Hens laying on top of each other in nesting boxes

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by MotherHenInMass, Sep 21, 2012.

  1. MotherHenInMass

    MotherHenInMass In the Brooder

    Sep 21, 2012
    Massachusetts, USA
    My hens are about 25 weeks old and started laying in late August. We have 6 hens & 4 nesting boxes. Often I'll find 3 boxes empty and two hens - one on top of the other - in one nesting box. Is this typical? Is it dominance behavior? Or just a favorite box? I'm assuming it's not a problem but would love feedback as I'm new to all this chicken stuff.

  2. ChickensRDinos

    ChickensRDinos Songster

    Aug 19, 2012
    Los Angeles
    I have 6 hens and 2 nesting boxes. 1 is too young to lay but all of the others all lay in the same box. Sometimes three will cram in there at the same time and leave the other box empty. Hens want to lay where other hens are laying. It is a sign that is a safe place to lay your eggs. I just think of it as communal daycare.

    One day one of the birds switched boxes and so they all did. I still have no idea why.
  3. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    Yup it's normal. There's always a favorite box. In 1 coop I have 9 hens and 4 boxes - only 2 get used.
  4. JanetS

    JanetS Songster

    Jun 22, 2012
    I have 6 chickens and 3 nesting boxes. Only 2 nesting boxes are used. Most days all 6 eggs are in one box.
  5. Big A Chickens

    Big A Chickens Songster

    Jun 29, 2012
    Palmetto, Georgia
    It's normal. Chickens are also somewhat territorial and will lay where other hens lay and sometimes even set on other hens eggs. Just like when its time to roost they will push each other out of the way to get to their favorite spot!!!!
  6. yinzerchick

    yinzerchick Songster

    Jun 13, 2011
    Chickens are so silly. Mine do the same thing! [​IMG]
  7. dirtylittlefly

    dirtylittlefly In the Brooder

    Apr 18, 2012
    Vancouver, WA
    I have a large nesting box that is actually big enough for two. We may put a divider in it. We have brown ceramic eggs in there now, and if I move them to the left side they will move them back to the right. Then they move them around while laying their eggs. I have 2 hens that are laying eggs now and they fight over who gets to lay on the eggs, on their favorite side. Silly chickens indeed!
  8. MotherHenInMass

    MotherHenInMass In the Brooder

    Sep 21, 2012
    Massachusetts, USA
    Wow, thanks for all the replies! I had no idea! Before I got chickens everyone kept warning me about extremely graphic horrible things that could happen with chickens. I'm really grateful mine are just doing the regular run of the mill stuff (fingers crossed).
  9. Help_battery_hens

    Help_battery_hens Chirping

    May 24, 2011
    lol my 8 girls have a lovely nest box and all but one lays in the bale of straw in the shed next to the nest boxes! and they get really annoyed with me when i have to mess up their nest by getting more straw for their actual nest box lol
  10. dcfrenk

    dcfrenk Chirping

    Jun 28, 2012
    If you get decoy eggs (wooden eggs) and put 2 or 3 in each nest, they will be more likely to spread out because when they see eggs in a nest it is similar to seeing another hen in the nest; safe place to lay.

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