Seriously Delicious?

My Very First 6 Chickens

*~* Livin', Lovin', Learnin' *~*
May 5, 2021
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I witnessed a hen in the nesting box (5 hens, 4 boxes), and another hen (delicious) get into the same box with her!! Why would a chicken do this? Original hen (coppertop) stayed, and the intruder finally left, but jeessh! Cant a gal lay an egg in peace?!🐓❤️
 

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It's not unusual for me to find three hens in my 16" x 16" x 16" nests at the same time, all laying an egg. On occasion I'll get a hen that I call a nest hog, won't allow another hen on the nest with her, but that is fairly unusual. Sharing a nest seems to be the norm for my flock. With my 16" nests they can all fit without having to sit on top of each other. There have been some photos on here of hens literally laying on top of each other in those 12" nests.

Each hen is an individual and has her own quirks. Chicken society if fairly complex and each flock has its own dynamics depending on the individuals that make it up. I have not seen this but some people have reported another good buddy hen or the dominant rooster seems to give the hen laying the egg moral support.

What you describe seems like a normal flock to me. Certainly nothing to be upset about.
 
From the looks of it your nesting box looks too wide. Nesting box should only hold 1 hen. 12 inches wide 14 inches tall and 12 inches deep.
Mark
Nesting boxes should only hold ONE hen? Tell it to the chickens. I routinely find two and three hens occupying a single commercial nest box.
 

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From the looks of it your nesting box looks too wide. Nesting box should only hold 1 hen. 12 inches wide 14 inches tall and 12 inches deep.
Mark
Thanks Mark, i have 2 external nesting boxes that are each a little under 4 ft wide. I used a silk scarf to create a divider (the blue material in the photo). It seems to work well, although, rarely do i see more than one hen laying at a time, let alone getting into the same nest, lol. I guess each box is 2ft wide give or take. Seems snug as it is. I have to look up my dimensions and check the standard. Thanks for your time and info, i appreciate it. 🐓❤️
 

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It's not unusual for me to find three hens in my 16" x 16" x 16" nests at the same time, all laying an egg. On occasion I'll get a hen that I call a nest hog, won't allow another hen on the nest with her, but that is fairly unusual. Sharing a nest seems to be the norm for my flock. With my 16" nests they can all fit without having to sit on top of each other. There have been some photos on here of hens literally laying on top of each other in those 12" nests.

Each hen is an individual and has her own quirks. Chicken society if fairly complex and each flock has its own dynamics depending on the individuals that make it up. I have not seen this but some people have reported another good buddy hen or the dominant rooster seems to give the hen laying the egg moral support.

What you describe seems like a normal flock to me. Certainly nothing to be upset about.
Ridgerunner, thats funny! My dominate hen was the intruder. She may have been trying to help her friend. I didnt find an egg in that nest. Thanks for that info. I feel a bit better now 😳🐓❤️
 
From the looks of it your nesting box looks too wide. Nesting box should only hold 1 hen. 12 inches wide 14 inches tall and 12 inches deep.
Mark
Mark, where did you hear this? Do you have a link so I could read it in context? Perhaps there is some specific situation where this matters, but I've seen hens make nests in some pretty small areas and some really open areas. The tiny Seramas can make a nest in something much smaller than a huge Jersey Giant. Many nests don't even have a depth as they don't have a top.

You often see a recommendation for 12" x 12" as the minimum size for a nest. People need guidelines so they need some numbers. There is nothing magical about these numbers but a nest this size will be big enough for any breed of hen to lay and should be big enough that a broody hen can hatch eggs in it. Most breeds can lay in something smaller. Many of us use larger nests quite successfully. One community nest box design is 2' x 4' and is supposed to handle 24 hens a day, but they are not good for a broody hen.
 
Mark, where did you hear this? Do you have a link so I could read it in context? Perhaps there is some specific situation where this matters, but I've seen hens make nests in some pretty small areas and some really open areas. The tiny Seramas can make a nest in something much smaller than a huge Jersey Giant. Many nests don't even have a depth as they don't have a top.

You often see a recommendation for 12" x 12" as the minimum size for a nest. People need guidelines so they need some numbers. There is nothing magical about these numbers but a nest this size will be big enough for any breed of hen to lay and should be big enough that a broody hen can hatch eggs in it. Most breeds can lay in something smaller. Many of us use larger nests quite successfully. One community nest box design is 2' x 4' and is supposed to handle 24 hens a day, but they are not good for a broody hen.
University of Iowa
Mark
 

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