Cluckology 101

Second of a series.

People getting chicks for the first time wonder: “How many nesting boxes will they need when they begin to lay?” An excellent question. And a futile one.

“They” say: 4 or 5 hens to a nesting box. Chickens don’t lay all day, after all. They share.

However.

Hens are very particular about where they lay. If “their” nest is occupado, they won’t just move on to another, identical nesting box. They will stand there and scream bloody murder at the hen who occupies “their” nest until she a) lays and moves on (this can take hours),  b) is so intimidated she submits and relinquishes the nest, or c) is physically pushed out by the waiting hen. The last one can go back and forth, again for hours.

I heard an unholy racket coming from the coop this morning, unusual, because so few of the hens actually lay in the coop. Do a search for “Hermione” on this blog, and you’ll see just how creative a hen can be. My girls have, by and large, made their own nesting boxes.

The only hens who still lay in the coop with any regularity are the Light Brahmas, and they all wanted to lay at the same time this morning, in the same spot. The laws of time and space being what they are, a cacophony ensued.

Thanks to Heedley’s Hens Facebook Page, I can redirect you to the video clip there.

And now, for your listening enjoyment, I give you “Hey you, get offa my nest”. In D flat.

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2 thoughts on “Cluckology 101

  1. We have 4 nest boxes for our 7 hens. Our smallest bantam has appointed herself NestBox Police, and has claimed ownership of all boxes. Even if she does not want to lay an egg, she protests vehemently if anyone else goes into a box. If it’s the early part of the day, she chases the intruder out and away by pecking at their toes. (I think she gets tired of this by the afternoon.) The other girls have to wait and hope they can pop out an egg while she’s distracted.

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