The Perfect Nesting Box

We have quite a few nesting boxes in Cluckingham Palace. There are the original nesting boxes.

20130709-104637.jpgThese have been in the coop since day one, long before the girls were laying. They have never used them.

There is their “baby box” where they lived when they were tiny chicks, before Cluckingham Palace was built.

20130709-104951.jpgBeatrix has used this once or twice.

There is the nesting box from the “coop under the stairs”

This has been rejected in every location. It is just NO GOOD!

There is the large nesting box near the window.

This is wonderful for sleeping in. They all sleep together here in the winter and Amber sometimes sleeps here in the summer. She likes looking out the window. Maybe she is watching for bears. But lay an egg here? I think not!

And then there is the Perfect Nesting Box.

This is the preferred nesting box and apparently the only one suitable for laying eggs.

As a result, there is often quite a commotion in the morning at egg laying time. Today, Beatrix was in the nesting box first, but she came down to have yogurt and lost her place. When the yogurt was gone, Prudence needed it, so Beatrix would have to wait. But before Prudence could lay her egg, Briana, decided that she needed it. There was so much commotion that I went out to see. And this is what I found.

Prudence was not giving up easily. It is possible for two hens to lay in this box, side by side, but it seems there is a “good” side which is the proper place to lay an egg. Prudence was on that side, so Briana simply got under her.
While I was taking the picture, Beatrix decided she had waited long enough.

Her arrival was just too much for Prudence who indignantly got down.

When I left, Beatrix and Briana were trying to figure out if they could actually share the box.

In a while everything quieted down. Later, when I went back to check, I found this.

So it had all worked out….

…..and everyone was friends again.

It turns out that keeping hens and teaching kindergarten are similar in many ways.

About patti

I am a retired kindergarten teacher, tending a new kind of garden now, raising chickens and exploring permaculture. I live with my husband, Bill, my beloved dog, Fergus and my cat, Mighty Merlin. We have a small cottage and a tiny bit of land called Brookwood Shire. It is our sanctuary.
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7 Responses to The Perfect Nesting Box

  1. wspines says:

    Hi Patti,
    Those girls are just so darn cute. I have the same troubles at my house.. Mrs Brown tried the 2 next boxes in her coop then sneaked through an opening into Murphy’s coop and finally laid an eggs there.. The nest boxes are all the same!!!!! Great pictures.
    Cooler weather

  2. pattigail says:

    They are very cute…as are 5 year olds. But sharing seems difficult for both. It is wonderfully cool today but the bugs are vicious!

  3. This is just too funny!! They keep you busy!

  4. pattigail says:

    I couldn’t believe it when I went up and found Prudence and Briana. They make me laugh every day.☺

  5. If you can’t see the difference in a perfect box and an unacceptable one, that is only highlighting a flaw in your eyesight. Clearly there’s a huge difference.

    Our girls are the same, they all lay in the same box, on the same side and queue up and make a ruckus and really cause problems if timings align. But I love it when one goes in when an egg is already there. She tenderly nudges it under her and settles on it to keep it warm while she contemplates adding to the pile.

    Recently we were gone for a while and a neighbour was caring for our chooks. The nest box is also where they often sleep. And when they sleep there, they poo there. I always clean away the poo in the morning but my neighbour isn’t diligent and so poop builds up in the nest box. Once, when that happened, the chooks actually started laying in another box. When I came home there were 7 eggs waiting in the wrong box (obviously my neighbour didn’t think to look anywhere else besides the perfect laying box). I took the eggs, cleaned the nest/laying box and then laying was once more done in the only correct laying spot.

    Funny little critters, aren’t they!

  6. pattigail says:

    They certainly are. I love when they sit on someone else’s egg as well. They seem so content to have eggs under them. Though once when Amber saw that Prudence had HER egg she was very upset! She complained until I came out to see what the ruckus was. I took the egg from Prudence and showed Amber I had it and then she was ok. It is when I am settling these little “spats” that I feel like I am back in kindergarten.

  7. Pingback: The Egg with No Shell | Life at Brookwood Shire

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