Hens using same nesting box

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Fox hater, Oct 8, 2012.

  1. Fox hater

    Fox hater Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 7, 2012
    Northern VA
    I have 24 rescued ex batt hens in one coop with plenty of room and 6 nesting boxes...tell me why do they all lay in the same box? The top right box. Every now and then they will lay in a second one, the bottom left one. Now starting last week they have started laying in the corner of the coop and burying eggs in the straw. The coop and boxes are cleaned regularly. Only one box is occasionally used to roost, no matter how much I place her on a perch, one always goes back to the box.

    Just wondering if anyone else has this issue and what recommendations you might have
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2012
  2. Darkwings

    Darkwings Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 9, 2012
    Atascadero, CA
    They all have the same favorite box! My hens do the same thing. I've even seen them cram themselves in two at a time rather than use an empty box. [​IMG] I did put wooden eggs in the other boxes at one point to sort of lure them into using those. That seemed to help a little.
     
  3. ailurophile23

    ailurophile23 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 21, 2010
    VA
    Put a nest box in the corner (on the ground) to solve the immediate issue. Are your other nest boxes raised off the floor? If so, it may be that the hens prefer to have one on the ground. As for the one who sleeps in the nest box, keep moving her to a roost - it may take quite some time and could be a security issue or just due to her not being used to using a roost.

    Hens often use one box or maybe two if one of them just couldn't hold it any longer. No matter how many boxes you provide, there is ALWAYS a preferred box - the preferred box may be different boxes on different days, but it is common to find 2 (or more) hens in a box at the same time. And if one hen is laying in a box, that must be the best box so all the others lay there too.
     
  4. Fox hater

    Fox hater Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 7, 2012
    Northern VA
    I had not thought of putting a box on the ground in the corner, I will try that. I have also placed hard boiled "dummy" eggs and lured them for a couple of days then, my German shepherd comes and eats them, she some how knows which ones are hard boiled, she sometimes grabs a fresh one, but the hens usually warn me....I guess they just want to all use the "best one" I just think it is funny how they will all line up and wait and cackle at each other like, "hurry up, it is my turn" instead of jumping in an open one

    Thanks
     
  5. ailurophile23

    ailurophile23 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 21, 2010
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    I have actually found 3 very large brahma hens crammed into one nest box at one time - I have no idea how the eggs did not get broken given that at least one of the hens had to be laying on top of another hen. [​IMG] Silly creatures!
     
  6. FrogDoc

    FrogDoc Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 28, 2011
    Mid-Michigan
    I've seen two in one box at a time too... pretty funny when there were three that were unoccupied!
     

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