How Many Nests are Necessary?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by mommacb, Apr 16, 2012.

  1. mommacb

    mommacb Out Of The Brooder

    We have 20 chickens and my husband and I are debating how many nesting boxes we need because we read in a publication that they like to share, and will often choose to lay in one that already has eggs in it. Is this true? What should be our chicken to nest ratio? Also- do they really need privacy? Like a curtain?
     
  2. NYboy

    NYboy Chillin' With My Peeps

    655
    2
    131
    Nov 12, 2009
    White plains
    I have 4 hens and 6 nestboxes, all hens lay in same box.
     
  3. Delta2 23

    Delta2 23 Flock Master

    7,372
    14
    268
    Sep 4, 2008
    Some people say 1 nest box to four or five hens, but our neighbours have ten chickens that all lay in the same box. I'd say go for three or four, that way they have a choice.

    And no, a curtain isn't so necessary. They do like their privacy (our chickens made a nestbehind the coop under low-lying bushes. very annoying to collect the eggs!) but normal nest box with walls should be enough for that. Maybe don't have the boxes facing directly into the open.
     
  4. Achickenwrangler#1

    Achickenwrangler#1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,431
    66
    183
    Aug 7, 2011
    west virginia
    I'd get two, that way if one goes broody the others have a box. they al like the same box, some even climb into the nest and try to lay on the broody hen. If theres another attractive spot to lay, they will go there. they tend to layat the same time and three in one box leads to some scuffles.put an egg in the extraa box and theyll ue both
     
  5. myhubbycallsmechickeemama

    myhubbycallsmechickeemama Chillin' With My Peeps

    570
    11
    131
    May 9, 2011
    Arco, ID
    We have 40 hens and 10 nest boxes and all 10 get used, as does the little tiny space underneath them. I would definitely do 1 nest box to 4 or 5 hens.
     
  6. myhubbycallsmechickeemama

    myhubbycallsmechickeemama Chillin' With My Peeps

    570
    11
    131
    May 9, 2011
    Arco, ID
    I tried to edit my post but it wouldn't let me...

    My chickens don't seem to care about privacy. I don't have curtains. :)
     
  7. Nickichicki

    Nickichicki Out Of The Brooder

    39
    2
    24
    Apr 16, 2012
    Isanti Minnesota
    I have 6 laying hens and they all lay in the same box every day! lol. I think it is wierd actually but apparently it is normal!
     
  8. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

    31,935
    4,447
    581
    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Everybody told me that one nest box would service my 4 hens. But it seemed like they all wanted to lay at the same time everyday!! So there was a waiting line up the ramp on a daily basis. LOL So we put in another box for them and that solved the problem. 2 hens prefer the original box, the other 2 prefer the add on. And sometimes they swap boxes if somebody is in "their" box.
     
  9. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    I have 15 girls that lay in two boxes, though I do have 7 :p
     
  10. joypeters

    joypeters Out Of The Brooder

    72
    1
    41
    Apr 19, 2010
    northridge, california
    six hens, two boxes and all but one lay on the floor of the coop. sigh.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by