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Need opinions

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
2 things:

1. What's the best type of nesting box? I've had experience with inside stationary boxes as well as outside accessible ones, but leaning towards some type of bucket/tub/etc...that can be removed for easy clean up in my new coop. Want some input and suggestions, pros/cons.

2. If their is anything you would change/add/subtract from your coop what would it be?

This is a big project and I want everything to be as economical, chicken friendly and people friendly as possible.

Thanks y'all
post #2 of 20
I have 4 different nesting boxes. The standard that came with my small coop, a community tunnel nesting box with outside access, a shipping box flipped upside down with hole for access, and finally Rubbermaid tub with access hole and lid to easily get eggs.

My favorite is my tunnel community box. 20 hens share the box and very rarely do I get a broken egg. I collect about 16 eggs a day. Nice and dark, with lots of room.


This is the back access
Edited by curious chickee - 1/27/16 at 7:15pm
post #3 of 20
We have inside stationary boxes, and I have no complaints, I just scoop mine out with a garden shovel to clean them out. We have 15 boxes and it takes about 10 minutes to clean them this way.

I can't think of anything I would add to my coop, but the thing I most enjoy is I have three cages built in about 4 1/2 feet off the ground. We use them for smaller chicks that are old enough to not be under a heat lamp, but too small to be in with the big guys. Also they come in handy when we have one that is hurt or needs to be seperated for any reason. Each cage measures approximately 4' x 2' with a 2' height. Then I have shelving for shavings, food, and various supplies above the cages. Obviously we have a walk in style coop, if your doing a small one this wouldn't be possible.
post #4 of 20
Thread Starter 
Hankfam, it's more of a chicken barn. lol.

Curious chickee, I'll have to look into this community box. Never even heard of this before
post #5 of 20
Lol I guess so. Its 10 x 12. When we decided to get chickens I decided to build big, good thing I did since chickens are addicting!! :-)
post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hankfam View Post

Lol I guess so. Its 10 x 12. When we decided to get chickens I decided to build big, good thing I did since chickens are addicting!! :-)

Mine is currently 12 x 16. My husband said the 12 x 13 design was too small and I needed more room. Well ok then! They are certainly addicting! I love my chickens☺️
post #7 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by jordan4911 View Post

Hankfam, it's more of a chicken barn. lol.

Curious chickee, I'll have to look into this community box. Never even heard of this before

Found it researching nesting boxes on BYC then combined it with the tunnel box for extra darkness and cooler summer temps. Everyone I talked to says their hens are always trying to share the same box so this eliminates that problem. I have had up to four in the box at the same time, but usually just two, one on each side.

My new breeding center is 12 x 16, mostly finished. 3 divisions, breeding 1, breeding 2, broody/ grow out pen, then shelves. 1 shelf/ modern game bird showmanship bird coop, on other side three shelves (brooding boxes, young grow out pen)

My layer pen has a small broody coop, 4 x 6 coop roost, with a 22 x 23 enclosed run
post #8 of 20
How do you use the nest? What’s its purpose? If it’s just for laying eggs then about anything will work. I’ve used a 7-1/2” x 11-1/2” kitty litter bucket. You’ve heard about the opposite, the community nest box but I haven’t used that. Both of those are unsuitable for me, by the way. I’ve used open topped and almost totally enclosed. If you have egg eaters you might want a roll-away nest so there may be some special considerations.

I let my broody hens hatch in the nests. That’s why the cat litter bucket (bucket, not bin) is unsuitable for me. The first baby chicks that hatch often like to crawl up on Mama’s back. If she is sitting too close to the edge, they might miss the nest and fall all the way to the floor when they fall off. I need a nest big enough so she is not close to the edge. Having it enclosed and with a top helps too.

A broody hen is why I would not use a community type nest either. During the incubating phase wouldn’t be too bad but I would not want her to hatch in one. Too much of a chance for problems.

If ease of clean-up is such a chore for you about the best thing I’ve seen is to build a frame to hold a bin or bucket that can be lifted out. A cat litter bin works great, you can often get free four or five gallon buckets ate bakeries or deli’s, Walmart sells many different sizes of bins. Just build a frame to hold it in place when a hen stands on the edge getting in or out. You don’t want it falling or tipping with eggs in it.

I built my lower nests with half inch hardware cloth bottoms. I use hay for a nesting material, long grass that I cut and dry myself. Just by turning that hay over a lot of trash falls right out. It only takes a few seconds for me to scoop that hay out and put some more in for my nests, bottom or top ones. If you use something like hay, straw, Spanish moss, rags, stuff like that, it shouldn’t take long to clean it, but if you use shredded paper or wood shavings I can see it would be a lot easier to just take it out an dump it.

I integrate young chickens a lot so I built a juvenile roost, separate from the main roosts and a bit lower. This gives the young chickens a safe place to roost away from my adults that is not the nests. It is right over my nests though, so I use the top of my nests as a droppings board. If you use a bin or bucket or build an open top nest you have to be a bit careful about them sleeping above it.

I don’t like the word best the way it is usually used on this forum. We are so unique that what is best for you may be unsuitable for me.

I’m constantly adding or subtracting from my coop. You have to be flexible. One thing I strongly suggest is to consider your comfort and convenience when you built the coop. You can follow the link in my signature to get some of my thoughts on how much room you might need, or at least some of the things that I think should go into that thought process. A lot of that is for you, not the chickens. I find that the tighter I try to shoehorn them into a space the more behavioral problems I have to deal with, the less flexibility I have to deal with issues, and the harder I have to work. So one of the most important thing I like in a coop is enough room to be flexible. It’s a lot less stressful to me.

I built a couple of my nests so I can lock a hen in there if I want to. That has been really handy for different things. It gives me extra flexibility in dealing with some things.

I built a 3’ x 6’ brooder into my coop. The bottom is ½” hardware cloth. For many reasons I prefer to brood in the coop when I don’t have a broody hen. But that also is used as a broody buster or a place to isolate a chicken if I need to. I built it under my main roosts so the top is a droppings board. Having a place built into the coop where I can isolate a chicken is really handy. The way I manage mine it is indispensable.

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

Reply

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

Reply
post #9 of 20
My broody does not use the community nest. I have a seperate area for her, as soon as she has proven as a broody, I move mom and eggs to the broody coop inside my run.

My community nest is very easy to clean, open back and scrape shaving out. My other nesting boxes take longer, I do use shavings as I have found straw gets moldy in the run and emptied nesting boxes goes into the run for my deep litter.

Agree with having your brooder in the coop, when I don't have a broody hen the broody coop becomes my brooder,plus my breeding center will have brooding boxes and grow out pens all within the coop, makes early integration easier, mine began integrating at 3 weeks old, lots of hiding spots for the tiny babies in the coop for safety.

Nesting boxes all comes down to what works best for you, my friend who uses many breeding pens uses anything she finds for her nesting boxes, drawers, dog houses, dog crates, Rubbermaid boxes, her birds don't care.
post #10 of 20
Thread Starter 
Curious chickee and ridgerunner do you have pictures of your broody coop inside the coop?

Currently my barn plans include 2 coops in the barn. One for chickens, one for growing turkeys or extra chickens, I also have a separate broody/juvenile coop. Plus plan on putting broody chickens and 1 roo in my current house and using it strictly as a broody house. Does that make sense?
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