Individual or community nest boxes? Pros & cons of each?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Eggnonymous, Jan 2, 2010.

  1. Eggnonymous

    Eggnonymous Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 17, 2009
    Carroll County, GA
    We are fine tuning our coop plan and I was looking at the different nest box ideas. It seems that the community box would be simpler, but might be troublesome if you have a broody. We only plan to have hens (for now anyway) and they will have to be in a protective pen because of numerous hawks/others. Should we still have a problem with broodiness if they aren't free ranging (they shouldn't go steal a nest somewhere else right)?

    I was also wondering about the "roll-away" type box. With a community box would they have a tendency to damage each others' eggs or is that just to keep the eggs cleaner? It seems the roll-away doesn't have any filler - i.e. hay/shavings - do the hens need or prefer having nesting material?

    So many things to consider!! [​IMG]

    Thanks for your input...
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2010
  2. 1stepcloser

    1stepcloser Poultry In Motion

    Sep 16, 2009
    Dover, TN
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
  4. greathorse

    greathorse Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 1, 2008
    Northern Colorado
    I have a communtiy box with a group of RIR pullets. somedays they all seem to lay in it and other days they will lay on the floor of the coop I have not decided if that is a pullet thing or becasue of the community box. I think a broody in a community box would be and issue and need to be taken from the coop altogether. I wish I had a rollout box for egg cleanliness and to assure no eating I have plans to build one this spring or summer.

    the communty box eggs seem a bit dirtier also but am not sure why that would be as in the indy boxes many lay in the same box. I think these pullets might just be a messy bunch.

    MY real answer I dunno

    I have little or no breakage in the community boxes I have more breakage in the individual boxes
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2010
  5. 3goodeggs

    3goodeggs pays attention sporadically

    May 22, 2009
    North Central Florida
    We have 24 hens and five boxes. 3/4 of them are laying. They all want the same box. We can rearrange, fluff, and change out the lining, but they all want the same box. We have up to 12 eggs laid in the same nest. And every once in a while one laid in the shavings in the coop. I don't know what to tell you.

    Do it the way that feels best to you. Then they will do what they want to. But at least you will feel like you did the proper thing. it's like rearing children. They have minds of their own, and they usually come around to your way of thinking when their way isn't as comfortable.

    I was a lot of help wasn't I?
  6. Eggnonymous

    Eggnonymous Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 17, 2009
    Carroll County, GA
    Thanks Ridgerunner - I had actually looked there prior to my post, but didn't find any clear answers as to the "whys or why-nots". Maybe I didn't look close enough? Most folks showed what they used, but not why they chose that type and what problems they'd had, if any, but I'll keep searching.
  7. Eggnonymous

    Eggnonymous Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 17, 2009
    Carroll County, GA
    Thanks 3goodeggs and greathorse - well, not quite as clear cut as I thought this would be, but these are chickens we're talking about, too, right? lol- silly birds! Hmmm.
  8. Eggnonymous

    Eggnonymous Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 17, 2009
    Carroll County, GA
    Oh, thought of something else with this. If your coop has a mesh wire floor might they still lay on it or might it make them more apt to lay in a box? (or are am I still trying to psychoanalyze chickens here [​IMG])
  9. RocketDad

    RocketDad Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 25, 2008
    Near US 287
    I have 5 hens, and made 5 nest boxes. I just went out to check for eggs, and found the 2 biggest hens in the same nest. [​IMG]
  10. ams3651

    ams3651 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 23, 2008
    NE PA
    I think it depends on what your chickens decide they prefer. I started off with a box with a divider in the middle so there were 2 nests. After they decided they wanted to lay in only 1 side I removed the divider and that worked well. Now my young ladies have decided they want to lay in the corner (just discovered that one) or on the floor, which I am allowing right now because the eggs dont freeze if they are laying in the shavings. The older ladies followed suit and I guess I will have to revisit the issue in the spring but they still basically lay all in the same place.

    Oh and as for your broody question, they can go broody when they feel like it and if that happens you will want to move them to a private area but you can worry about that if you want to give them eggs to hatch. You wouldnt want her to stay in the nest box.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2010

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