Hanging out in the nesting box area?


In the Brooder
6 Years
Sep 4, 2013
Hi there,
My chickens have been in their coop for about a week. It's a fairly small coop, with a huge run and they free range all day as well. The actual coop is only 3x4 ish, with an "addition" of a nesting box with a flip up hatch to collect eggs. The nesting box is basically one large area, with a piece of wood about 4 inches high as a divider. Right now when I go out to see them, they are typically huddling together in the nesting box, 1 may be roosting right on the edge of the coop & nesting box, and the others are just hanging in the box.

1). Is it good for them to be treating the nesting box as part of the coop? I would think it might be better to keep them out of there until it's time for them to use it for laying (which should start in early to mid October). Or is it okay that they use it?

2). Should I add something more private in the nesting box? Something that maybe divides the nesting box into two separate boxes higher than the 4 inch high divider? I was thinking of getting those solid/fabric looking bins from Target that are often used as storage for toys. I guess I'm not sure if chickens like privacy in the forms of tall sided nesting boxes or if that's not a huge deal. http://www.target.com/p/closetmaid-...4368593#prodSlot=medium_1_4&term=storage+bins

Thanks for any insights.
I would discourage them from hanging out in the nests, or you may have chronically poopy eggs. Many people close off the nest boxes until the chickens start laying.

Mine seem to change their minds every week or few weeks about which kind of nest they like: communal or private, open top or open front, and sometimes they decide a corner of the coop is a better nest. Most people tend to feel they prefer some privacy, but I haven't really seen this in my bunch.
Mine have decided to start laying in my PDZ filled poop tray, which means that the eggs are usually nice and clean.

But yes, chickens are silly things.

I wouldn't want to use the fabric bins because I think they were get messy too fast and be too hard to clean.

I would either make sure the nest boxes are very easy to clean (maybe just fill them with sweet PDZ) or block off the nest boxes until the chickens are closer to point of lay.
Great point on the fabric! I can't believe that didn't occur to me, I'm such a newbie:)


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