Interfere in the hen's bizness?

gritsar

Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!
12 Years
Nov 9, 2007
28,906
239
421
SW Arkansas
I have 16 hens and I was told one nest for every four hens, thus I have four nestboxes. Not sure how many are actually laying at this point, but I'm getting two dozen eggs a week. So far they are all using one box (of course!).
I have one hen that when any of the others try to use any of the boxes she jumps up there and chases them out. I can almost hear her saying "MINE! MINE! MINE!"
So far I've left them to work it out amongst themselves. They free-range most of the day so that hen can't be there to guard the boxes all day. A few have learned to sneak back in when miss selfish is out and lay their eggs. Would adding more boxes help or will it only enable her selfishness?
 

ozark hen

Living My Dream
12 Years
Apr 4, 2007
6,962
47
301
Mansfield, MO
yes, I would add more nesting boxes...across the room if possible. Put a gold ball in the new nest to encourage some of the girls to use them.
 

illinichick

Songster
11 Years
Mar 31, 2008
311
2
139
SE Il
Mine are the same way, they have 7 nest boxes for about 30 hens and they mainly use two! I think the older hens dominate their favorite two boxes and my 7 month olds either wait for the older ones to leave or they lay in the other boxes. I've found as many as nine eggs in one box.
 

ChevygirlBeth

Songster
11 Years
Aug 21, 2008
1,256
0
161
The Hills of Eastern Ohio
I have 15 chickens and 10 next boxes (I know that's more than I need, but this is how my parents set up the mobile coop they gave me that they don't use anymore). They don't seem to always use the same box, but often I find 5 or 6 eggs all in one nest box! It's like whoever lays first picks the box of the day and so others just follow suit. There are always a few eggs in other boxes, but most of them end up in one.
 

gritsar

Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!
12 Years
Nov 9, 2007
28,906
239
421
SW Arkansas
I was just out there watching them and now I know why it takes them until 4 PM to lay the first egg of the day. They've picked THE nest of the day and there's four hens so busy trying to keep the others out of that nest they don't have time to lay!
Four nests, identical in make with almost the exact same amount of hay in each and yet it has to be THE nest....ridiculous!
 

MagsC

Queen Of Clueless
11 Years
Jul 27, 2008
4,616
12
231
Minnesota
I liked the idea of a couple more hen boxes only putting them in different areas so she would have a hard time "hogging" them all.
 

77horses

◊The Spontaneous Pullet!◊
11 Years
Aug 19, 2008
7,531
539
396
Maine
we have 3 next boxes and two hens, (four pullets are in a separate coop) they usually use the same box, but don't make a big deal. They lay one egg a day at different times, which works well. Abby lays in the afternoon and Penny lays in the evening(and sometimes switched around)

Build more boxes and everyone else has given you lots of advise.
 

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