New Chicken Nest Box(es)

When we built the chicken coop from 2 partial coop sets, one of the double nest boxes was incomplete. We didn’t worry because each box can keep 4 hens happy so we could have satisfied 8 hens with the double box we had left. Frank built a temporary wall to cover the hole where the 2nd double set was to go and we left it at that.

Then our chooks started sleeping in their nest boxes (this happened on their 2nd night). All 3 tried to cram into one half of box. We took pity on them and removed the divider so their double nest box became a double wide box.

What with all that sleeping and pooing they were doing in their nest box we figured we really should give them a different place to lay.

Yesterday, just as the chooks were ready for bed, Frank put the finishing touches on their new double box.

Routing out some rails to hold the sides.

Old bottom, top and divider but new sides and back.

A perfect place to lay, don’t you think? (Those are the decoy eggs that are supposed to help the chickens know where to lay.)

Apparently, the chooks don’t. This morning there were no eggs when we opened the coop door at 6:30. At 7 we heard the laying-squawk. We weren’t sure who squawked but when we checked, there was an egg in exactly the same spot we found yesterday’s. The new nest box was dug into nests with the decoys in the centre of each half, but no hen egg.

Today’s egg was bigger than yesterdays (46g rather than 38g) so it was most likely Bronwyn. A bit later Bronwyn made the squawk and we could see it was her. We raced down again to check but there were no new eggs so I’m calling that confirmed – Bronwyn was the layer of the first egg (and waits for 15 minutes to announce it).

At 8, another squawk – this time Rosie (who had been up in the nest area for a while). And sure ’nuff, another egg. 38 grams (like Bronwyn’s first) but a darker red/purple (like Rosie’s colouring). So, despite my protestations that Rosie is younger and less developed than the others, I think she’s laying.

Which leaves Isabel. She’s spent long stretches of time up in the nesting area this morning – something that the hens don’t do. Is she psyching herself up for something big or just trying to figure out what all the fuss is about?


About Laura Rittenhouse

I'm an American-Australian author, gardener and traveller. Go to my writing website: for more. If you're trying to find my gardening blog, it's here.
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