Fighting for ONE Nest Box - Use the other Boxes!?!...?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by goskeet, Mar 5, 2009.

  1. goskeet

    goskeet Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 10, 2008
    My ladies make a ruckus daily when one is in the favorite nest box and another needs to lay.

    Occasionally they will use the next box.

    If i put their eggs in the next box, they will lay the rest there until we remove them. Even so, they then fight for THAT box.

    I have placed a stone egg in the other box, hoping they will lose their preference, and be willing to split the eggs up.

    Any more ideas? Would they prefer to use 2 non adjacent boxes? How about if i remove the divders and make it more like one big nest?

  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    When my girls first started laying there were lots of fights for the favorite nest box of the day. Sometimes two and even three hens would pile in one box together. I have golf balls in each nest. Now that they've been laying for awhile they are more inclined to use the other boxes when they really need to lay and their favorite box is occupied.
    If you have enough boxes for the # of hens, I'd let them sort it out.
  3. goskeet

    goskeet Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 10, 2008
    Thanks for that input Gritstar, hopeful words. It has been a few months, I still want to do what i can to help them along.

    My wife suggested we hang pictures of sexy roosters in the other nests. [​IMG]

    looking forward to others comments as well.

  4. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

    May 8, 2007
    Quote:Well, I have to admit I never thought of that idea! [​IMG]

    You could give them a community nest box. Basically, just a larger nest box area, that they can share.

    We now have some chickens that are a lot broodier than the others we've had. When there was a broody hogging the favorite nest box, they had a lot of fussing over it and they'd still be crabby with each other later in the day, outside.

    We decided to go with a larger community nest area and it's worked out really great for us. They were eventually climbing on top of each other to lay in one nest at the same time, anyway. Now they can lay at the same time, in the same area, without all the drama. They started getting along again, as soon as we made the changes.
  5. goskeet

    goskeet Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 10, 2008
    Woodland Woman, thanks. i am interested in making a bigger nest area. I did not know that could work, since all the initial reading i did suggested 12x12x12 or so.

    glad to hear, thanks.

  6. DDRanch

    DDRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 15, 2008
    I have 14 hens and 6 extra large nesting boxes about 18 x18". For some reason, they decide to lay eggs in just one or two of the boxes and they switch around. I can't figure it out but the larger size easily accomodates 2 hens at the same time so eventually everyone has a turn. Often they all lay eggs in the same box....

    I increased the size of my boxes when I saw how the smaller cubby boxes damaged feathers and just looked uncomfortable for the larger breeds. I have a friend with 12x12x12 boxes and her hens have broken feathers from squeezing in and out of the smaller spaces.
  7. horsejody

    horsejody Squeaky Wheel

    Feb 11, 2008
    Waterloo, Nebraska
    I have an 8 hole nest box. I have actually seen a line form to get into the favorite box.
  8. goskeet

    goskeet Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 10, 2008
    You all are great! thanks for all your wisdom!

  9. Country Guy John

    Country Guy John Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 30, 2008
    South Carolina
    Join the club. I have 16 hens that are laying and 8 nests and they only use 3 or 4.
  10. Andrew C.

    Andrew C. Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 5, 2009
    I Have the same problem [​IMG] They are so stubborn.

    Two chickens laying in the same box same time drives the rooster nuts too.
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2009

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