The Clown Car

There is no difference between this:

clown car

from the television show “Modern Family”

and this:

nesting box jam

There are not two, but three hens squeezed into this nesting box. Etheldred is flat as a pancake underneath Agatha and Ruby. No one is willing to budge. No one can lay her egg because in order to lay, a hen must, at the last moment, stand up. Impossible in this jam.

Note that all of the other nesting boxes are empty.



  1. Out of 12 laying hens, my Buff Orp. is the only hen that can’t be bothered with the tomfoolery of squeezing into the nesting boxes with the other girls…

  2. ahahahahaha, That is hilarious! Oh dear, thank you for the belly laugh this morning Terry!

  3. Terry, do you remove them and put the in separate boxes or let them work it out themselves?

  4. Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha, These chickens are hilarious. So much like humans.

  5. Now I know why the chicken crossed the road – to get into the nesting box with the neighbors.

  6. Hilarious photos both!! I love your speckled Sussex. That breed is on my list for chicks next year. How are their temperaments? Realizing that each hen has their own individual personality but thought you could give your experience with this beautiful breed.

    • Outgoing, people-friendly, not aggressive to others, loud, curious and strong individuals. Love having one or more in the flock.

  7. Silly girls! My 3 mostly lay in one box but I haven’t witnessed a pile up like this. Our cat has claimed the other box as her favorite nap spot.

  8. That’s what I call moral support. I’m always looking for a good laugh! Thanks Terry, hope I face a dilemma like this one day.

  9. The weather has been so depressing but this photo made me laugh out loud! I so miss our farmette and the laughs the animals always brought to the day. I’ve seen Siouxsie climb into the box with other chickens but I thought that was just her clueless way. Thanks for the laugh!

  10. So funny! and I think the occasional lone egg I find on the coop floor underneath the nest boxes is the result of one of the hens waiting for a space, not being able to ‘hold it’ any longer. Luckily, they rarely break. What is it with the having to all be in the same nest box thing? I almost always find all three eggs in the same box. 5 more peepsters coming on. Should I install more nest boxes, or just watch all 9 of them trying to fit in the same one?! Sheesh. thanks for the laughs!

    • A good rule of thumb is that you need at least two boxes for up to five hens, after that, one box for every 5 additional chickens. Even then, you can have 6 empty boxes, and everyone crammed into one. Sigh.

  11. CLASSIC!!! What goes through their silly little heads.

    But my girls too have their favorite nests and will stand there and scream for an hour at the hen who’s in it rather than lay in one of the other perfectly good nests.

  12. I have visions of Tilly in your book rolling her eyes and getting busy elsewhere. Hilarious! What a great post for the week.

    • Tillie is based on a real hen that didn’t have any patience for that. She really did go off on adventures. However, she also had long broody spells but she did NOT put up with others in her box. For a little hen, she knew how to claim her space.

  13. I love your blog, and this post is too funny! It was great talking to you at the Kid Lit gathering.

  14. Too funny! And too true! We have 7 nest boxes. I swear we could get away with two. *sigh* Laura posted your blog on FB – I’m glad she did. It gave me a chuckle today!

  15. I was going to say that those are funny looking chickens when I saw the first picture. Now I realize, after seeing the second picture, that those are just funny looking clowns. :)