1. Come check out hundreds of awesome coop pages (and a few that need suggestions) in our 2018 Coop Rating Project!

  1. kicknchicken

    kicknchicken In the Brooder

    Feb 7, 2014
    So, I am going to have 50 chickens soon. We will raise 24 for meat and the others are for eggs. I am trying to figure out how many nesting boxes I will need. They will all be raised in the same coop. Do I need a nesting box for each or will they share? If they will share, how will I tell which chickens are laying once they start? Thanks for your help in advance.

  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    They say 5 chickens per box is OK.

    In reality, some hens will share a nestbox or will wait in line to use the same one. However, when you start having broody hens, it is really a necessity to have a nice selection of them. So when no one is broody, 8 hens or so can use the same one. But then you get broodies and they won't let anyone in sometimes.
  3. 4 the Birds

    4 the Birds Songster

    Oct 15, 2010
    Westfield, Indiana
    I have 7 nest boxes and 30 chickens. A few of the boxes are a favorite and usually have 6 or 7 eggs in each per day. The other boxes typically will have one or two eggs. 5 to 8 boxes should be good in my opinion. Tip: the boxes in the dark area of the coop seem to be the favorite.

  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    Good point on the broody hen. I’ve also had a nest hog that took three hours to lay her egg and would not allow any other hen to share. On the other hand, seeing two or three in the same nest at the same time is not unusual.

    If you only have a handful of hens a ratio of 4 hens per nest isn’t bad, but with 26 hens, 5 to 1 works well. I think size makes a bit of difference too. If you build them 12” x 12”, it’s harder for them to share though they will still do it. Sometimes hens literally lay right on top of another. I made mine 16” square and it’s not that hard for three hens top all be sitting on the nest instead of each other.

    With 26 hens, 5 nests should work but 6 is not a bad number either. You should not need more than 6.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by