Chicken Nesting Boxes : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

I ordered 50 laying hens. How many nesting boxes will I need? Thanks Maylene

-- Maylene (, January 31, 2001


Maylene; If they turn out to be as dumb as mine were, only one! No, actually I think they recommend one nest box per 4 or 5 hens. Mine would line up like planes on the taxi-way, waiting for ONE particular nest box, squaking at each other to "hurry up", I assume! They would step on each other, and three or four would try to crowd in at once. I put fake eggs in to tempt them to use the other boxes, etc. I had to separate half of the hens to another side of the chicken house before we got to the point where we were over run with eggs and butchered all but the 16 we have now. Are you planning to keep all 50? What variety/s did you order? Jan

-- Jan in Colorado (, January 31, 2001.

Jan, Thanks for your reply. I actually ordered 300 from I got 100 straight run leghorns. I figure there will be 50 laying hens in there and then the 50 or so cockrels will go to the local auction house. I also ordered 100 black giant Cockrels for butcher, and then MountHealthy gives you 50 free chickens with every 100 purchased. Only catch is you do not know the breed of the free chickens, but the woman on the phone told me that they most likely will be Rhode Island Red Cockrels. If so, that 100 will be for butcher too. If they are light weight cockrels, I will just take them to auction too, and let someone else deal with them. :o) So you are thinking maybe a dozen boxes for 50 hens???

-- Maylene (, January 31, 2001.

I have 30 hens and for two years they have had access to 10 nests. As stated before on this forum, they use only three of the nests!! Why, I haven't figured out. I have been tempted to remove the nests & just throw a pile of hay in the corner of the hen house. Gr-r-r!

-- Eve in FL (, January 31, 2001.

Jan, I got a chuckle out of your description of the hens lined up like planes on a runway. I have also seen the hens line up for one particular nest, and even climb in on top of another hen. Maylene, I think a dozen nest boxes will be plenty. mary

-- mary, texas (, February 01, 2001.

Just a thought! My Great Grandma told me that the hen's like the warmth of a just used box and that it is part of the pecking order. I have noticed my top hen dominates the box and the other's will wait for her to get out. Maybe it has no merit, but Granny sure loved her chickens.

-- Shau Marie (, February 01, 2001.

My friend - hit the internet on this one! In my experience it takes about 1 nest to every 2 to 5 hens for a small family (20 or fewer) and 1 t 6 for bigger families up to 40 or so. More nests are a whole lot better than fewer! If you see the hens trying to get into an occupied nest, you may have too few. GL!

-- Brad (, February 06, 2001.

I have 62 Super Mo leghorn laying hybrids and i put some cracked corn a little bit not alto and the hens seem to have acted like they found a new nest i also found that my hens like pine straw for bedding intheir nest but getting back to your question i use 1 nest per 3 hens

-- greg hargett (, August 30, 2001.

Greetings Maylene,

We have 12 nesting boxes that are lined with wood shavings. We tried straw but the hens cover their backs with it and it all falls out of the box when they jump out. We have about 40 birds in the coop of various breeds. The bantams lay their eggs on the floor, we've never had one go in a box. Except the banty rooster :) Our hens, too, favor particular boxes, usually the ones closer to the ground or in the corner where it's darker. The trouble we have is broken eggs . Not broken from the hens being egg eaters but broken from them hitting each other when being laid. We have a few moscovy ducks in the coop too and they like either the floor or the lower boxes. Best wishes if you go to the auction!!

-- Charleen inWNY (, August 30, 2001.

My Sister has 4 nests for 15 chickens. But they prefer only 1 or 2 of them. I've just started, I have 3 hens, they are only 3 weeks old, and so hand tame, and so smart already, they love their perches. Your question actually answered mine. One Buff Orpington, one Brahma, and one Austrolop. Thank-You! Chinta

-- CT (, December 31, 2001.

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