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thelurch

Confused about right number of nestboxes for 7 hens!

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I have a cube which opens into a very large WIR, about 5 weeks ago we added another 4 hens to our 3 to try and fill the cube. Did the whole introductions thing gradually which seems to have been ok, no injuries.

Now they are all sleeping and laying in the cube, I have been concerned about "congestion" for the nestbox. A couple of times I've opened the egg port and found 4 hens sat on top of each other!

 

Omlet state that the cube is ok for up to 10 hens which is fine for roosting, tbh once they are snuggled down I think about 20 hens could sleep in there it's so roomy but the nestbox is the problem.

 

I have read this months quiz in your chickens magazine and there is a question about how many nestboxes you should supply for your hens, the answer states one nestbox for every four hens. So technically I need another nestbox. But I designed my WIR to enable egg collection without going in the run to another box, they all seem to lay in the cube nestbox ok so will the cube be ok on it's own?

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Thanks for replies thus far, redwing interesting idea about making a divider, might trial that as top hen likes to sit in the middle of the nest and guard the entrance which makes the new hens very reluctant to try and get in there, with a divider at least there would be more privacy but I guess there's the possibility of getting two hens trying to lay each side at the same time. But good idea though :-)

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My hubby made a divider for our cube nest box as there were a lot of arguements (even with only 3 hens) which always seemed to happen on weekend mornings. It works fairly well in that they will lay in both compartments - though the back one is the favoured space. Sometimes two of them will squash into it while the other compartment is empty! Typical hens! He made it in thick ply by tracing the shape, cut two circles into it and then attached a divider at right angles.

Gill

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My hens will only lay on the left hand side of the nest box, they hate sharing and make a huge fuss if it is occupied when they want it! I had one laying yesterday, while one bokked her head off on the roosting bar, another was on the ladders with a fourth hen bokking at the bottom, this all upset Onion (the cock) who also joined in!!! :wall:. I don't know what is wrong with the middle or the right side, but they won't go there, if desperate they sit on top of the first hen!

I did use the Eglu as a spare, but they wouldn't go in it, so I have given up and left them too it - silly girls!

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I just presumed that two would happily sit together to lay, only two of ours are laying occasionally at the moment and are happy to sit together but when our others start I hope they will too, it seems a shame to have to make a divide out of wood after having chosen a plastic house!

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