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Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by missy1971, Mar 18, 2017.
How many laying boxes should you have for 10 hens?
For 10 hens I would suggest three boxes. Generally speaking one nest per 4 hens is recommended to keep the peace - though you'll soon find that the birds will tend to designate a "nest of the day" and most will use it - sometimes it's the same box every day, other times they rotate between the different boxes. The idea of offering more than the birds seem to "need" based on the favoring behavior is you allow for those days when someone is hogging the favorite nest and the other bird(s) is not willing to just bulldoze in there to lay, if you have a bird go broody, etc. Think of it like space - nothing to lose by giving them more than they need, potential negative outcomes by giving them less.
If you have red sex-links, like me that lay early morning, I would suggest 5 boxes for 10 pullets. I have 2 nest boxes and 5 pullets and several times I have seen both boxes occupied and a third waiting. Once I saw two in one box and a third in the other. My nest boxes are 12 1/2 inches wide, 13" deep 12" high. It was so funny to see two in one. One girl had to stand in nest. I didn't have my phone at the time. Always bring your phone to the coop. You'll not believe some of the things chickens do, and wish you could take a picture. GC
Lol, my red star is the only one old enough to lay. So all together I will have the one red star and 2 sex links. 2 buffs, 3 delaware, 2 rocks.
And yes, I try to take my phone with me, they are hilarious!
Putting a fake egg/golf ball in each nest can help 'spread the love'.
I have four 14x14x16 nests for 19 layers and rarely if ever do they double up in a nest,
there's some complaining once in a while but for the most part they all take their turns.