Individual nest boxes vs. trough

JessChook

In the Brooder
Apr 27, 2020
17
53
46
Carbondale, Illinois
I'm finishing up my coop and run while my pullets are in a temporary coop and mini run. I'm building the nest box right now and intend two spaces for six hens. Because four of my ladies will be on the larger end (8 lbs) and two medium, I'm thinking of doing a nesting trough. So, I'm thinking I'll just not divide the box but leave it twice as wide. I also understand that the hens develop a preferred nest and this is another way to address that. I'll leave it covered until they are laying and then will provide a curtain.

Does anyone have experience with both types and can offer some pros and cons?
 

FeatherstoneFrm

Songster
Aug 1, 2014
386
652
222
Appling, GA
My girls prefer this open ice/drink tub. I had 3 but all 6 girls used the same 1, even when 1 was broody, there was room for another to get in and lay an egg
 

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Acre4Me

Crossing the Road
Nov 12, 2017
6,263
18,791
817
Western Ohio
We did that to begin with -two nest boxes without a divider. However, it quickly became apparent that a divider was needed bc one would settle down in the middle of the big nest and then very soundly reprimand others for trying to get in, but would allow certain one’s in. We added a divider, and this was great. The divided nests were still large.

we have since replaced that nest box within a double decker one: 3 on top, 2 larger ones in bottom (floor level). The top boxes are by far favorites and only the couple really large birds use the bottom boxes. We will get 2 birds stuffed in one upper box at times, and once 3 tried to get into one, but only the back side of the third fit into the upper box with the other two filling it up.

here are our new nest boxes, as described.
E1E0C0E9-C442-489A-9203-542186FC07F1.jpeg
 

JessChook

In the Brooder
Apr 27, 2020
17
53
46
Carbondale, Illinois
We did that to begin with -two nest boxes without a divider. However, it quickly became apparent that a divider was needed bc one would settle down in the middle of the big nest and then very soundly reprimand others for trying to get in, but would allow certain one’s in. We added a divider, and this was great. The divided nests were still large.

we have since replaced that nest box within a double decker one: 3 on top, 2 larger ones in bottom (floor level). The top boxes are by far favorites and only the couple really large birds use the bottom boxes. We will get 2 birds stuffed in one upper box at times, and once 3 tried to get into one, but only the back side of the third fit into the upper box with the other two filling it up.

here are our new nest boxes, as described.
View attachment 2171467
Thanks. I didn't even consider that one might sit smack dab in the middle and prevent others from coming in. I bet the trough method works well when you have more length than needed. Nice nest boxes!
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
27,515
20,797
907
Southeast Louisiana
If you look through this forum enough you'll see we do all kinds of things with nests. If you look through these threads you can see some of the things people have used or how they have been built. Some use individual nests but there is one known as a community nest box, a certain design where one 2' x 4' nest is supposed to accommodate 24 hens. Some nests are good for laying eggs but don't work that well for broody hens. I had one go broody in a cat litter bucket, the top was 7-1/2" x 11-1/2". That was not good. The chicks that hatched first would climb up on Mama's back while waiting for the later ones to hatch. When they fell off they missed the nest entirely. But it worked for laying eggs.

Nest boxes

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/41108/show-us-your-nest-boxes-ingenous-design-post-it-here/220

Nest Boxes

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/4...-your-creative-nesting-boxes/80#post_12395882

You can see mine below, roughly 16" cubes. Mine are great for broody hens. I often have three crowded into the same nest laying eggs, even with the other three empty. I typically get most of my eggs in the same nest, but which nest goes in cycles. Some weeks or even months the popular one might be the top left, other times the bottom right. Or one of the others.

Nests.JPG
 

JessChook

In the Brooder
Apr 27, 2020
17
53
46
Carbondale, Illinois
If you look through this forum enough you'll see we do all kinds of things with nests. If you look through these threads you can see some of the things people have used or how they have been built. Some use individual nests but there is one known as a community nest box, a certain design where one 2' x 4' nest is supposed to accommodate 24 hens. Some nests are good for laying eggs but don't work that well for broody hens. I had one go broody in a cat litter bucket, the top was 7-1/2" x 11-1/2". That was not good. The chicks that hatched first would climb up on Mama's back while waiting for the later ones to hatch. When they fell off they missed the nest entirely. But it worked for laying eggs.

Nest boxes

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/41108/show-us-your-nest-boxes-ingenous-design-post-it-here/220

Nest Boxes

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/4...-your-creative-nesting-boxes/80#post_12395882

You can see mine below, roughly 16" cubes. Mine are great for broody hens. I often have three crowded into the same nest laying eggs, even with the other three empty. I typically get most of my eggs in the same nest, but which nest goes in cycles. Some weeks or even months the popular one might be the top left, other times the bottom right. Or one of the others.

View attachment 2171505
Thanks for the picture and links!
 

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