Number of nesting boxes

Wicked Gardener

In the Brooder
9 Years
Mar 30, 2010
33
0
32
Pleasant Hill, CA
So, I had read a few times that hens will "share" nesting boxes and you don't need the same amount of boxes as birds. We have 6 girls, all age 21 weeks. Only one has been laying (first egg last Thursday) and the other ones don't really look like they are even ready. The girl who is paying rent looks like she takes up all the space in the box that she has chosen. It doesn't look to me like theres enough room to share with others. How many nesting boxes should I really have made???
 

Opa

Opa-wan Chickenobi
12 Years
May 11, 2008
9,573
458
336
Howell Michigan
I would go with two. You'll be surprised that in spite of it looking crowded I've had as many a three hens in one nest box.
 

DebbieDee

Songster
9 Years
Apr 4, 2011
169
64
154
Kailua Kona
I have 2 laying hens and 3 nesting boxes. They use the same nest. They take turns......When the other 3 start laying they can use the others. I used to put fake eggs in there to show them where to lay....It seemed to work as I found a few of the early ones in a few strange places...
 

Fierlin1182

powered-flight
8 Years
Aug 26, 2011
17,155
309
348
I'd also go with two. We have three hens and three nest boxes: only one is ever in use at any one time. It's odd, but they seem to like sharing. The reason I'd get two is that they don't particularly like waiting
It's like the queues at the loo, if someone's taking ages in one there's the other free...
 

Kaeta44

Chirping
8 Years
Jun 17, 2011
283
2
99
North Yorkshire, England
I have 8 chickens and my 2 nest boxes seem perfectly adequate. In the end, the hens lay where they decide to lay and that's not necessarily where you want them to lay. We have one who always lays just to the left, but outside, the nest boxes. Another who refuses to lay inside the coop at all - she lays her eggs where ever she happens to be at the time. We've had 2 brooding the same clutch of eggs in one nest and the others popping in with them, one at a time, to add to the clutch!

Life is never dull when you keep chickens.

http://muckycluckers.blogspot.com/
 

kristip

Songster
9 Years
Jul 29, 2010
1,578
15
201
New Glarus
I would say 2... I have 10 girls, 7 of which are laying. I have a 4 pod ( 2 over 2) of nest boxes. They wont use the top ones, and only lay in one of the bottom ones. all except the one bantam and I am creating a nest box in the run for her because she does not like to go in the coop as much with the big girls. Silly chicken. Still waiting for my 7 in one day. Have gotten 6 but not 7 yet!!
 

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