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can I put the egg laying box on the ground level?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

My wonderful husband has just built me a dream chicken coop for our flock that more than doubled during the summer.  (A hen went broody and we got so excited we let her adopt eleven little chicks).  We now have 16 hens and 4 young roos (will sort out the extra roos in due time).  But he built it while I was at work, ignored the sketches I had worked so long on to guide him, and the egg boxes, instead of being a few feet off the ground as I intended them,  are on the floor level, actually just a little below floor level, though with a layer of shavings should be about flush with the coop plus a flat two by four to separate the box from the coop to keep the shavings from being mixed around.  On the outside it's raised up enough that it won't be too low for collecting eggs, but I had always thought that the boxes should be elevated.  I'm wondering if I should have him redo this, a lot of work to make a new hole and cover the old one, or if I can leave it.  

 

I'm now thinking that if/when another hen goes broody, I could let her stay there since the babies will be on ground level, which might be an advantage.  We have twenty chickens now, and they free range on an acre all day and get locked up every night.  Our new coop is 8x10 with an attached mini run that is 8x6.  (was supposed to also be 8x10 but I was at work and my husband made an executive decision).  The run will be used mostly for the hens who like to sleep outside in the summer, for an occasional baby chick pen, and to allow the freedom to take the occasional overnight trip so we could in theory leave the chickens up the whole time without hassling someone to be here to let them out at dawn and put them up at dark. I wanted a coop/run big enough to do that.  

 

So if I really want the egg box moved, we need to do it now before we paint and decorate and lose our momentum, but I am afraid if we change it, the repair job may not look as perfect as it does now.  We had a small team of professional house builders to build it this weekend, but my husband will likely make the changes himself if we redo the boxes.  Any thoughts on how likely I am to regret floor level egg laying boxes?

 

post #2 of 6
Thread Starter 

Took me a bit to figure out how to attach some photos:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #3 of 6

Your coop looks great! I think the only thing you would regret about these nests is the hens possibly kicking the bedding of the coop into the nests. As long as the hens can easily get in and out of the nests, I don't see any problem at all. 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1088873/styrofoam-incubators-club ---Come join us! 

~Below Paradise Poultry~

 

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post #4 of 6

Oh, and :welcome

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1088873/styrofoam-incubators-club ---Come join us! 

~Below Paradise Poultry~

 

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http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1088873/styrofoam-incubators-club ---Come join us! 

~Below Paradise Poultry~

 

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post #5 of 6

You shouldn't have any trouble with the nesting boxes as they are, unless you mind kneeling, squatting or bending over to get the eggs.  I don't know your nest box size, but you can screw 1 or 2, two by fours to keep your litter in/out. I have two on the front of mine, but mine are 16" tall, 12" wide, it makes them really cozy and dark. You should do whatever you really want, because if you don't, you will just regret later. Seeing the pictures now, maybe not enough room for 2, two by fours, but i think you could get one across there to help with keeping in the nesting material and out the litter. My rooster is large and he even gets in the nesting boxes with only 8 inches of room between to top and the two by fours. I still don't know why he gets in there, but he seems to like it.


Edited by Zinniah - 10/26/15 at 2:16pm
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the quick feedback!  The coop is built just above/next to a short knee-high wall, so from the outside the egg box isn't so low.  In my planning I had intended the coop to be flush with the edge on that mini wall, so that 1) the slightly low box I had imagined would be easy to reach from standing, and 2) I wanted to be able to push soiled bedding right out the door and have it fall into a waiting wheelbarrow.  Another executive decision made while I was at work was to set it back a foot or so from the wall instead of on the edge, (I'm told the dirt was too soft in the corner, but I'm thinking that brilliant part of my plan was just overlooked).  So those two things are a little less convenient than I had in mind, but still I can put a wheelbarrow a short shovel toss down and away, and the egg box is still fairly easy to get into, and putting it higher won't really make it more or less accessible now.  Plus I delegate egg collecting to the kids at least half the time.  I'm still open to advice, but am leaning towards leaving it as is.  It's pretty close to my perfect plan, and as long as the imperfections aren't too troublesome, they are negated by the fact that my loving husband built it for me (almost) exactly like I wanted it.

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