HOW MANY NESTING BOXES DOES IT TAKE

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by funkychicken, Jun 12, 2008.

  1. funkychicken

    funkychicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 9, 2008
    East Texas
    I will have 5-8 hens...how many nesting boxes do I need...do they share...all new to me...will be using removeable(for clean ups) low sided storage bins with holes on the sides...will they hop up and over into the boxes...the sides are about half as tall as milk crate...thanks
     
  2. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

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    May 24, 2007
    Colorado
    The general rule of thumb is to have one nest for every four chickens. So you should be able to get by with just two.

    We all seem to find, however, that chickens chose certain nest boxes over others. So, you may have eight nest boxes with 20 chickens and they will almost always use the same three! I think my girls see another hen laying in a box and decide that must be the place to be for that day. [​IMG]

    They will jump up into the nest box but it's good to have your nest boxes only a few inches up to two feet off the floor (if possible), some people set them on the floor. It's also good to have some sort of 'perch' right outside the nest box (if they are off the floor) so that the girls can jump up onto the perch and then step into the box.

    Remember to make sure your roost(s) are higher than your nest boxes.
     
  3. funkychicken

    funkychicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 9, 2008
    East Texas
    thanks chirpy...why the roost higher...thanks for that by the way...any tips for Australorps and Wyandottes...think thats what im gonna get
     
  4. chickbea

    chickbea Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 18, 2007
    Vermont
    3-5 boxes is probably fine, but as Chirpy says, chickens often seem to pick a couple of favorite boxes and ignore the rest. [​IMG]
    They should have no trouble hopping over the sides.
     
  5. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

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    Colorado
    Chickens like to roost at the highest point. So, if your nest boxes are higher than your roosts then they will likely chose to sleep in the nest boxes instead of on the roosts. That means you get poopy eggs! Yuk!

    So - make your roosts higher from the get-go and hopefully your chickens will always chose to sleep on them.

    Our Australorps are over a year old now and are just wonderful girls. My children pick them up and pet them all the time and the hens are so sweet about it. They each also give me wonderful brown eggs almost every day.
     
  6. Nuggetsowner:)

    Nuggetsowner:) Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 2, 2007
    Minnesota
    I have 8 hens and they all seem to lay in the same box. They have 8 to choose from!?! In my new coop I have 15 pullets (and 1 unexpected roo!) and I am going to put in only 4 nesting boxes.

    Oh and you bet if the roost is lower than the boxes you will end up with hens sleeping in the nest boxes. Also be careful not to place the nest boxes too near the roost. I did that the first time and ended up having to move them or else scrape to poo from the top of the nest boxes every morning. YUCK!
     
  7. Mattake2

    Mattake2 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 11, 2008
    I've got 3 nest boxes for my 7 hens & they always lay in 1 of the boxes with the occasional egg in the 2nd box.
     
  8. funkychicken

    funkychicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 9, 2008
    East Texas
    wow...thank you all for the info...my nest boxes are going to be on the other side of the coop from the roost...I think I will stick with 3 nest boxes...no need to over-do it...[​IMG]
     

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