Sharing a nest box?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by jmeeter88, Aug 24, 2008.

  1. jmeeter88

    jmeeter88 Songster

    Aug 18, 2008
    New Hartford, NY
    I was looking over some chicken coop plans online and one of them says that 3 nesting boxes would be fine for 8 chickens... Will my chickens really share them OK or should I build 4 boxes for safety?
  2. EliteTempleton

    EliteTempleton Songster

    Aug 9, 2008
    SW MI
    The rule of thumb is one box per 3-4 chickens.

    I wish I had known this earlier than when I learned it, lol I made 4 boxes for my 3 because I knew I wanted to get another one next year, LOL, go figure they all use the same box now... lol, oh well live and learn eh? I had no idea they shared laying boxes! [​IMG]

    So yea, 3 boxes is fine for up to 9 comfortably and 12 is touching the line. If you want 13, you better have 4 boxes! [​IMG]
  3. Quote:I'd go with 4. But then I am a "more is better" kind of person...
  4. jmeeter88

    jmeeter88 Songster

    Aug 18, 2008
    New Hartford, NY
    Can they become territorial over nestboxes? How much time do they spend on the box each day?
  5. bills

    bills Songster

    Jan 4, 2008
    vancouver island
    I have six hens, and they all use the same nest, always. The one next to the one they use is exactly the same in every way (milk crates), but there has never been a hen use it since they started laying.

    There had been a few times where there is a line up, and occasionally two would be trying to squeeze in it. I think now they each have a reserved time for the nest. My ISA Browns get in, lay egg, get out. A hen may be in it for 10 minutes tops.

    Now if you have broody hens and you want chicks, the extra nests may work out, but otherwise with eight hens, I would only put in two nest boxes. [​IMG]
  6. amysue2012

    amysue2012 Songster

    Oct 6, 2007
    Montpelier Ohio
    I've got six laying hens right now and they all use the same box. Each one will sit there and squawk at the other if she is sitting in the box too long. I have five boxes in there as some times I have more hens laying but they all are determined to use the same one so...they just stand around squawking at each other waiting their turn.

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