Nestbox Laying Drama

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Kanthaka, May 13, 2010.

  1. Kanthaka

    Kanthaka Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 22, 2009
    With only two chickens I don't understand why they absolutely have to lay in the same box. I have more than one nestbox but God forbid my hens have to lay at the same time. Chaotic drama ensues. My Delaware is unwilling to share , gets agitated and chases my cochin out. Cochin makes repeated attempts to lay in the same box. Delaware gets even more upset , to the point I have to shut the nestbox door and let her lay in peace. There are other nestboxes elsewhere in the coop (in the covered run) and I try to put my cochin in there but she only wants to lay in the same box. Whoever is laying has to listen to the other pacing back and forth while cackling non-stop. Kinda reminds me of when you gotta go and someone else is in the bathroom!
    Can it be unhealthy for a hen to "hold it in" while waiting for a particular nestbox?
  2. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Well...I doubt "holding it" when there are other options can be so severe that it would cause physical problems (mental stress, Try placing a wooden egg in one or two of the other nest boxes for a few days. This may show them how GREAT these other nests are.
  3. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2009
    I second that suggestion. The reason a hen prefers to lay an egg in a nestbox that already has an egg or two in it has to do with the way they would reproduce if allowed to. I think chickens lay in communal nestboxes so that a clutch of sufficient size to brood is more quickly reached than if a single hen had to lay all of those eggs herself. Think about it. If a standard hen sets a clutch of 12 eggs, it would take her at least 12 days, probably more, to lay those eggs herself. The eggs laid first wouldn't be as fresh and as viable as the later laid eggs. But if three hens contribute to that clutch, it would only take four or five days and all the eggs would be fresher when the setting hen settles in to incubate them. So it makes a lot of sense for a hen to add to a clutch already started. Chickens are smarter than we think!

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