Do I need another nesting box?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by familyguy, Nov 29, 2009.

  1. familyguy

    familyguy Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 27, 2009
    Hi all ... I am still new to BYC rising, but having a great time! I have five girls currently - 2 young Barred Rock hens, just starting to lay and three others - two RIR and one Golden Cross who are about 1.5 years old. I have one nesting box for the five of them and I am getting one egg a day - pretty consistantly for about two weeks now. My question is whether I should have TWO nesting boxes for five hens and whether that would help to encourage more than one lady to lay each day? As a side note - I notice the laying TIME is very consistent - When I open up the coop each morning around 6:30 there is no egg - but if I come back between 8:30 and 9:00 I will find an egg. Almost like they are on a timer! lol.
  2. nyice

    nyice Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 20, 2009
    LI, New York
    We have 2 nesting boxes for 6 birds, but they tend to favor one (and will wait in line to lay in the same box)
  3. greathorse

    greathorse Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 1, 2008
    Northern Colorado
    I am going to try a community nesting box. It is one big long box and hens can come and go at will. It seems they sort of like hanging out together which may be why they lay in the same box a lot. I will see how it goes. I am a bit worried about them stepping on the eggs coming and going but since they like to pile in a small box it cant be much worse.

    I dont think you will need another box. They will all lay in the same one anyway.
  4. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    I would put in a second nestbox and then watch with frustration as they only use one. [​IMG]
    They should have a choice though, in case somebody just has to lay an egg NOW!

    P.S. I've found covered kitty litter boxes to be perfect nestboxes, easy to install and my girls prefer the privacy they offer. Don't be surprised if they ignore the new box at first though. They take awhile to adjust to new things.
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Having more nesting boxes will not encourage them to lay more. The rule of thumb is one nesting box for four hens, but I think you will be OK with just the one nest for five hens. As many people will mention, we often get more than four eggs per day in one box with the others practically not used.
  6. sotelomary

    sotelomary Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have one nest box for 5 chickens. Only 3 are laying right now. I have seen 2 chickens in the box at the same time. I have also noticed that when one needs to lay, she goes in, sees that someone is in the box, and goes right back out to wait. I have had no problem so far. I have thought of adding one more box. But I have read too many posts where they will prefer only one. So I think you will be ok with 1 box.

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