1. CityGal / CountryWorld

    CityGal / CountryWorld In the Brooder

    Jul 4, 2010
    Greensboro, NC
    Any ideas on a nesting box to chicken ratio?
    Working on plans for my coop, and I am about to drive
    my boyfriend so crazy I may end up building it myself.
    I will be getting full size birds, but not heavies, various breeds...
    the day old chicks arrive in 10 days, got a brooder set up, but need help on
    how many nest boxes
  2. bald k9

    bald k9 Songster

    Sep 5, 2009
    Rural Edwardsville
    From my newbie experience i started with 25 pullets and 18 nest boxes but to my surprise they actually stood in line waiting to use only 2 of the 18 nest boxes, It is funny to watch ,they will stand there on the floor and wait til on gets out then another one hops in , sometimes the next hen in line will sometimes tell the laying hen when it is time to get out too funny ,, so i made more room in the coop and just have four, and they still only use the 2,, good luck!
  3. 33yardbirds

    33yardbirds Songster

    Jun 15, 2010
    Southern New Jersey
    4 per box is the formula, but nobody told the chickens!! [​IMG]
  4. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    "They" say 3 - 4 chickens per nest box. Personally, I'd opt for the three (chickens per box) if you have the space. Issues like broody hens, etc. can come up and limit nest boxes. And while some hens are on totally different laying cycles, others can be almost exactly on the same cycle, and end up standing around "hollering" while waiting for an open box.
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2010
  5. woodmort

    woodmort Songster

    Jul 6, 2010
    Oxford NY
    Quote:[​IMG] No matter how many of few you have the will all crowd into one or two. Or find another place to hide their eggs.
  6. 70monte

    70monte Songster

    Jun 5, 2009
    Aurora, MO
    I have five RIR hens and in my previous coop I had six nest boxes and they only used about two of them. They seemed to rotate which ones they used but on any given day only two were used. In my current coop I only have three nest boxes and its the same scenerio. Usually only two nests and sometimes only one.

  7. CityGal / CountryWorld

    CityGal / CountryWorld In the Brooder

    Jul 4, 2010
    Greensboro, NC
    THanks all for the replies...
    we just ordered 30 day old layers, so we're gonna start with 10 or so and see how it goes
    still accumulating coop supplies
  8. elmo

    elmo Songster

    May 23, 2009
    It sometimes helps to put a fake egg (or a golfball) in each of the nestboxes. Seeing an "egg" in there already often helps a hen decide to go ahead and lay hers there, too.
  9. darkmatter

    darkmatter Songster

    Jul 10, 2009
    I built a 8 section nestbox and have had from 12 to 60 chickens at a time, its rare for them to use all 8 boxes. I've had two hens in a box with the other ones empty---go figger? I've also have wooden eggs that I've put in the boxes when I have new hens, that does seem to help. When I replace the nesting material from time to time, if I don't push it down into a bowl shape, it may not get used for a week or more. Other boxes get the nesting material mostly tossed out by the hens till it's "just right", then they all want that box!

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