Is there a ratio?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by djcook16, Mar 17, 2019.

  1. djcook16

    djcook16 Chirping

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    Hello, Everyone: I'm new at this, so need advice. For each nesting box, what should be the maximum number of hens in a coop? I'm getting 18 hens and have 8 nests. Should I decrease the number of chickens or get more nests. Is there a commonly used ratio of nests to hens?
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2019
  2. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. .....

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    Generally speaking a minimum of two nests with one nest for every 4 hens is more than sufficient....so 8 boxes could accommodate a flick of up to 32 hens.
     
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  3. crazy4ChickensNducks

    crazy4ChickensNducks Songster

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    I have 25 birds and they only use 2 or 3 out of my 7 nest boxes
     
  4. djcook16

    djcook16 Chirping

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    Okay, thanks you all! My son thought that each needed a box :)
     
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  5. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. .....

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    Nah, but it is a common misconception. Ultimately, while laying a hen wont lat every day and on days she goes will be in the nest 5minutes to 2+hours (some are all business, some make a production of things, lol).....so several hird make use of the same box through the course of the day. Also, one egg in a nest says "this is a good place to lay" so following he s will use the same box vs. choosing an unused box. Spreading the love is as simple as using fake eggs in less favored boxes to give the impression those boxes have been given the "good coopkeepung seal of aporoval" as the happening place to nest
     
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  6. jthornton

    jthornton Crowing

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    I have 8 RIR hens and they all use the same nest box as I only have one large one. I've seen up to 5 hens in there at the same time but usually not more than 2 or 3 at the same time.

    JT
     
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  7. GC-Raptor

    GC-Raptor Crowing

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    You don't want them sleeping in the nests. Poopy eggs are nasty.
    I have 7 Barred Rock Pullets. 3 nest boxes and most use the same nest.
    I have found 4 or 5 eggs in the favorite.
    I have seen 2 girls in the favorite box.

    My first Flock of 5 Golden Comets had 2 nests boxes. Many times I would see a Pullet waiting for a nest when both were occupied. 20170730_061522.jpg
    With a high production breed, I recommend a nest for every 2 chickens. GC
     
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  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    More important is how many birds to keep in what sized coop.
    3 links on my signature should help you design your coop,
    let me know if you can't see them.

    Oh, and.... Welcome to BYC!
    Where in this world are you located?
    Climate, and time of year, is almost always a factor.
    Please add your general geographical location to your profile.
    It's easy to do, (laptop version shown), then it's always there!
    upload_2019-3-18_10-13-30.png
     
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  9. flyin-lowe

    flyin-lowe Songster

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    I have 16 hens and three boxes. Most day's only two of them are used. Weird thing is it is not always the same 2. I could see if they had a favorite that they always used. One day they will use the middle one while the others sit empty. They will line up waiting to get in the middle. A couple days later the middle will be empty and they will be using the ones on the side......For 18 I think 4 or 5 would be a good number to have and adjust from there.
     
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  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Put a fake egg in all 3 nests and I'll bet they all get used ;)
     
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