Max Hens vs. # of Nesting Boxes

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ChuckGeek, Aug 25, 2013.

  1. ChuckGeek

    ChuckGeek Hatching

    Feb 13, 2013
    Phoenix, AZ
    We now have 6 hens with 5 of them laying daily and we have 2 nesting boxes. It seems like there is a "traffic jam" in the morning as about 4 of them lay around this time. Our Easter Egger just laid a huge egg today out in the run after not laying for months.

    Should we get more nesting boxes? Or will they just take turns? They don't usually share so I'm wondering if they are stressing each other out.
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    They will take turns. I find that 80% of my eggs ended up in the same box or nesting area regardless if I had 4 or 24 laying birds at the same time.
  3. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 Free Ranging

    Feb 18, 2011
    They will usually take turns and share boxes, you'll often find two or more hens in the same box at the same time. And they sure do pick favorite boxes where everybody wants to lay. You can try putting fake eggs in both boxes and see if that helps divide them up. One sharing exception might be if you have a very dominant nasty hen that does not like to share. I have a couple of dominant hens that have picked a favorite nest box and nobody better bother them while they are in the box. If you have one or more of these you might need extra boxes. With the EE that just layed an egg, since she was just getting back into laying and it was an odd/large egg, she probably wasn't really sure what was going on, if she laid in the boxes before, I would expect her to do so again.

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