Out of six nesting boxes girls only use three of them, why?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by SFBayArea, Mar 31, 2016.

  1. SFBayArea

    SFBayArea Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 21, 2014
    Hi guys,

    I am new to chicken world. I have purchased whole coop with 9 chickens from somewhat local guy who was moving into rental and needed to get rid of all the setting.
    Coop has 6 nesting boxes, three on lower and three on top level (one on top of another) however, for some reason in a whole week that I have them, I've never seen they lay eggs in the right side boxes (top/bottom box). For some reason they love to use the most left boxes top and bottom box and lower middle box (but not upper middle box). The bedding is all the same in all the boxes and now of course bedding is much more fluffier in the unused boxes.

    Is this a common trade? Do hens choose only specific boxes for whatever reason only known to them and never use boxes the they did not like?
  2. ChickenMammX4

    ChickenMammX4 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 17, 2015
    SW Ohio
    Yes, very common (and normal). We have 6 hens, 3 nesting boxes and they only use 2.
  3. SFBayArea

    SFBayArea Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 21, 2014
    Thank you. Should I not even bother of putting bedding in the nesting boxes that they don't go to?
  4. Folly's place

    Folly's place True BYC Addict

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    Keep them bedded, because one day someone may decide to change locations, who knows why. I've got six boxes for thirty hens, and they mostly only use two of them. Sometimes they change spots, though. Just let it be, and don't overthink it. They are chickens! Mary
  5. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

    Mar 9, 2014
    My Coop
    X 2 - we have 6 boxes and on most days eggs will be left in 4 of them, but which 4 can change from one day to the next. There is nothing to be lost by bedding the unpopular nests as you never know when they'll get a bug in their bustle to use one of them.
  6. DaisyBlue

    DaisyBlue Just Hatched

    Apr 11, 2016
    Hi we have two nesting boxes for three hens but they always used the same one. It seemed to cause problems when they all wanted to lay at the same time. I found an egg in the run because one of our chickens couldn't get into the preferred nesting box. The solution: I bought rubber eggs and put them into the nesting box which wasn't used. The next day we had an egg in each box! Worked a treat :) we now get eggs in both boxes and no more in the run.
  7. scooter147

    scooter147 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 30, 2008
    Welcome to the world of chickens. Like Mary said don't over think it.

    In my 40+ years of raising chickens I've come to the conclusion that they think its "safer" to lay where others have laid or to get in the box with another hen because she knows something I don't about that box.

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