Interfere in the hen's bizness?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by gritsar, Sep 29, 2008.

  1. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    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?
  2. jnjross

    jnjross Songster

    Apr 3, 2008
    edwards, ms
    looks like you gonna be building another box
  3. ozark hen

    ozark hen Living My Dream

    Apr 4, 2007
    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.
  4. illinichick

    illinichick Songster

    Mar 31, 2008
    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.
  5. 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.
  6. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    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! [​IMG]
  7. Chicabee19

    Chicabee19 Songster

    Aug 8, 2008
    I wonder if removing the bossiest hen for a few days would 'reset' them all?
  8. MagsC

    MagsC Queen Of Clueless

    Jul 27, 2008
    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.[​IMG]
  9. debilorrah

    debilorrah The Great Guru of Yap

    I have six boxes for 6 hens and they all lay in one. So add as many boxes as you like, they will probably stick to the same one. [​IMG]
  10. 77horses

    77horses ◊The Spontaneous Pullet!◊

    Aug 19, 2008
    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) [​IMG]
    Build more boxes and everyone else has given you lots of advise. [​IMG]

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