Do laying hens use more than one nest box?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by craftymama86, Dec 7, 2010.

  1. craftymama86

    craftymama86 Chillin' With My Peeps

    We know one of our hens started laying but are wondering if we have another laying too. Three eggs were in one nest box and 2 in a different nest box. Also, one egg had tons of tiny white spots on it. DH thinks it was b/c the hen ate more oyster shell. [​IMG] Another reason we're wondering if a second hen is laying is one now has bright red comb and wattles like the first. So, do you think we have two laying or just close to having two laying? Do they use the same nest box or do they take turns with others?
    These were taken last week so their combs and wattles are redder then in these pics, especially Moody's.
    Here's the one we know is laying. Miss Moody [​IMG]
    And the one we think might also be laying or about to start laying. Reba [​IMG]
  2. Chicken.Lytle

    Chicken.Lytle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 19, 2010
    Montgomery County, TX
  3. nivtup

    nivtup Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 24, 2008
    Shelton Washington
    They seem to want to lay where someone else has already layed.

    We see them move from box to box in the big coop. One day there will be 8 or 10 eggs in the upper left hole, and the next day they are in the lower middle.

    makes no sense at all.

    It is fun to see three hens trying for the sane hole at the same time.

  4. craftymama86

    craftymama86 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:LOL, I bet.[​IMG] [​IMG]
  5. Q9

    Q9 General Headache

    They will lay in the most bizarre places. Ours are usually good about laying in the nest box (we have 4 hens and one box), but sometimes we'll find one half-buried in the run, or one layed in a pile of poop somewhere in the coop. [​IMG]

    It is quite fun to watch two huge RIRS sit in the same nest box, though. [​IMG]
  6. woodmort

    woodmort Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 6, 2010
    Oxford NY
    The short answer is "yes". I have 8 boxes only 6 are used and the number of eggs in each varies from day to day. Since I have a couple of different breeds I can tell who is laying where so know they are using different boxes. It may depend on whether the one box they want is being used, but unless they are ready to lay a clutch for setting, I suspect they'll go where ever is the handiest.
  7. Petej

    Petej Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 6, 2010
    PDX area
    I have seen my hens lay in the middle of the concrete floor of our workshop.

    Though most of ours lay in the boxes.....

    I have also seen our hens lay in different boxes on different days.....
  8. craftymama86

    craftymama86 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks everyone, it's been interesting, lol.
  9. bigshoes213

    bigshoes213 Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 15, 2010
    Sardis, Ms
    I have 5 boxes and 8 chickens that are grown enough to lay. They only use 4 of the boxes though. Sometimes there will be 1 egg in each or 3 in one, 2 in another, 1 in another, etc... It seems as if my birds just lay in a box on a whim. However the very last box furtherest from the door always has at least one in it if not more.
  10. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    On the white spots, you'll get odder looking eggs when they first start, and an odd egg now and then anyway. We're just used to those "perfect" ones in the stores -- they've already pulled the odd ones out is all.

    I got 3 eggs in one nest today; no one had used that nest for 2 or 3 months. I didn't change a thing. Go figure.

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