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Do Hens Lay Eggs in Same Nest Box and When Do Orpingtons Start Laying?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by blackhens, Dec 2, 2011.

  1. blackhens

    blackhens Chirping

    Dec 1, 2011
    In August, I bought 5 black Orpington pullets (the seller told me they hatched at the end of March), I also bought a blue orp roo and a black orp roo (the seller and I thought the black orp roo was a hen, but Gertrude is now Gert). About 3 weeks ago, I started getting eggs, one a day (or every other day). I'm not sure if it is just one hen laying, or do hens share a nest box and lay the egg in the same position each time? I'm new to chickens, I have been also checking in other places such as their run, and outside where I see the chickens foraging.

    My questions are: 1) are Orpingtons good layers and about how old are they when they start laying? 2) do hens use the same nest box? (If more than one was laying, I would think I would be getting more than one egg a day. All 7 chickens share two nest boxes at night, and one box seems to be "the one for eggs". Is this normal?. Thanks

  2. aoxa

    aoxa Crowing

    My hens all prefer the same nesting box. Most likely you are having just one laying though. You would end up with at least two in one day. They don't switch off days to confuse you [​IMG]
  3. My hens do enjoy the same nest box but I have found that over time they do switch around. Hens lay the same egg shape every time (they get bigger over time) so comparing the eggs might be helpful. I can pick out a few of my eggs and can tell you what hen has laid that egg by the shape of the egg, it's rather interesting! Orpingtons are among the best to have in a flock and excellent layers. Give them time, before long they will all be laying for you.
  4. johnsons-r-us

    johnsons-r-us Chirping

    Jul 18, 2011
    Eudora, Kansas
    Mine use 3 or 4 nesting boxes for 4-6 eggs layed. I've had two and three in the same box, some are always single. And it's never the same number of eggs each day in the boxes together. If that made sense [​IMG]
  5. florida lee

    florida lee Songster

    Apr 6, 2011
    I have 5 nest boxes and my pullets lay in two boxes.
    Are your pullets sleeping in their nest boxes? They should not. if they are sleeping in the nest boxes they probably are fouling the box. this might discourage laying eggs in that box.
    I have two Buff Orpingtons, one is laying (large egg right off the bat), started about a week ago she is about 25 wks old. the other is a little younger and not started to lay yet. Orpingtons are good layers.
    One sex link is laying large eggs also right off the bat she is about 18 wks.
    One of my 2 Australorps ( has been laying for about 2 months)is laying small pullet eggs. they are about 33 wks old.
  6. Roo420

    Roo420 Hatching

    Sep 28, 2011
    I got 4 boxes for 4 BO hens .. they lay randomly as heck . some days all in 1 box some days 1 in each etc etc .. and getting 3-4 eggs a day.
    I got mine may 10th and they started laying sept 21. the runt layed first and the smallest eggs and sometimes oddly shaped. the other 3 normal size and shape . first couple were a bit small but that changed fast for them.
    Untill 2days ago. the runt seems to have passed on while passing an egg ... she was in the box and looked like she was resting with her head on the sill of the box .. but no dice .. one last egg was under her though.
    but the rest are still laying even with snow on the ground and low 20's at night. (got a chicken light in the henhouse)
  7. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    If you check just to the right of their vents, you can see a date on each chicken that tells when they are supposed to start laying.....


    Sorry...couldn't resist! [​IMG]

    Each chicken lays when it sexually matures and this is individual to the chicken and not so much to the breed....anywhere from 4 to 6 months is average. And, yes, hens like to lay where other hens have laid. If you really want to mess with them, just move a clutch from the favorite nest and leave it in the least favorite nest for a few days, or even place one egg in each nest and see which nest gets the most attention the next day.

    Fun with chickens...my favorite sport! [​IMG]
    1 person likes this.

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