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If I have 4 hens, will I need four nests?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Kelly G, Jul 7, 2008.

  1. Kelly G

    Kelly G It's like herding cats!

    Just wondering what the ratio should be. How much time do the spend on the nests (if they're not broody)? Do they sleep on them or the roosts at night?
  2. antlers

    antlers Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 20, 2008
    East Cent Minnesota
    DOn't know what the experts recommend but 1 nest to about 10 hens works for me. So for you, 1 is needed, 2 if you want to be fancy.

    They should not sleep in them. THey sleep on the roosts. Nest are for laying . Mine have never slept in them but I suppose there is the occasional mixed up hen.

    TEXASSuperCHICKEN Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 4, 2008
    Collin County
    As far as I know around 4 hens will share a nest box. I have 17 and four nest boxes...if I need more I'll add later. I'm not sure how much time they spend in there because mine are only about a month old and so far they stay either on the floor or the roost. When they get older I'm sure they will all get on the roost (the higher the more secure they feel..so keep the nesting boxes about 18" off the floor and the roost higher or you'll get pooey eggs).
  4. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 26, 2007
    Longmont, CO
    The book says 1 box to every 4 hens.
  5. Mrs MIA

    Mrs MIA Chick Magnet

    Mar 3, 2008
    Yep... 1 for every 4-5 hens works. However, they all seem to pick their favorites, and lay in a couple of them. Usually the one that was last vacated and has a nice toasty egg in it... [​IMG]
  6. Nuggetsowner:)

    Nuggetsowner:) Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 2, 2007
    It is true that they say you need one box to every 4 hens, however, you may find it helpful to put more that one in just to give them a choice. I would say two should be about perfect if it were me. In my second coop I have 15 hens and I will be putting in 4 nesting boxes.
  7. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    May 24, 2007
    Yes, the general rule of thumb is 1 nest box for every 4 hens. Now, having said that ... it seems that most hens seem to pick one or two nest boxes and use them. I still offered more nest boxes just in case.

    You don't want your hens sleeping in their nest boxes - you will have poopy eggs. You want them to sleep on roosts, so make your roosts higher than your nest boxes as they like to sleep as high up as they can.
  8. Kelly G

    Kelly G It's like herding cats!

    You guys are GREAT! Thank you SO much!!!! I was wondering how people were fitting enough nests in their little Lowe's playhouse/henhouse to hold the 4 or 5 chickens it is reported to be able to hold. [​IMG] I was starting to worry how I was going to fit four nests in there AND have room to put a roost that will not put the nests in the poop target zone!

    Thanks, again!
  9. Kelly G

    Kelly G It's like herding cats!

    Chirpy -
    I see you have Wyandottes! That is the breed I'm ordering (but Barred Rocks were a very close second!) - how are the roosters?? I'm really nervous about having one, but I've read (and some have said) that the roosters are not too belligerant....I will have 4 hens and one rooster, total. I would like my hens to raise some clutches, occasionally.
  10. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    May 24, 2007
    Kelly G asked:
    I see you have Wyandottes! That is the breed I'm ordering (but Barred Rocks were a very close second!) - how are the roosters??

    I don't know yet, my GLW Roo is only two months old! I will say that he is very 'submissive' at this age to all the other chicks. My Brahma roo, who is the same age, is acting far more like a roo. But, at 2 months it all means pretty much nothing.​

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