How many nesting boxes per hen?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by hoovert, Apr 19, 2011.

  1. hoovert

    hoovert Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 19, 2011
    How many nesting boxes is necessary? I have read several answers throughout the net. At first I thought I would need one for each hen but then learned that they will lay in the same box. Is there a general rule - for example, two hens per box? Some say 1 nest box for every 4-5 chickens.
  2. chicks4kids

    chicks4kids Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2009
    Northern Indiana
    Mine is set up for 4-5 hens per box in the larger coop which houses the majority of the hens, however, in the French coop there are 5 boxes to 12 hens. They really only use 3 of those 5 boxes.
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2011
  3. CrockpotsMama

    CrockpotsMama Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 13, 2011
    I have 3 boxes and 3 hens, they all lay in one box, the same box.
  4. 7L Farm

    7L Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 22, 2010
    Anderson, Texas
    I'm not sure about the rule. I have 11 hens & 6 nesting boxes & they lay eggs in all of them. I'll walk in the coop & see 5 or 6 hens sitting in their boxes.I usually get 10 eggs a day. So my theory is more boxes more eggs.
  5. hoovert

    hoovert Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 19, 2011
    Quote:Funny! That really puts things into perspective, thank you.
  6. hoovert

    hoovert Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 19, 2011
    Quote:Good point... more boxes, more eggs. How will I ever decide? I might as well have more than needed at this point since everyone has a different opinion. I don't want to have too few, that's for sure.
  7. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Someone on here, and I deeply regret that I forget who b/c it was brilliantly funny, posted on another thread like this that the usual advice of one nestbox per 4-5 hens was clearly true because <insert pic of 4 of her hens all crammed into one box at the same time>.

    It's true, too.

    I mean, you can GIVE them more boxes if you have the room and the ambition, maybe they will even use some of them sometimes, but, one box per four hens is plenty and one per 2-3 hens is bordering on excessive [​IMG] Remember they are sort of instinctually programmed to add to existing clutches of eggs rather than start new ones, so they are generally *attracted to* a box with existing egg(s) in it, that's why fake nest-eggs work in fact.

    Good luck, have fun,

  8. rival001

    rival001 Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 15, 2011
    Quote:Maybe they like work together..[​IMG]
  9. Bobby Joe

    Bobby Joe Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 16, 2010
    Ive read alot on BYC but I think to get more eggs you gotta have more chickens I had 6 boxes and 20 hens they all lined up for a box I had modified to make it a little more private for a hen I "thought" was broody . all my hens started laying in that box so I changed the set up to 3 spacious and very private boxes 24"x18" with a smaller opening in them for the hens to go in instead of being open all the way across the front and they all get used and the girls dont seem to spook off the nest when I go in the coop now.
  10. hbwbk

    hbwbk Out Of The Brooder

    I have read up on this the last couple of days. for larger breed birds a box of 12 x 14 x14 and at least 2 for 6 chickens.
    I have been reading up on chickens for quit some time to learn as much as possible. Yes I am a newbie to raising chickens.[​IMG]

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