Nesting Boxes

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Gobe23, Jan 17, 2011.

  1. Gobe23

    Gobe23 New Egg

    Jan 17, 2011
    So, I'm new to this whole thing and looking for some info. I'm sorry if its posted somewhere already but I can't find it on here. I've read that you need one nesting box for every 4 hens that you have and this just doesn't seem to make sense to me. Does this work? I'll be getting 25 hens coming soon and all the research I've done tells me that I can assume that I'll get 5 eggs a week per hen on average. How are 6 or seven boxes going to be enough for all of the hens? Now, I'm assuming some things here such as that most of the hens will have the natural instinct to sit on the eggs after laying whether they're broody or not. Any help and guidance will be greatly appreciated.
  2. karimw

    karimw Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 7, 2010
    Eastern IA
    Let's see. I have 17 hens of laying age and a 10 hole nest box that hangs on the wall. Now that it's winter they aren't doing much but I still get as many as six eggs a day. One of my Cochins always lays on the hay stacked next to the nesting boxes but the others all use the SAME nest hole. They are pretty good at taking turns. From what I've seen they go in and hang out a while but unless they are broody they don't stay once they have laid their egg. It did get pretty ugly when one decided to raise her babies in the favorite nest [​IMG] Then there was a few laid on the floor out front until they agreed to use a different box. Silly girls [​IMG]
  3. rachelbarnes4

    rachelbarnes4 New Egg

    Jan 17, 2011
    They all won't use a nest at the same time, 3 nests were fine for my 12 hens. They will take turns and if insistent, will share a nest. When one of mine goes broody and won't give up the most desired nest, another hen will just jump in there with her. Their laying schedule will rotate them out and they won't want to just sit in there for fun. Especially when it's hot outside.
  4. evhammond1200

    evhammond1200 Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 16, 2010
    Canaan, NH
    I have 10 chickens and four nesting boxes. When I built my coop I looked up and read to see what size nesting boxes should be. Because of a building error my last nesing box is 2 inches smaller than the other 3 boxes. Go figure probably 90 percent of my eggs are found in this box! Dont know if its the size of it or that it is the one in the corner as to why they preffer it? I get an average 7 eggs a day. 6 and sometimes all 7 are in that one box!
  5. blefky

    blefky life in the yard

    Mar 18, 2010
    stamford, ct
    My dozen almost always lay in the same two nestboxes.
  6. crj

    crj Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 17, 2009
    Rocky Point, NC
    I have 7 girls in one coop and I made 2 pair of nest boxes which equals 4 total. I made them this way in case I needed to take one out and use it in another coop. Anyway, my 7 girls will use 2 of the 4 boxes. Once in a while a girl will try out a different box. I usually get 6 eggs a day. I just added more hens to the 7 so we will see what happens. Eggs were definitely dwo today because of the changes. I think I got 3 eggs from there today.

    The hens will wait on a box like the others have said and they will also pair up if need be. I had a broody and her sister insisted on getting in that nest box to add more eggs.

  7. tmoore8595

    tmoore8595 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 7, 2010
    Jefferson County, Al.
    I have 22 laying hens and only three nest boxes. This has never been a problem since they do not all lay at the same time. They may start at 5 AM and some will not lay until 2 or 3PM. I have seen two hens on the nest at the same time, but all the eggs are always in the nest boxes.
  8. dragonlair

    dragonlair Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 29, 2008
    Mine all insist on sharing the same nest box. I have gone in to find 3 hens sitting in the one milk crate with a couple more waiting in line, while the other nests sit empty! To me they all look the same, but I guess to the girls they are different!
  9. puredelite

    puredelite Chillin' With My Peeps

    Yes, they do often prefer to use a couple of "favorite" nest boxes. Even if it means waiting in line. I just installed a four compartment nest box but hasn't seen any use as my just beginning to lay pullets are laying their eggs in the shavings on the floor! Guess they don't have a clue as to what the boxes are for.
  10. drdoolittle

    drdoolittle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 30, 2010
    NE Indiana
    I have 4 nest boxes for 25 hens---my biggest problem is that they like to roost on the sides at night, thus pooping in the boxes! I will soon remedy this!

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