You could build a coop for six hen and outfit it with fifty six nest boxes and it still would not be enough. One morning they are going to get up and decide that the only suitable nest box for the day is on the top row, forth from the right. The other 53 nest boxes are suddenly unusable. The Icelandic coop has nine nest boxes, plus a group nest in the floor in front of the nine nest boxes. The also have a similar nest built behind the feeder. Some of the girls like to lay in the goat feeder. Suffice it to say, there are adequate accommodations for egg laying at the Buck ‘n Run Ranch. When I visited the Icelandic coop today I found this, three hens crammed into the same nest box.
As you can see, the one on the outside dropped an egg as I was taking pictures.
The one I most felt sorry for is the one who chose this box first but then got shoved to the back. All that can be seen is her rear end, sticking out the back where the eggs are supposed to roll out!
They must have worked it out amongst themselves because they all appeared for treats later in the yard. Before I knew it a fracas broke out in the Jail coop which houses two cranky Ameraucanas and my Isbars. It was as if the cast of Glee suddenly broke out in the eggs song! I turned my video on and went to investigate. This time the problem was real. All four nest boxes in that coop were occupied and there was a line of hens on deck out the front door! One bossy Isbar in the top right box was done but dragging out her 15 minute’s of fame while the line grew. She even waited to gawk at the egg laid by the girl in the bottom left next box. If you look closely you can see it drop just as my camera battery goes dead.
Hens are definitely crazy but more fun than a barrel of monkeys. We don’t have a barrel of monkeys yet but we have only been here less than two years. Here’s a closeup of the big bossy Icelandic in front. Ridiculous. It’s an egg. Take a prozac.