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If I have 12 chickens (egg layers) do I need to have 12 nesting boxes? Sorry if this is a dumb question however, I have no clue.
 

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Happee ChickenSuperMomma
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R north, I believe that laying hens will often share nesting boxes.

If my memory serves me correctly, I think I've heard something like 1 or 2 boxes for every 6 to 8 hens. If I'm wrong, I'm sure someone will come along with better info. :)

I have 9 hens and about 4 of them seem to lay in the same box.
 

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i have 10 hens and 4 boxes and they line up to lay in 1 box. its so cute to see them in a line. but no you dont need 12 at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you everyone I appreciate the advice we are going to today to pick out chicks and to get things going.
 

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kahiltna_flock said:
There are no stupid questions. Yes, I read 1 to every 4. I am sure it isn't an exz
Sorry, phone issues. Exact science, I have 12 hens and 4 boxes. Sometimes they are all full with a line waiting. I do notice at times they sit till whoever is done in the preferred box(which seems to change daily in my coop) and then they go lay in that box. I will see 4 hens in 4 boxes. Check back later and there will be 4 eggs in one box. Silly birds.
 

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I have 7 hens and 2 ducks and I've got 3 boxes. None of the chickens actually use the boxes though. They lay in the nest the ducks have made in the corner on the floor. Lol.
 

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inunokanojo said:
I have 7 hens and 2 ducks and I've got 3 boxes. None of the chickens actually use the boxes though. They lay in the nest the ducks have made in the corner on the floor. Lol.
That's to funny! Well at least they will be easy to collect !
 

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We have 6 chickens and 3 boxes and get six eggs usually 4-5 in one box and 1-2 in the other box.
You can Put golf balls in them so the know where to go
 

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i have 10 hens and 4 boxes and they line up to lay in 1 box. its so cute to see them in a line. but no you dont need 12 at all.
I thought it looked like the line to an outhouse. lol

I never did build any boxes. They just make their own spot in the straw in a corner. It doesn't seem to hurt egg production. We currently have 11 chickens, yesterday we got 10 eggs, all in the same spot. BTW, I also didn't put in any elevated roosts. They roost in the straw in the opposite corner. Food and water are outside in the run to encourage them to go out. We open the gate to the pasture during the day, pen them up at night.
 

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Country Gurl
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4-6 hens to one box is fine Hon. Mine don't seem to have a problem. Now my Silkies plop down and do not move, they are so funny.

VIVI
 

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I'd give them some nesting boxes. That's what they need. They'll make do, but the need nesting boxes and perches. They prolly just think you aren't done yet.

People don't "need" beds or running water either but it's much better when you have that stuff.
 

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I did put an igloo type doghouse in there. Some have used it but most prefer the corner behind the igloo. On extremely cold nights they will sometimes sleep in there.As for the perches, I think it may be better for them to sleep in the straw. No frozen feet or birds dying from heat stress. On hot nights they will roost on an old table out in the run or line up on the chicken ladder going into the house. The fenced run is 10' x 25' fully covered with wire and half is under a roof that provides shade and keeps the snow off that end. I understand what you're saying and I won't argue that you're not correct. This was an impromptu chicken house for temporary shelter until I built a "real" hen house. This worked so well I just never changed it. It has been nearly ten years and I never had a sick bird or lack of eggs and the girls all seem contented. BTW, I get new chicks every spring and usually retire the old ones in the fall.
 

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rnorth38 said:
If I have 12 chickens (egg layers) do I need to have 12 nesting boxes? Sorry if this is a dumb question however, I have no clue.
No, I have 8 girls with 3 boxes. I am adding 3 more in a summer coop. We get temps of 122 degrees. I need more ventilation. If you girls go broody it will take a box out of use. With 12 girls, 4 boxes should be enough. I have known of 2 silkies going broody at the same time and sharing a box. But they are buddy's.
 

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kahiltna_flock said:
Sorry, phone issues. Exact science, I have 12 hens and 4 boxes. Sometimes they are all full with a line waiting. I do notice at times they sit till whoever is done in the preferred box(which seems to change daily in my coop) and then they go lay in that box. I will see 4 hens in 4 boxes. Check back later and there will be 4 eggs in one box. Silly birds.
Very silly.
 

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It is common for chicken see chicken do. One box one day another the next. They all have personalities and preferences. Buddy's will go broody and set on eggs to gather. My grandmother had a hen that went broody and sat on the barn cats new born kits, and attacked the cat when she tried to feed them. (It worked out, no lawyers, settled on co-parenting between them)
 
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