Nesting question

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by groleau6, Feb 3, 2014.

  1. groleau6

    groleau6 Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 3, 2014
    I was wondering if a nest could be used by more than one hen or is this something that could cause an issue in my hen house? Also, I was thinking about putting them level with the floor. Someone told me that this could become a poop problem, but I don't understand how. Finally, should there be a roosting rail or can the hens just sleep in their nesting boxes if we do them individually?
    Thanks for tolerating a newbie.
  2. MyPetNugget

    MyPetNugget Enjoying the cold!!!

    The recommended number is 1 box every 4 chickens, but what a lot of people say is that they all take turns using one or two. My chickens just started laying and the only boxes they will use are the ones on the ends.[​IMG] About the height of the nest boxes- mine are around 6 inches above the floor and we do not have any problems. Unless you want to be cleaning the nest boxes out on a regular basis, put the roosting bars ABOVE the nest box (not the same height as). I had this problem before, and there is nothing wrong with them sleeping in the nest boxes, but again, it is a lot of clean up to do. Hope all goes well!
  3. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake

    Nests can be level with the floor, or elevated, as you wish.

    You do want the roosts higher than the nest boxes, or the hens will sleep in the nests and then they become very nasty and messy and all of your eggs will be poop covered. Chickens usually prefer dark nests. Other than that, be as creative as you want!

    I am fond of the nests being external or under a poop shelf. I love poop shelves.

    I also like communal nests.

    There are pictures of all sorts of nests and coop interiors here on BYC. Do a search and look through some of the pictures. The variety is great!
  4. hosspak

    hosspak Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 2, 2013
    Lake Elsinore, CA.
    I have 7 n/b's all together, 3 built in the coop itself and 4 outside. The outside gets used way more than the inside boxes but my girls have used them all at one time or another. Here is a picture of the outside boxes.



    They are 4 in a row hanging on the Fence with a ramp. But they usually jump up to the ledge 3 feet high. All 4 boxes get used. Just make sure they have enough choices so they don't fight over them (pecking order) as the dominant girls will chase the others out of a box!
  5. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    There is no problem having nests on the floor. Just put a lip on the side so soiled shavings can't be kicked inside the nest. One nest for every 4-5 hens is fine. No matter how many nests you have, there will always be a favorite nest.
  6. chickkrzi

    chickkrzi Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 8, 2011
    Waco texas
    I'm not a big fan of putting my nesting boxes on the ground. Dont care much for bending over to get my eggs. Though I do it for my ducks. I also have problems with snakes during summer months. I find at lest 3 a year, and my nesting boxes and they're 2 ft off ground.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by