How long do your hens/pullets stay in the nest boxes?


Jul 23, 2018
Kootenai County, ID
I've gone into the coop a couple times in the past hour to retrieve this or that (it also has some tools in it as the front half is our shed and back half of it is the coop). I noticed the same chicken (I think) is still in a nesting box. She's not likely broody- she's only 23 weeks old.

How long do your girls stay in their nest boxes before the egg appears and they hop out?
One of my EEs will sit in the box for hours, even when she's not laying. Sometimes she even sleeps in it to start, then switches to the roost. She doesn't poop in there, so I let her, I thinks she likes it there, maybe feels safe there. The other 2 hens are in and out anywhere from 5 to 20 mins.
I have some that are in, lay, and out in 5-10 minutes.
Then there are the 'l o u n g e r s'....they may stay in there for an hour or more before/after laying...
..or they sit for a good long while then leave without laying,
move off and wander around then come back later and lounge some more before laying.
Pullets especially may linger, they are still learning the ropes.
Watching 2 hens at a nest box, hen 1 is on the nest and has been there a while. Hen 2 gets tiered of waiting and grabs her, drags her out of the nest, hops in, lays her egg and gone, maybe 2 minutes max.
The oldest girl may stand near by and sing for hours chanting over and over "it's gonna be a big one". After a while she jumps in the nest and will soon be singing "I told you it was a big one" "just look at it, it's a big one",,,,
It varies my quickest is in and out in 5 or 10. The slowest can take up to 2 h.

I have 1 pullet 7 months old that decided to go broody, so that it's always a possibility. If she gives you the mean hissing while in the nest box then she is broody.
I hope to break mine... she was hatched by my broody in March so no more chicks for a while ;)

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