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How many nest boxes do I need for 8 chickens?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Rob Tof, Jun 19, 2017.

  1. Rob Tof

    Rob Tof Songster

    Jun 14, 2017
    Ok I'm a noob been looking here about nest boxes. I have been told from a friend it's 2 to one box. Then today I had another say it's one to one. My chickens aren't due to start laying till aug. Born on April 6. So I still have time to build the boxes. I'd rather not fill up my coop with boxes. But what ever makes my girls happy I will provide.

  2. KoopOnTruckin

    KoopOnTruckin Songster

    Jun 17, 2016
    East Orlando, FL
    No where near that ratio, more like 4-8:1, depending on size. I think 4:1 is probably what you should aim for, just 2 boxes. I have 2 boxes for my 9 hens and sometimes I'll catch 2 in the same box, but the other box will still be empty. Max 3 boxes for the chicks you currently have, and that would give you some leeway should you choose to expand your flock in the future.
  3. Rob Tof

    Rob Tof Songster

    Jun 14, 2017
    When I built my addition to my coop I planned on 4 nest boxes. Next year I plan to add 8-10 more hens to my coop. Though the more I deal with my coop I see things everyday I want to change. Next spring I may just sell and build a new much larger hen house. I could really use storage for feed and supplies.
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2017
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    Size of the box matters and total number of chickens make a difference but for your numbers of chickens, plan for a 4 to 1 ratio of normal sized nests. The general recommendation is that the minimum size for a nest is 12" x 12" x 12". I made mine 16" x 16" x 16", mainly because that fit my stud spacing and made framing them easier. If you cut a 4' or 8' piece of plywood or 2x4 into 16" lengths it comes out with no waste.

    I regularly see two and often three hens in a nest at the same time, even with other nests empty. The size of my nests let them all lay on the nest, not stacked on top of each other. My hens also hatch chicks in the nests, the extra room makes that easier.

    Or you could build a community nest box. That's one big pretty much enclosed box with a couple of openings, you can do a search if you wish. A 24" x 48" can supposedly handle 25 hens, but they do not work well for hatching chicks.
  5. Crazy for Chickens!

    Crazy for Chickens! Crowing

    Jun 9, 2017
    N.W. Missouri
    4 to 1 ratio is the general rule. So you would only need about two nest boxes.
  6. GeeGi

    GeeGi Songster

    Feb 3, 2017
    I have 12 hens and they all have their own nesting boxes but choose to use only 2 and will stand in line complaining about the wait. LOL
  7. JurassicBawk

    JurassicBawk Songster

    Jun 23, 2016
    Hixson, TN
    I have 4 hens, 2 nest boxes, and they always lay in the same box. I've seen them stacked 3 deep and one waiting, with the other nest box sitting there completely open. And sometimes they change which box is their favorite and use the other one for awhile. I'd say 2-3 max would be fine for you.
    KoopOnTruckin likes this.


    IZZYBELLA Songster

    Jan 11, 2013
    No matter how many you have, they will all want to use the same one! 4:1 seems to work well here, but like others have said, they all either cram into the same one or line up and yell at each other to hurry up!
    Chickassan likes this.
  9. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

    Nov 7, 2012
    Agreed, they will all choose the same nest box, they will climb in to the nest box like clowns getting into the clown car. Sometimes, I will find 3 gals on the bottom, and one gal trying to stand on top of the pile. I will say that my hens like a nice big roomy nest box, and they like a nice deep layer of hay.
  10. Chickassan

    Chickassan Free Ranging

    Two or three tops, they are all going to use the same one anyway the extras are just to make you feel better.

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