Rejected nest box?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by deacons, Dec 9, 2013.

  1. deacons

    deacons Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 3 nesting boxes for 8 chickens. They seem to be pretty casual about which one to use, though typically they use all three relatively equally, just depends on the day. It seems that some mornings, they all wait in line to pile into the same one, and other days, they divide evenly among all three.

    About two nights ago, when we had extremely cold weather, I suspect someone may have slept in one of the boxes- I found a lot of poop in it the next morning, which could not have gotten there from anyone roosting above it. Cleaned it out, added fresh straw (which they typically LOVE to play in)- but now a few days later, the fresh straw is still undisturbed. Is that box now suddenly off-limits for some reason?

    I love these silly girls, but just when I think I'm starting to understand them, they do something else that makes no sense to me :)
     
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    There seems to be peer pressure. Perhaps, it is a drive to make a clutch, a desire to put their DNA in the clutch in case it would be brooded. Perhaps they are following the lead of the ruling hen. Whatever the case may be, it is very common for 6 to 8 hens to all use the same box and pile up the eggs, ignoring completely the other boxes. Why they choose a particular box is something known only to them but it sometimes has to do with which box is positioned to be darker and more private.

    Understand it all? Never. They are curious creatures. [​IMG]
     
  3. LRH97

    LRH97 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have six boxes, 3 on top and 3 on bottom. My hens almost always lay in the top 3. Very rarely have I found eggs in the bottom. If and when I do, it's always in the middle one. I guess they just have favorites. (My hens' favorite box is the top left; I find like six eggs there every day!)
     
  4. deacons

    deacons Chillin' With My Peeps

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    But doesn't it seem like more than coincidence that they stopped using this one after someone had a sleepover there? I don't know why that would matter, but before that they used it as much as they other two boxes.

    I don't really care, they can be wherever they want, it just seemed odd to me.
     
  5. deacons

    deacons Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 8, 2013
    New Hampshire

    I think that's one reason I like chickens so much ;)
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2013

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