Sharing nests to lay eggs

Teresa D

Chirping
May 18, 2020
192
234
73
Wisconsin
I am curious how they will all share I have to two boxes built in and a little cardboard box on the ground with 7 girls. I only have two girls laying now. So far none of the other chickens have bothered the eggs that were laid. I am curious/anxious to see how it will work.
 

MarkJr

Yard Bird Enthusiast
Premium Feather Member
Jun 15, 2020
2,236
9,058
371
Elkton, OR
Well.... 10 layers and 3 boxes here.

I get one hen occupying their favorite box, then another hen hits the coop and sees her favorite box occupied. The one in the box typically screeches and bickers. The second hen then starts egg singing her head off thinking the one in the box will give up. Another comes in, decides that the second favorite is fine, and tomorrow she won’t procrastinate. This has to happen NOW. So second hen doubles her singing efforts because first hen is taking her sweet time and third hen is supposed to wait for her to do her thing. Hen four comes in and realizes favorite spots 1 and 2 are taken, and starts complaining to hen 1 2 and 3 that she needs one of those two spots like NOW. hen 1 screeches no way, hen 3 just stares in a trance. So, hen 4 piles in with hen 3 and starts her ritual. Hen 2 really loses her mind because now 2 have taken cuts. Hen 5 comes in and her favorite box is not occupied. She slides right in. Now hen 2 throws a royal meltdown because 3 have taken cuts. This causes hen 1 and 2 to start singing the song. Hen 6 pops through the door and............

Aaaahhhh the daily coop drama. It’s actually hilarious how much fuss they make over a cubic foot of room. From daylight to mid day, my coop is LOUD. Gave them 3 more boxes that they refuse to use.
 

Teresa D

Chirping
May 18, 2020
192
234
73
Wisconsin
Well.... 10 layers and 3 boxes here.

I get one hen occupying their favorite box, then another hen hits the coop and sees her favorite box occupied. The one in the box typically screeches and bickers. The second hen then starts egg singing her head off thinking the one in the box will give up. Another comes in, decides that the second favorite is fine, and tomorrow she won’t procrastinate. This has to happen NOW. So second hen doubles her singing efforts because first hen is taking her sweet time and third hen is supposed to wait for her to do her thing. Hen four comes in and realizes favorite spots 1 and 2 are taken, and starts complaining to hen 1 2 and 3 that she needs one of those two spots like NOW. hen 1 screeches no way, hen 3 just stares in a trance. So, hen 4 piles in with hen 3 and starts her ritual. Hen 2 really loses her mind because now 2 have taken cuts. Hen 5 comes in and her favorite box is not occupied. She slides right in. Now hen 2 throws a royal meltdown because 3 have taken cuts. This causes hen 1 and 2 to start singing the song. Hen 6 pops through the door and............

Aaaahhhh the daily coop drama. It’s actually hilarious how much fuss they make over a cubic foot of room. From daylight to mid day, my coop is LOUD. Gave them 3 more boxes that they refuse to use.
Sounds like an eggcellent discription. Thank you. Now I won't have a heart attack and try to get in there to help. I am that kind of momma,
I'd probably get in there trying to have them take turns. I am a bit of an overprotective momma!
 

Teresa D

Chirping
May 18, 2020
192
234
73
Wisconsin
Well.... 10 layers and 3 boxes here.

I get one hen occupying their favorite box, then another hen hits the coop and sees her favorite box occupied. The one in the box typically screeches and bickers. The second hen then starts egg singing her head off thinking the one in the box will give up. Another comes in, decides that the second favorite is fine, and tomorrow she won’t procrastinate. This has to happen NOW. So second hen doubles her singing efforts because first hen is taking her sweet time and third hen is supposed to wait for her to do her thing. Hen four comes in and realizes favorite spots 1 and 2 are taken, and starts complaining to hen 1 2 and 3 that she needs one of those two spots like NOW. hen 1 screeches no way, hen 3 just stares in a trance. So, hen 4 piles in with hen 3 and starts her ritual. Hen 2 really loses her mind because now 2 have taken cuts. Hen 5 comes in and her favorite box is not occupied. She slides right in. Now hen 2 throws a royal meltdown because 3 have taken cuts. This causes hen 1 and 2 to start singing the song. Hen 6 pops through the door and............

Aaaahhhh the daily coop drama. It’s actually hilarious how much fuss they make over a cubic foot of room. From daylight to mid day, my coop is LOUD. Gave them 3 more boxes that they refuse to use.
So they don't step on the other eggs??
 

MarkJr

Yard Bird Enthusiast
Premium Feather Member
Jun 15, 2020
2,236
9,058
371
Elkton, OR
I won’t say they don’t step on eggs. If you have thin shells they can occasionally break one. I chalk it up to ‘it happens’. I think I’ve had 2 or 3 this summer. Clean it up and change bedding as soon as possible.
 

rosemarythyme

Crossing the Road
Jul 3, 2016
12,212
22,607
792
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
I have 11 birds (7 are adults) and 3 boxes. The mostly use 1 nest box, though thankfully if that box is taken they'll shuffle over into the other boxes. Or they'll just wait. They know how to chicken better than we do, so let them figure out how they want to distribute themselves in the boxes.

I very rarely get cracked or broken eggs (if I do, they were thin shelled so nothing really to do with the hens getting in and out).
 

sourland

Broody Magician
Premium Feather Member
May 3, 2009
108,297
265,893
1,907
New Jersey
Well.... 10 layers and 3 boxes here.

I get one hen occupying their favorite box, then another hen hits the coop and sees her favorite box occupied. The one in the box typically screeches and bickers. The second hen then starts egg singing her head off thinking the one in the box will give up. Another comes in, decides that the second favorite is fine, and tomorrow she won’t procrastinate. This has to happen NOW. So second hen doubles her singing efforts because first hen is taking her sweet time and third hen is supposed to wait for her to do her thing. Hen four comes in and realizes favorite spots 1 and 2 are taken, and starts complaining to hen 1 2 and 3 that she needs one of those two spots like NOW. hen 1 screeches no way, hen 3 just stares in a trance. So, hen 4 piles in with hen 3 and starts her ritual. Hen 2 really loses her mind because now 2 have taken cuts. Hen 5 comes in and her favorite box is not occupied. She slides right in. Now hen 2 throws a royal meltdown because 3 have taken cuts. This causes hen 1 and 2 to start singing the song. Hen 6 pops through the door and............

Aaaahhhh the daily coop drama. It’s actually hilarious how much fuss they make over a cubic foot of room. From daylight to mid day, my coop is LOUD. Gave them 3 more boxes that they refuse to use.
Pretty much how things go regardless of how many nests you provide.
 

Baumshell28

Songster
Apr 16, 2020
185
504
109
Gonzales (Baton Rouge), Louisiana
12 hens and 4 DIY scrap wood boxes here. Their favorite box is the smallest and eggs ONLY EVER get laid in any of the other 3 boxes when they cannot physically get themselves squeezed into the preferred nest box. I rolled my eyes and walked away from the coop the other morning when there were already 3 hens actively laying their eggs in a 14-15 inch nest box and the fourth one went marching up the ladder bypassing 3 empty boxes squawking, then proceeded to start climbing on top of the 3 ladies already inside!
:heTHE STRUGGLE IS REAL!! :he
 

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