Community nest box or dividers?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by flyin-lowe, Feb 24, 2016.

  1. flyin-lowe

    flyin-lowe Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 24, 2016
    I am preparing to build external nest box(s) for my coop. I am curious if the majority of you use dividers or just have a large box. The only one I have seen in person is a neighbors and he just has a large box off his coop that is 4 foot long and 12 inches deep. He says they have always used it fine.

    I am planning on starting with about 8 hens in my 6x8 coop.
    Any pros and cons to dividers v one large box?
  2. lovemy6hens

    lovemy6hens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 4, 2013
    Central Texas
    Ours prefer the privacy of a single covered nest box. However, it's extremely hot here during the summer so they transition to an open communal nest when it starts to get warm outside
    EDIT: We have 11 and they refuse to use more than 2 covered nest boxes.
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2016
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    One disadvantage I can think of to a community nest is if you want a hen to go broody in there and hatch chicks it could get messy during hatch.

    Occasionally I get a hen that wants to lay somewhere other than my nests. I made a couple of my nests so I can lock a hen in there, which has come in handy for different things. One of those is when I catch her on her other nest to lay an egg, I lock her in the nest I want her to use until she lays her egg. Once is usually all I have to do this to retrain her to use a nest though I’ve had to do a few hens twice.

    Another way I use those lockable nests is when I see a hen in there laying, I can lock her in and remove any other eggs that might already be there. That way I can tell which hen is laying which egg. That comes in really handy when I’m evaluating pullets to see which I want to add to my laying/breeding flock and which go to the freezer.

    I like my lockable nests and I let my broody hens hatch and raise chicks with the flock. For those reasons I prefer individual nests. But I think you should do what is most convenient for you and how you manage your chickens. I think people care about this a lot more than the chickens do.
  4. flyin-lowe

    flyin-lowe Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 24, 2016
    Thanks for the info, sounds like I will be putting dividers in. It won't really cost any more as I have materials around.
  5. speedy2020

    speedy2020 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 24, 2010
    I would make a community nest box with removable divider.
    1 person likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by