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Maybe I should add another nest box?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by joneus, Nov 14, 2011.

  1. joneus

    joneus Songster

    Apr 2, 2011
    Ballston Spa
    I've got 3 nest boxes for 5 hens and they all insist on using the same one. Not "same one" as in they all only use 1, but "same one" as in wherever the first egg is laid, the rest of them end up in the same nest box. Naturally, this means there is a line of hens waiting their turn to use the nest box du jour. Today Salty, my bottom rung EE, couldn't hold it anymore and she wound up making a nest and laying in it on the floor under the roost. She tried to do this yesterday when Bowling Ball, the alpha hen, had laid her egg but was hogging the nest box. I know it probably wasn't the right thing to do, but I pulled BB off the nest, collected her egg, shoe'd her out the door, and put Salty in the box where, 10 mins later, she laid her egg and went about her business.

    Anyhow, I can't do that every day. Should I just add another nest box elsewhere in the coop (which seems stupid because there are already 2 others in there!) or is there a way to fight what seems to be a losing battle? They've only been laying for about a month, but somehow they all seem to be on the same time-cycle and lay at the same time of day. I don't want to have to search the coop and run for eggs, soI'd really like to nip this if I can.

  2. aoxa

    aoxa Crowing

    Even if you did add another one, I'm sure they would all still fight for the same place. My nesting boxes can fit in three hens each. My grandfather built it, so I can't complain. [​IMG]
  3. joneus

    joneus Songster

    Apr 2, 2011
    Ballston Spa
    Quote:Hmm... My dividers are removable. Maybe taking one out will help?

    Silly birds![​IMG]
  4. ailurophile23

    ailurophile23 Songster

    Dec 21, 2010
    Removing a divider is worth a shot. Other than that, don't worry about it - we have 3 nest boxes to 12 hens and typically, they all lay in the same box. I have even found three hens in one box at a time.
  5. acw123

    acw123 Songster

    Mar 31, 2011
    I agree, no need to add another box. I have 28 hens and they have 10 nsting boxes to choose from but mine are doing the same as yours. Who ever chooses to lay first decides where all others want to lay as well. Sometimes it will be two diffferent spots but they really must think that wherever one is sitting must be the best spot and just wait for their turns there. I wouldn't worry about it.
  6. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Free Ranging Premium Member

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    I would try putting golf balls or wooden eggs in all the nests. I had trouble getting my hens to all lay in the boxes at first, but 3 months later they never lay in the floor. I have 12 nest boxes for 32 hens, and they are arranged 6 on the floor and 6 on top of that with a little roost in front of the top ones. My girls use all of the boxes every day, although the bottom row is used more, and some have their favorite ones. Some of the crabby campines or anconas like to peck at hens who are in their fave boxes.

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