Nesting Challenges

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by gmc, Jan 3, 2008.

  1. gmc

    gmc Chillin' With My Peeps

    115
    0
    129
    Nov 24, 2007
    Clay City, KY
    So far the biggest challenge with my new coop is finding a nesting arrangement that allows more than one girl to lay at a time. What? Just add more nests, right? Wrong. They all want to use the same nest in or about the same time, as it seems. I wasn't thinking the other day or I would have taken a picture of girls stacked up on top of one another in the same box with eggs rolling over into the ajoining nest. It was a corner nest. Yes, a sight to see to say the least. I am on about the fourth nesting arrangement, moving the boxes around in the coop and have finally (I think) have found something that works. I ended up placing the nest boxes high in the coop to only allow access from the front. My nest boxes are 12x12x12 with nothing on the top, so nothing really big enough for front entrance only. My coop is slanted so the back is still only about eye level so It still allows for easy nest raids. Another comment to pass along. I have read on here that litter is better bedding than hay, yep, probally right but my girls stop laying until I brought the hay back. Guess they can kick it out or eat it if they want. Guess we see who rules the roost here. [​IMG]
     
  2. bigzio

    bigzio Overrun With Chickens

    4,604
    118
    291
    Jan 20, 2007
    Wisconsin
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] Yep, doesn't matter how many nest you provide them. Seems like they all want the same nest, at the same time.

    Then all of a sudden, it will switch to a different nest that no hen usually lays in. Gotta love those pretty hens!

    bigzio
     
  3. Ma

    Ma Chillin' With My Peeps

    113
    0
    129
    Aug 10, 2007
    Camanche, Iowa
    In our coop, originally built for 100 birds, we have 36 nesting boxes. We have 8 hens.

    Yup, you guessed it. All 8 are laying in one favored nest. There's a waiting line in the morning. [​IMG]
     
  4. gmc

    gmc Chillin' With My Peeps

    115
    0
    129
    Nov 24, 2007
    Clay City, KY
    Update. Added two more nests today because additional hens are starting to lay. None used it. [​IMG]
     
  5. Charlie Chicken

    Charlie Chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    108
    0
    119
    Dec 24, 2007
    Phippsburg, ME
    Chickens will often choose a favorite nest box and if everyone chooses the same one it can create problems. Its frustrating when you provide plenty of nests and then they all pile into just one or two.

    A good way to eliminate the crowding problem is to provide what is called a community nest. They are large boxes with just one opening and the whole flock uses the same nest. With this type of nest there is no problem with hens scratching the nesting material out and they also provide a more private darkened nest which chickens will often prefer.

    Community nests were very popular in both backyard and commercial flocks years ago and they work just as well today as they did then.

    The nest in this photo has a curtain on the opening that was added when I had an egg eating problem a while back and the curtain was added to further darken the nest. The community nest works well, with or without the curtain.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. gmc

    gmc Chillin' With My Peeps

    115
    0
    129
    Nov 24, 2007
    Clay City, KY
    Thanks Charlie,
    Does the top open for easy nest raids? Just curioius, sounds like a great idea, thou.
    Thanks,
    gmc
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by