Will they share?


9 Years
Jun 11, 2010
I have 8 16 week old pullets and 3 nesting boxes, and I was wondering, if 4 hens lay overnight what happens? Will they lay if there's already an egg in the box? I suppose this is a silly question seeing as you put golf balls or ceramic eggs in the boxes to show them where to lay, but now that I'm waiting the unendurable wait I'm coming up with all kinds of questions.

Thank you much!
I see posts here where all the hens want the same box. So, I didn't even put a divider in mine, it is 32" long. They made 2 nests in the hay, but only lay in one spot. Goofy girls.
My girls don't mind laying in a nest with an egg or eggs already in it.
Seems they prefer it, even!
Unless you have light in the coop all night, they shouldn't be laying overnight.
As anxious as you are to have eggs, it seems unlikely you will leave eggs in the nests overnight which were laid late in the day.
It is my understanding that one nest is needed for every 4 hens, so, in theory, you have enough nests for 12 girls. Your 8 should be fine.

Brightest Blessings!
Yes, you have plenty of nests. They probably will not use them all. They don't lay during the night, and you should not let them sleep in the nest boxes, because you will have poopy eggs.
I'm exactly the same as you, 8 hens and 3 boxes. Yes, they will share the same box, I've had two trying to get into the same box and/or a lot of squawking if one doesn't hurry up !

Just the other day, I had all 8 eggs in one box !!
Mine 5 share a 1 foot by 4 foot nest box, 4 lay in one end and 1 in the opposite one. Always in the same spot. I can tell because my only barred rock girl lays a light pink brown egg and the golden comet girls all lay darker golden brown eggs in the opposite side of the nest box
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I have 12 girls and 4 boxes. For the longest time they all just layed in the same box. I'd tried keeping golf balls in the other three boxes hoping to encourage them. I came across some colored easter eggs when cleaning out the garage. I placed a couple in each of the unused nest boxes and by the next day they are usuing all four boxes. I'm still getting more in their original favorite, but they now use the others too. Perhaps they just wanted someone else to try it first. LOL!
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I have a broody hen sitting in a nest and they all seem to want to lay in her nest, so no you don't have to worry about it, they don't usually lay at the same time either.
Honey, its a nesting box, not a parking spot! The ladies love to share - once a hen lays an egg in that nesting box, the box becomes twice as attractive to the others. The more the merrier!

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