchaser

    Marlinchaser Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 18, 2007
    Quote:30" ??? [​IMG]
    I was wondering if maybe you should be on the BYO(Back Yard Ostriches) site.

    I would say to divide it in 2, depending on how many layers you have, it may not be necessary. Some will pile into a 12 inch wide box if that is the box they MUST have. Or you could divide it into three, mine seem to want to squeeze into the tightest box whether it is occupied at the time or not. [​IMG]
  5. orchidchick

    orchidchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 23, 2008
    south florida
    Ostriches, you say??? now you got me thinking.....

    Maybe without the dividers that will eliminate all that "complaining" I hear every morning as they wait their turn!

    They do follow the golf balls tho. When one of the hens was on lockdown in a dog crate that actually fit in there, I put that little nest box on top of it, unsecured, and that where the other two layed for the duration.

    Thanks for the insights,
  6. Country Guy John

    Country Guy John Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 30, 2008
    South Carolina
    I would agree that they do like some privacy. I have a total of 8 nest boxes (4 on top and 4 on the bottom) and they never lay in the bottom nest boxes.
  7. the1much

    the1much Currently Birdless Hippy

    i could have 50 nests in my coop,, and all the girls would still " wait in line" for the 2 they use [​IMG]
  8. CityChook

    CityChook Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 9, 2008
    Minneapolis, MN
    My Coop
    I have a 23" box that my 4 girls share. The space just wasn't quite big enough for 2 boxes. It's totally open/exposed but so far no problems. I have found that they will squish in there together... and have never found an egg on the floor...

    1 person likes this.
  9. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

    May 8, 2007
    I went to a communal nesting area last year and it's worked really well. The last chickens I raised turned out to be really broody. We were having a lot of tiffs over broodies hogging a favorite nest box, while others needed to lay eggs. When we'd take the broody/broodies out each day for food, water and a nasty old broody-poo, the whole flock would be fussy with each other. After we went to a communal nesting area, they started getting along again.

    If they all want to use the same box, anyway, I figure I might as well make it a big one! [​IMG]
  10. riley

    riley Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 30, 2008
    Mooers, NY
    i wonder if that would work for me i like that idea

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