Number of next boxes?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by dizzle's chicks, Nov 7, 2011.

  1. dizzle's chicks

    dizzle's chicks Out Of The Brooder

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    I currently have 5 chickens that at are living in the coop right now and about to introduce 3 more chickens soon. The current coop has 3 nesting boxes and i was wondering if I need to add a couple more? if I do then the size of the nesting boxes will have to be smaller. How small/big can the nesting boxes have to be for the chickens to be comfortable to lay?
     
  2. SteveBaz

    SteveBaz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]

    I know that the kids that are chickmates will share almost everything including nesting boxes. Even to the point of waiting for one to lay an egg and go when vacated or more room. I have 3 nests that are 14wide by 16 deep by 30 high and I think the 3 you have will work for your 8 birds total. Don't be surprises if the 2 groups only use 2 of the 3. How old are your birds? How old are the new girls? The 5 will always be their own flock and the 3 will be their own flock and each group will do everything together most of the time. Then you will have a lead hen for each group and then 1 top hen for both groups or all the birds. [​IMG]
     
  3. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Rule of thumb is one nest box to four hens -- and then usually they all lay in one or two of them, even squeezing in together. I wouldn't change anything.

    I have 6 nest boxes (used to have more chickens) plus a favored nesting corner, and 10 hens usually use only two nests.
     
  4. anderson8505

    anderson8505 Peace, Love & Happy Chickens

    yup

    I've got 10 hens and 4 boxes. They only use 2 at a time, the rest stand around yelling at the others to get out. Or, they squeeze in the same box. I'd leave it as is.
     
  5. dizzle's chicks

    dizzle's chicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:thanks Steve!

    The 5 current birds are 5 months old and the 3 new ones are 3 months old. Right now i have the 3 in the garage being quarantined. I take them out during the day in a fenced area for about one hour for them to graze and to see the other birds. i tried bringing one old bird over and she started chasing them and I got scared so I brought her back. How should I acclimate them together???
     
  6. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer

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    I have 16 nest boxes and 17 hens. Although the girls will share a nest box, they have yet to lay all their eggs in one nest box. Some like the box near the ramp. Some like the nest box above the ramp. And some like the nest box next to the human door. Then there is Miss Independent who refuses to lay where anybody else has laid and will lay her egg in the nest box in the center.

    Then the next week arrives and laying dynamics change dramatically. I had one gal who decided to lay her egg in the container holding the oyster shells. She did this for several days and decided to lay her egg in the chair out in the run. Then the broody I had last month kept going from one box to another (I kept removing the eggs from under her), to set on anybodies egg.

    Although folks laughed at me for having so many nest boxes the girls have fun playing musical nest boxes. [​IMG]
     
  7. SteveBaz

    SteveBaz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Separate by a fence and put both feed bowls right next to each other being separated by the wire fence only. The food is the greatest thing they are in competition for and by being next to it together creates a recognition that they are eating with the big girls already. Keep doing the feeding and introduce in the free range which is the least competition so they can interact in a low pressure environment supervised by you. Eventually from doing this they will integrate successfully. You 3 month will get it with the big girls they are faster and will stay out of the big girls way.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

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    I have an area that has 20 hens and they only use 2 nesting boxes.
     

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