Nest Box Woes

There’s a bit of hen house trouble in our coop. Our girls are having some problems learning to share. We have six chickens and six nest boxes. So you would think there shouldn’t be any conflict over where a gal is going to lay an egg.


Our girls have developed a “habit”. Wherever the first egg is laid in a day – all the other girls want to lay their egg in the exact same nest box. Never mind the 5 other boxes sitting there empty!

This, luckily, has led to only a couple of egg casualties from accidental stomping. More often, however, tiffs break out between the girls. When one girl’s time is up or the next hen in line gets impatient, ย the waiting hen will try to shove out the incumbent, or as shown in these photos, simply climb right on top of of the other gal.

Chickens In Nest Box

I’ve even seen a line form with 2 or 3 hens waiting patiently for the other to wrap things up!

For now, I enjoy the antics as another amusing personality trait of my gals. But I will monitor closely to ensure it doesn’t turn into full-on hen wars.


  1. mommerz June 18, 2015 at 6:37 am

    Ah, yes, we have seen this behavior as well. Its quite common. Where one egg is laid, everyone else must follow, figuring it must be a good safe place if somebody already used it, so, of course, it becomes absolutely necessary that everyone else use it too! ๐Ÿ™‚ You may consider placing a fake egg in the other boxes to encourage the use of them. We’ve done so with success, though they do seem to favor certain boxes. Good luck!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. humblebeefarms June 18, 2015 at 6:41 am

    Great idea! I’ll try the fake egg and see if I can entice the gals to expand their horizons a bit. They definitely have favorites though. They won’t even lay on one side of the coop. Glad to hear I’m not the only one with this issue!

  3. Harmoni~Zen Skin RAN Farm Zen Goats June 18, 2015 at 12:50 pm

    Yes we have the same situation. 6 hens 6 boxes…..laying in 2 boxes. Tried placing real eggs in other boxes, nothing. Now I leave them to their own desires. Nobody gets hurt & no broken eggs. Too funny.

  4. fairfarmhand79 June 19, 2015 at 6:58 am

    Yup. This happens all the time. The most popular chicken lays the first egg and all the other ladies stand around with their legs crossed!