How many nesting boxes do I need?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by team_realtree, Aug 11, 2010.

  1. team_realtree

    team_realtree Songster

    Jun 28, 2009
    I'm anticipating my hens to start laying. They are 6 months old. I have 8 rhode island reds as far as I can tell only one of them is a rooster which is good because I ordered them as sexed pullets from a hatchery.

    How many nesting boxes do I need for all 8 of them. Is it 1 per bird? The coop is 4x8 if it matters.
  2. mississippifarmboy

    mississippifarmboy collects slightly damaged strays

    We use a nesting box for each 4 - 6 hens depending on the breed. I'd say 2 for 7 hens.
  3. TheChickenShrink

    TheChickenShrink Poop fiction

    Apr 23, 2009
    Quebec, Canada
    I think I've read somewhere that 1 nesting box for every 4 hens is enough. But from my experience, it seems that the ratio doesn't really matter. You can put 2 nesting boxes for every hen if you want and the ladies will still fight every morning to lay in the same one... [​IMG]

  4. imtc

    imtc Songster

    Oct 30, 2008
    3 to 4 hens will use the same nest. I have 3 nest boxes for 9 hens and rarely do they even use 2 of the boxes (most of them lay in the same nest)
  5. team_realtree

    team_realtree Songster

    Jun 28, 2009
    Thanks for the replies. Another thing- how high should I put them off the ground? And should there be a lip at the front so the eggs dont roll out? I'm just not sure how they are supposed to get in the nesting boxes either....[​IMG]
  6. J.Pryce

    J.Pryce Chirping

    May 22, 2010
    I have 6 boxes for 11 hens, & I find most of my eggs in one box. I guess they have there favorite box, because they are all the same 12 X 12 wood boxes. Go figure ?????
  7. mississippifarmboy

    mississippifarmboy collects slightly damaged strays

    A lip on the front of the nest is a plus, it will keep the eggs from rolling out and you need a roosting perch a few inches in front of the nest if it is very high off the ground. Ours are about 2' off the ground to the bottom of the nest, but I've seen them from setting on the ground to as much as four feet off the ground. Depends on the breed and your personal preferances. I think I've got a picture of at least one of our nests on "my page", but we use old milk crates, wooden boxes and old commercial metal nest boxes. The hens don't seem to mind one way or the other. They also tend to want to use the same nest box. You do need to keep the nest boxes lower than your sleeping perches so that they don't sleep in the nest boxes.
  8. rhodered10

    rhodered10 In the Brooder

    Aug 12, 2010
    I would say u should have any were between 2-8 nesting boxes but i would recomend about 3 or 4

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