musical chairs - musical nests

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by leelyndal, Aug 12, 2008.

  1. leelyndal

    leelyndal New Egg

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    Aug 12, 2008
    Atlanta
    When I had chickens in a free-range environment, the hens always knew where their nest was.

    Now I have them in a coop with nests boxes in a row and hope to have some hens set (brood).

    My question is this: Do hens get confused by such row nests which all look alike and set one nest one day and another the next?

    If so, does anyone have any solutions to this problem?
    Thank you,
    henry
     
  2. ginbart

    ginbart Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 9, 2008
    Bloomsburg, PA
    All I can tell you is, I have a RIR that just started laying on Saturday. She lays in the same next box every time she lays. They are free-range and I thought it was amazing how she knew to lay in the box when she could have laid anywhere outside.

    Sorry thats all I know.
     
  3. keljonma

    keljonma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2007
    8A East Texas
    Some hens will have favorite nest boxes, others will lay in the first available spot.

    Edited to add:
    When our Silver Lakenvelder started laying, she would repetitively jump from one nest box to the other (we have 9) until she finally found the one she felt most comfortable in. She reminded me of someone running those silly obstacle courses we used to have in gym class a million years ago. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2008
  4. leelyndal

    leelyndal New Egg

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    7
    Aug 12, 2008
    Atlanta
    My question really pertains to the breeds with strong brooding instincts. I know that the non-setters will just drop their eggs wherever it is convenient.

    The problem arises when they actually begin to set because if I select the eggs I wish to set under one, I want to know if they get confused by the row-nests and return to different nests after they've begun incubating another.

    I'm just looking for peoples experiences who've had hens set in the nests in a row that appear similar.
    thanks,
    henry
     
  5. keljonma

    keljonma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2007
    8A East Texas
    Your best bet for a broody hen is to put her and her nest separate from the rest of the flock. That way, no one adds eggs in the nest when the broody is off it. Also none of her eggs get broken. None of the flock pester her or keep her from the food and water.
     

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