How many boxes?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Shane17, Jan 22, 2012.

  1. Shane17

    Shane17 Chirping

    Jan 14, 2012
    Im new to raising chickens. im finishing up the coop and was preparing to build there nesting boxes. Should there be a nesting box for each hen in the coop? Im planning on starting out with 6 hens. Thanks for any help!

  2. RWD

    RWD Songster

    Jan 2, 2011
    Wartrace TN.
    Ususally I put 1 nest per 4 hens, but some people put 1 nest per six hens. Not an exact science, but you do not need one for each hen.
  3. Chemguy

    Chemguy Songster

    May 30, 2011
    Springfield, Ohio
    I have 4 boxes for 8 hens. That's overkill, but they do seem to use them all. The preferred box is always the one that has an egg in it.
  4. I follow the 1 to 4 rule as well. I will say though that if you plan to have breeds that are prone to go broody easy, then you may want to throw in a couple extra.

  5. Tambo26

    Tambo26 Songster

    Mar 28, 2011
    Orrington, MAINE
    I have 3 Buff Orpington hens and started out with one nest box. Then I realized they were fighting to use that one nest box to the point of one hen straddling the other like she was riding a horse! I put a second nest box in and they STILL fought to use the one, so I took the second back out so they would have more space. The above picture is what I found this morning again. It's pretty comical to watch. So I don't know the answer to how many nest boxes... For six hens I would say three if you have plenty of room.
  6. 1 nest for 4 girls, as noted above by bairo, that is usually the going rule.
  7. Shane17

    Shane17 Chirping

    Jan 14, 2012
    thanks for the info! So im figuring on building 2 boxes and go from there. I am starting with 6 like i said but most likely the flock will grow from there! Thanks again.

  8. At least in our case they all use the same one almost all of the time. I have 3 for our flock of 12 and one never gets used.
  9. Doesn't particularly matter how many boxes you'll build. They all tend to use the same one and it's their choice which one they like.


  10. fireguy56

    fireguy56 Songster

    Oct 2, 2010
    Slidell, Louisiana
    Hi, wife and I were just talking about all the effort I went to provide plenty of nest boxes for our girls when designing our coops. First coop, pretty good size. 10' x 12', walk in.... houses around 30 girls. Built 4 very large , outside access nest boxes....the wenches use 2. Second coop for Bantams, 6' x 8' houses, walk there comfortably are around 25 Bantam girls, so I built 6 roomy , outside access boxes....those crazy little "sweethearts" only use 2 of the 6. So from what I have learned about the chicken math on 4 per box is totally bogus. They will lay where they a box, under a porch, on the floor, in the run, etc.... Just build/provide a box or two per 10 girls and you'll be fine. If ya get time, check out my photos of coops I have built and the extent I went to for giving them ample space for laying and you'll see what I mean. Spent alot of money and time and they don't even appreciate it. But chickens will be chickens. Good luck on what ya decide to do with your idea for nesting area.

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