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Nesting boxes?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by southernhens15, Nov 12, 2015.

  1. southernhens15

    southernhens15 Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 8, 2015
    Louisiana
    Is it absolutely necessary to have nesting boxes? What are the pros and cons of having and not having nesting boxes? I have 3 nesting boxes, 8 hens although they only lay in one nesting box. They roost on the others and just make them a complete mess.. Thanks!
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    You don't need nests. However, if you don't, the chickens will find a place to lay them. That will most likely be where you don't want them.
    The advantage of nest boxes is that you know where the eggs will be and if the coop is properly arranged, the eggs will be clean.
    If your hens are roosting on or in your nests, the most likely problem is that the roosts are not significantly higher than the nests.
    Roosting in the nests should be avoided at all cost since your eggs will always be covered with feces.
     
  3. southernhens15

    southernhens15 Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 8, 2015
    Louisiana
    Well my hens don't free range and my coop always has plenty of hay and wood chips in it. My coop was an old rabbit hutch it fits all of my hens comfortably but its long and skinny, not much room for the nests and a good roosting bar. Could I possibly keep one nesting box in there and make the rest the "roost area"?
     
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    If you only have a few hens, you only need one nest. As you've found, they all have one favorite nest.
    Another option is to build a nest outside the coop attached to the side of the building so you can access eggs from outside.
     
  5. southernhens15

    southernhens15 Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 8, 2015
    Louisiana
    They definitely have a favorite box! I have consindered building a nest box outside the coop. I just want to make sure they are all happy and comfortable! :) thanks so much chickencanoe!
     

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