How Many Nest Boxes do I Need for my Hens?

If you don’t have enough nest boxes for your chickens, you may get broken eggs. Chickens need nest boxes in which to lay their eggs.

These should ideally be lower than their perches so that they aren’t tempted to sleep in them at night (otherwise you end up with mess in the nest boxes, followed by messy eggs the next day!).

So how many nest boxes should you have? Well this does depend on the type of birds you are keeping since the more eggs they lay per year, the more hens are likely to want to use the boxes at the same time but in general, you should provide at least one nest box to every 4 laying hens.

This short video clip shows overcrowding in nest boxes. There are 3 hens in a single nest box all trying to get in to lay!

This is when you risk finding broken eggs in the box that can lead to vices like egg eating. Once a hen starts eating eggs and gets to like the taste of egg, she may start to break and eat eggs herself which is to be discouraged for obvious reasons!

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Tim Daniels

Tim is the founder of the poultrykeeper website and lives in Herefordshire, UK. He keeps Cream Legbar chickens, Silver Sebright bantams and hybrid layers for eggs, Abacot Ranger ducks, Brecon Buff geese and some quail.

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