Nesting boxes: are dividers NEEDED?


12 Years
Feb 27, 2011
I'm building them a solid plywood nesting box today to upgrade from the carboard box. I notice that two of my four like to lay in the same box, at the same time! It's crowded in a 12x12, but one of them just squeezes in despite the irritated cackling of the other. Because of this, should I just make one long box of 24" or should I keep the 12" spaces? If they lay together, what's the big deal if I take away the dividers?
Hmmm, good question. I've wondered the same thing. In your case, do you have room to make a 12" and then leave some space for a 24"? You know, give them a little variety to choose from?
I'm having the same issue--I have a row of 4 individual nesting boxes, but 4 of my 5 girls use the same one! It gets a bit noisy when someone's using it and another is impatiently waiting her turn!
I'm considering removing the divider and turning two boxes into one larger box, but I don't want to freak them out with a change, now that they're all laying.
I'll be interested to see what the experts have to say.
They want to lay in a safe place where either there are eggs or other hens. LOL

That said, I have done nest boxes on top of each other and no division nest hutches where they all just to cram into the back corner and lay together. Far as I can tell, they don't care if their nest is a box or a hutch with lots of space, if there is a spot with eggs or another hen, the higher hen wants it. LOL
nice. good feedback all around. I'm making only 24" long rather than a variety because it's a 4x4 coop and I don't want the box to take up too much space. I'm making an overhang so it'll be cozy. I'll post pics when I'm done in a few hours.

forgot to add it. just remembered days later haha. I went without a divider. One thing I've noticed is I've gotten two cracked eggs since adding this box in compared to my last cardboard box. I put a lot of shavings in there, but they make a well for their eggs and the bare wood is beneath. Wish there was a soft material I could put down that wouldn't scratch to bits
Usually you have to purchase carpet samples for a cheap amount. But if the carpet store is getting rid of a sample book they may give it to you free. I haven't had any breakage yet using straw. The girls will make circles and when those circles show the bottom of the nestbox I put more straw in. I thought of another option - bathmat - you could cut it down to the right size and it would be soft & washable.

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