Nest Advice - How many???

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by markdudanj, Jan 28, 2013.

  1. markdudanj

    markdudanj New Egg

    Jan 28, 2013
    I am looking to move from 3 chickens to 12. Right now, all the hens lay their eggs in one spot, and I read that there should be a 4 hen to 1 nest ratio or even great... like 7 to 1.

    Is this true... should I only have 2 or 3 nesting areas for 12 chickens? Do they just share? What do they do when they are not in there nests... I thought they slept in there and would each need their own
  2. maidenwolfx80

    maidenwolfx80 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2012
    I have 1 nest per 3 hens. Even if there are enough nests occassionally a hen will just decide to lay in another place. They choose their fav nest also and if someone is in it and they need to lay they will go find a different place to lay. For the most part they lay in their nest boxes and all is well. Make sure to keep them clean they sometimes will not lay in it if it isnt clean. They dont sleep in teh nests unless they have gone broody in which case you are down a nest so building extra isnt bad at all. I have several options for my girls to choose from.
  3. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Overrun With Chickens

    Dec 6, 2012
    New Brunswick,Canada
    I have 6 nest for 6 hens and very seldom do I collect out of any nest box but the same old one.
  4. noahsmom

    noahsmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2013
    North Eastern, Ky
    Don't mean to hijack but a friend of davids told him that when we make nest's to put them in different spots. I see a lot of nests on here that are just in lines besides each other. Is their any truth about putting the nests in all different spots in the coop, or does it even matter?
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    There is a general rule of thumb that you need one nest for every four or five hens but that’s pretty loose. It will work in pretty small flocks but if you have a lot of hens, you don’t need as many per hen. There is no specific number that is a law of nature saying you need a specific number of nests for a specific number of hens. It really is pretty flexible.

    In general you’ll find that most of them lay in the same nest if you have a relatively small flock. I’ve had three hens crowd into one nest to lay together with a fourth pacing outside waiting her turn to get in. There were totally empty nests available in that same immediate area.

    I like having a minimum of two nests just for flexibility, even if you have four hens or less but that is just me. I like having the flexibility if a hen goes broody or something else happens, but many people with four or five hens are happy with just one nest.

    For 12 hens, I’d think that 3 nests will be plenty.

    Hens should not sleep in the nests. They should sleep on the roosts. They poop a lot when they sleep. Poopy eggs are not very nice. They tend to sleep on the highest thing they can find, so the roosts need to be higher than the nest boxes.

    You’ll find we do all kinds of different things with nests. There are several threads on this forum that show what we do for nests. I’ll give a link to one of them.

    Nesting Boxes

    The only reason many are often lined up is that they are easier to build that way. The chickens really don’t care.

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