Hen privacy and nesting boxes... how does it work?

Esjay600

Chirping
Dec 3, 2017
55
77
86
Australia
Hi BYCers!


I have three hens, who are between 17 and 19 weeks now. The 19 week old just started laying, and so I built a nesting box.

How much privacy do they need in their egg laying?

I noticed that occasionally people have curtains or flaps on the front of their nesting boxes.

Today was my 19 week old's first day of using the nesting box, she was quite vocal if one of the other hens wandered into the coop while she was trying to do her business. The poor thing. It felt like she wanted more privacy.

I was thinking of facing the box towards a wall, or facing it in another direction, as currently it faces towards the open door to the run, so she can see anyone come in or out.

What do you think? Should I move it to make it more secluded for their comfort?


Thanks!
 

theoldchick

The Chicken Whisperer
Premium Feather Member
May 11, 2010
30,162
9,192
737
Most folks don't worry about a privacy laying box, but you have a good thought about a curtain. Try using one and see how it works. Privacy makes sense because free range birds will find a good place to hide and lay eggs.
 

SunHwaKwon

Crowing
Jul 19, 2015
5,610
2,660
407
North Central Florida
In both coops, my nest boxes face the pop door. One coop has a valence curtain over the boxes for privacy; the other doesn't. They will only use the nest boxes with the curtain, as well as my vacant rabbit hutch that offers a lot of privacy. I am on the hunt for some cheap valence curtains for the other coop in hopes of getting some to use those nest boxes as I have 24 girls and the hollering is out of control even with only 10 laying so far lol.

Actually, I might have an old pillowcase I can cut up to use. Not as pretty but it's free!

Edited for typos
 

Esjay600

Chirping
Dec 3, 2017
55
77
86
Australia
In both coops, my nest boxes face the pop door. One coop has a valence curtain over the boxes for privacy; the other doesn't. They will only use the nest boxes with the curtain, as well as my vacant rabbit hutch that offers a lot of privacy.
Oh, that is so interesting to hear!

It looks like it might be curtains after all! I have a bunch of fabric that's been forever sitting in a bag somewhere (I was sure I was going to do sewing projects), that I'm sure will make some great free curtains.
 

Esjay600

Chirping
Dec 3, 2017
55
77
86
Australia
Oh, I've just realised there is a forum called "Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying" and that was clearly a more appropriate fit for my question! My mistake.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
Nov 27, 2012
86,238
102,209
1,727
SW Michigan
My Coop
Oh, I've just realised there is a forum called "Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying" and that was clearly a more appropriate fit for my question! My mistake.
No worries.

I wouldn't worry too much about 'privacy'.... as long as they feel safe, they'll lay.
New layers act all kinds of goofy, give it time as is,
changing things now may only cause stress(they don't like change).

They can make a lot of noise while laying.... especially new layers.
They may squawk at other birds coming near while in the nest, even adults do that.
 

Esjay600

Chirping
Dec 3, 2017
55
77
86
Australia
No worries.

I wouldn't worry too much about 'privacy'.... as long as they feel safe, they'll lay.
New layers act all kinds of goofy, give it time as is,
changing things now may only cause stress(they don't like change).

They can make a lot of noise while laying.... especially new layers.
They may squawk at other birds coming near while in the nest, even adults do that.
That is good to know! I hadn't changed anything yet, so that's fine then (and they do act all kinds of goofy, but that's chickens for you).

She does make quite a bit of noise, which is no problem for me, I just wanted to make I was providing her with everything she needed.

Thank you!
 

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