Why do my chickens queue for the nest box

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by claireree, Nov 11, 2011.

  1. claireree

    claireree Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 9, 2010
    I have 7 chickens at the moment and have 3 next boxes but they all seem to lay in the same box is there any reason for this, I had 2 nest boxes together ad they all used to use that one, then I got another nest box and put it in a old rabbit hutch and one of the chickens went and started laying in that now they have all moved to this box.

    Is this normal behaviour, somedays I get 7 eggs and other days I will only get 4 and wonder if the others dont lay as they cant be bothered to wait for the box.

    Any ideas
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member


    There are a number of possible answers. Pecking order, in that everyone wants to lay in the Queen's nest. Also, it is possible that there is instinct at play. The hens may be building a "nest" or a clutch. By putting their eggs into one nest, their odds are increased that their individual DNA is in the clutch should someone brood the eggs and hatch chicks.
  3. JodyJo

    JodyJo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 27, 2010
    mine do the same thing...they know that box is safe...I will find 7 eggs in one and none in the others...silly girls...

    its normal. Not all chickens lay the same amount of eggs, so a few may lay every other day, one or two will lay every day.

    I have a Calif. White that has laid an egg a day, except for 2, for a month...then some girls don't lay like her.
  4. Manningjw

    Manningjw Chillin' With My Peeps

    Our 9 chickens used to do the same thing (not all of them were laying at the same time). Using porcelain eggs in the other nests helped. Now our chickens use all 4 nest boxes and not just the favorite one. Whichever nest they are using the least we toss an extra fake egg in and then they tend to use that nest.

    This may not work for your hens, our nest boxes are all pretty much identical.
  5. Ole rooster

    Ole rooster Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 25, 2011
    Milner, Georgia
    Then that means mine are the strange ones. I have 7 hens, 4 nest and they use all four. So that's strange? Oh no.
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2011
  6. erinszoo

    erinszoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 28, 2011
    North Central Oklahoma
    We have 10 girls and often find 7 eggs in one box. Other days we have 3 in one box and 2 in another. But we have actually watched them queue up for the boxes. One will be in laying an egg and two others will be perched on the edge of it waiting and clucking at the one in the box. Of course, I'd rather find 7 in one box than 7 in the middle of our yard ... we have one bird who just lays wherever the mood hits her. [​IMG] We've stepped on her eggs several times when we've gone out after dark to put them to bed and not seen them.
  7. stilldeb

    stilldeb Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 28, 2010
    NW Kentucky
    We have three coops. One has six nesting boxes in it. Of course, one nest box is the 'favorite' and everybody wants it. They will line up for it. If somebody is broody in it, they will come in, line up and stare at the broody, and then reluctantly give up and use another box (or the floor).

    Another has two nesting boxes and the eggs will either be in one box or in the corner.

    The third has four boxes and young pullets that just started laying this week...all in the same box.
  8. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

    Aug 20, 2010
    They nearly always do that. All want the same nest. But the idea one might not lay cause they don't want to wait suggests the bird can consciously choose whether to lay an egg or not, and they can't. It's like poop, when you gotta go, you gotta go! They can hold it for a while, but not forever.
  9. MarieNC

    MarieNC Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 10, 2010
    I have 6 chickens and 3 nest boxes and they all lay in the same nest box. Occasionally I will find one in another nest, but generally they want the one box and will wait in line for it. There have been some lively discussions amongst the girls jockeying for position.
  10. featherz

    featherz Veggie Chick

    Mar 22, 2010
    Saratoga County, NY
    I feel it necessary to post this pic whenever this topic comes up.. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]


    be thankful they are waiting in line!
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2011

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