How many nesting boxes is needed?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by maryellen21, Dec 22, 2014.

  1. maryellen21

    maryellen21 Chillin' With My Peeps

    How many nesting boxes is needed per hen? I have 14 hens and four nesting boxes and i need more but dont know how many more nesting boxes to make. Not all hens are laying only 6 are and i have a feeling i am short on nesting boxes
  2. mrchicks

    mrchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 29, 2013
    You are probably just fine with 4 boxes. They tend to choose one or two boxes that they like the best, then bicker over them. We have a bank of 12 boxes in one of our coops, 20 girls standing in a line complaining, waiting for three of them. The other 9 boxes are ignored for the most part.
  3. ShockValue

    ShockValue Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 10, 2010
    West Sound, Washington
    Yeah, I would wait and see. We have 2 (large) ones for 5 hens and they all use the same one. Often times there are 2 in there laying and 1 more pacing outside.

    Might help to put a fake egg in each one to signal "THIS IS A GOOD PLACE TO LAY" :)
  4. maryellen21

    maryellen21 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I've put fake eggs in before, i will put them in each box again and see what happens
  5. toddo

    toddo Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 21, 2012
    Robinson Illinois
    My studies have pretty much said 4 birds per box. I have 7 birds and three boxes they only use two sometimes just one.
  6. azygous

    azygous True BYC Addict

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    I have five nest boxes and eighteen hens. They usually use only two of them. There are two favorites, and they will actually stand in line for them, even though the nest next to the favorite one is empty. This is the way of hens.
  7. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    You need two minimum so they have a choice then they choose the one to lay in.

    5 birds per box is a good number. Always two boxes to start then add according to bird numbers. Over ten birds 3 boxes, over fifteen 4 boxes, etc.
  8. maryellen21

    maryellen21 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have four nesting boxes and 14 hens. So i should be good
  9. chicksurreal

    chicksurreal Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 3, 2013
    It's funny, at one point we had 14 pullets laying and they ALL wanted to use the same box, even though we had 5 boxes available. They would pace back and forth waiting for the current occupant to get out and if the couldn't wait, they'd get in with her! Little sillies!

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