I have 10 large breed hens and they crowd into one nest box.

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Scotty from BI, Aug 3, 2016.

  1. Scotty from BI

    Scotty from BI Chillin' With My Peeps

    125
    39
    91
    Aug 26, 2015
    Hi, I have 10 mature 26 week old Wyandotte hens (no rooster). I have 3 nest boxes next to one another with dividers at about 16 inches wide. The boxes are about 24 inches deep and 15 inches high after bedding is added. My problem is I frequently see three or even 4 hens in one box, laying on top of one another. Ironically the birds do use all three boxes and when they crowd it is usually because the other two boxes have hens in them.

    There is no egg eating or broken eggs and all the hens are laying eggs and leaving the box, so they are not broody although they do take a long time in the box.

    My question is this. Should I leave it the way it is and just allow them to do what they want or take the dividers out and let them use the entire 48 inch wide space to lay where they want or will this encourage them to lay outside the box?
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

    21,690
    2,639
    466
    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    That is not uncommon at all. I'd leave it the way it is. They have favorites and usually that is the same nest as all the others' favorite.

    You can try fake eggs in all the other nests.

    That's why I think it is crazy for coop manufacturers to build coops big enough for 4 hens and put 3 nests on it. They obviously don't know anything about chickens.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2016
  3. Scotty from BI

    Scotty from BI Chillin' With My Peeps

    125
    39
    91
    Aug 26, 2015
    Thanks for your response. I already put ceramic eggs in each box and that does encourage them to use all the boxes. My problem is they don't seem or perhaps can not physically wait for a box to open so they just barge into one that is occupied.
     
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

    21,690
    2,639
    466
    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Ovulation happens. When ya gotta go ya gotta go.
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. jim c

    jim c Out Of The Brooder

    29
    4
    32
    Dec 6, 2013
    you can remove the dividers, I used to have 4 hens that always wanted the same box so I made one big enough to hold all four. they used it and had enough room that one didn't sit on another.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by