Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Chickens only using certain nest boxes  (Read 2416 times)

Justin

  • Joined Jun 2012
  • Devon
Chickens only using certain nest boxes
« on: January 15, 2016, 09:49:45 am »
We now have 10 chickens in the house, so it's pretty much full. There are 4 nest boxes, 2 on each side of the house but, for some reason, the chickens only ever use the two on one side. As these are our first chickens, I've no idea if that's normal or why they might only use one side in preference to the other. Any thoughts?

Eve

  • Joined Jul 2010
Re: Chickens only using certain nest boxes
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2016, 10:11:16 am »
If the nest boxes are identical (not one side much darker than the other side for example) then it's just one of those 'chicken things'. They develop a preference or habit but might easily swap sides, too. Funny lot, chickens  :)

PK

  • Joined Mar 2015
  • West Suffolk
    • Notes from a Suffolk Smallholding
Re: Chickens only using certain nest boxes
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2016, 10:12:47 am »
I find hens are good at copying each other's behaviour, including choice of nest box. When one hen manages to find an escape route under the wire fence of the run very soon several others follow suit. When one decides to flutter over the fence, before you know it several will start doing the same.

sabrina

  • Joined Nov 2008
Re: Chickens only using certain nest boxes
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2016, 10:37:25 am »
My bunch like to nest in the same box even though there are 4. As they have free range of the place when the weather is bad I have found eggs in the stables among the hay or even in the ponies bed.

Quirkygirl

  • Joined May 2015
  • Cwmbran, Wales
Re: Chickens only using certain nest boxes
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2016, 07:46:24 pm »
My chickens would only use one of the nesting boxes out of three they had.. I was always told they would use the darkest one out of the way. Well my lot used the one right in front of the run next to the door lol.   :chook: :chook: :chook:

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: Chickens only using certain nest boxes
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2016, 10:20:25 pm »
Nest boxes?  We DREAM of our hens using nest boxes full stop, let alone certain ones!  ;D
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

Clarebelle

  • Joined Jan 2013
  • Orkney
Re: Chickens only using certain nest boxes
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2016, 10:18:21 am »
same here, they used to use the nest box then after coming back into lay after hatching a brood they now all lay behind the rabbit hutch on the floor or in an old hamster cage which was left in their shed one time!  ::)

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: Chickens only using certain nest boxes
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2016, 10:54:00 am »
You could try putting some pot eggs in the unused ones as a hint.

Justin

  • Joined Jun 2012
  • Devon
Re: Chickens only using certain nest boxes
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2016, 10:21:14 pm »
Thanks for all the replies, good to know it's just a 'chicken thing' and nothing to be worried about.

goosepimple

  • Joined May 2010
  • nr Lauder, Scottish Borders
Re: Chickens only using certain nest boxes
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2016, 05:54:53 pm »
They will tend to lay where another has laid before them, so put an egg or two in the other boxes and they may use them - they can sometimes double up squeezing themselves into a favourite box rather than using a vacant one.  Often they will tend to favour the most secluded box - the one furthest from the door for example.  If you really want them to use the other boxes then make them more 'hidden' by raising the sides or making the front entrance just big enough for them to get in.  Laying an egg is very important to a hen, they like their privacy!
registered soay, castlemilk moorit  and north ronaldsay sheep, pygmy goats, steinbacher geese, muscovy ducks, various hens, lots of visiting mallards, a naughty border collie, a puss and a couple of guinea pigs

 

Nest boxes.

Started by Andt

Replies: 10
Views: 4442
Last post January 17, 2012, 06:40:29 pm
by Dizzycow
Nest Boxes

Started by oor wullie

Replies: 6
Views: 1972
Last post October 31, 2014, 12:25:16 pm
by Victorian Farmer
what are you using in nest boxes !

Started by valmet10

Replies: 10
Views: 1107
Last post August 14, 2019, 07:26:10 am
by Rosemary
Separate Nest boxes

Started by Stereo

Replies: 9
Views: 3303
Last post March 18, 2014, 03:58:52 pm
by Stereo
Buckets as nest boxes

Started by Jon Feather

Replies: 6
Views: 1347
Last post October 17, 2016, 10:28:44 pm
by Dave C

Forum sponsors

FibreHut Energy Helpline Thomson & Morgan Time for Paws Scottish Smallholder & Grower Festival Ark Farm Livestock Movement Service

© The Accidental Smallholder Ltd 2003-2020. All rights reserved.

Design by Furness Internet

Site developed by Champion IS