2x4 Insulated Nest Box Construction - Help Please!!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by jbher, Mar 11, 2014.

  1. jbher

    jbher Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi all!! I'm in the process of designing the build out for our coop. I already did the design aspect and now I'm actually doing the construction part. I am stuck on the nest box. I have been trying to look at other people's construction pictures of their nest boxes. I'm worried about using only plywood construction - about it being sturdy enough. But I also am thinking I now want the latch door to open in the front - instead of the top. Because I want it easier for my children to open, versus reaching up and into the nest box. Also - I will have two windows above the nest boxes. The coop will be sided with james hardie siding that we already purchased. I want the nest box to be insulated as we have very cold winter's (many -20's and colder this past winter) and I do not plan to heat the coop in any way (the rest of the coop will also be insulated). The space I have for the nest boxes is 4' long. I currently have it configured as 18" high at the coop and going down to 14" high at the back of the nest box then 12" deep. Is 12" not deep enough??

    Anyway I got long winded - anyone have pictures on how I can construct a good heavy duty nest box that can be insulated (rigid foam I'm thinking) and then covered with plywood and sided...

    Thank you!!
    Jen

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  2. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You are going to have to frame the nesting boxes or you don't have anything to screw to. How are you going to prevent it from sagging? I'd extend legs down to the ground to support the weight. It will also provide some dead air space between the siding and the interior wall that will help insulate as well. I made my nesting boxes of varying depths and even my biggest brahma squeezes her big butt into the smaller 12x12s

    The only other comment is you want a trap door for the top of the nesting boxes as added security. The weight of the door will keep it shut and if you have raccoons, it's harder for them to lift it up. Kids are also forgetful and forget to latch doors when they're done. Build a step for them to stand on to reach the lid. Add a kickstand so the lid doesn't fall down while they're in there. Kids can always go through the people door and gather eggs that way.
     
  3. yyz0yyz0

    yyz0yyz0 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mine is only a double nest box and I made it out of 3/4in plywood and built it like your second image. I started with the two sides extending into the coop framing then cut the bottom to also extend into the coop framing, I used some 1x1 wood at the inside of the floor/side joints for screwing to and the same thing for the back of the box. then I built a lid which attached to the coop and it's a very solid and weather tight.

    You can see some shots of it in my post of my build:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/784144/the-rubber-room-is-open-for-business
     
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  4. Mtn Laurel

    Mtn Laurel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    Nest boxes were the hardest to figure out for us, too. I took a lot of pics of the nest box while under construction for that reason. It's a communal box about 3 1/2 ft. long, big enough for 3 large birds to be comfortable in or 4 girls to squeeze in. Ours opens from the front, which comes down on hinges. The roof of the box is stationary. It's secured with a latch on each end. We use the spring-loaded eye and hook that you have to move a portion of it back to enable it to be opened.

    Pics can be found on my coop page: https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/virginia-woodland-coop

    Hope this helps!
     
  5. conny63malies

    conny63malies Overrun With Chickens

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  6. thomasboyle

    thomasboyle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I made my nesting boxes out of 1/2" plywood only, using wood glue and a nail gun to put it together. I have 5 boxes (approx 12"x12x12" each) spanning the width of the coop area. But mine are located inside a shed, and not subject to weather, predators etc. If you went with 3/4" plywood, you could make it very strong and secure. If you want framing, use 2x2's. They will take screws and nails no problem, take up less room than 2x4's and are a cheaper too.
     
  7. conny63malies

    conny63malies Overrun With Chickens

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    And less weight too... The coop I build weighs several hundred pounds .
     
  8. jbher

    jbher Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had your coop bookmarked actually! Love your coop!! I really like how your nest boxes are inset a little inside the coop. I wonder if that would help with keeping them warmer in the winter months being inside the coop even just a little... have you noticed any benefits or drawbacks to that design?

    Thank you! That's a great idea with adding the 1x1 on the inside - I bet that helps with making it more solid. I think I will go with the 3/4in plywood and the 1x1 on the inside's.
     
  9. Kidhenduckohmy

    Kidhenduckohmy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Read you want to change the type of door you have for nest box. We put our door for our nest boxes on the back. It was because our nest boxes are completely inside our coop so putting the door on top was not an option. One problem we have is the hay that we use for bedding and other dirt gets in the edge and the door doesn't close well. I have to clean it out with my finger to get door to shut tight. When I make my new coop I am making my door so there are no ledges. Might put mine on top?
     
  10. Mtn Laurel

    Mtn Laurel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    Thanks! We've been really happy with it and the girls seem to enjoy it, too. We brought the box inside the coop by a few inches to keep it from jutting out so much in the pathway and in front of the stoop. It works well both inside and out, we've not had any problems with it. No leaks, etc. We experienced some extended frigid weather - in the single digits and below zero - and I did put a lot of extra shavings into the box for warmth. I gathered eggs from inside the coop for about a week so as to not disturb the extra amount of shavings I had in there by opening the exterior door. The box is deep enough to hold about 5 inches of shavings and they not be disturbed when the door is opened from outside. I piled about 7 or 8 inches in there.

    Not sure the design keeps it any warmer but it helps if you put some door weather stripping around the edges if you find you have any gaps or cracks. We do deep litter and I think that has helped with the cold as the coop is always about 10 degrees warmer than outside. We also stored several bales of straw and bags of shavings in the coop during the winter. They warmed up a bit from the sun coming in through the windows during the day and I think helped with keeping the place a little warmer.

    I love the communal box. It's easy to get all eggs at once, easy to clean, and it allows enough light so that I know what I'm putting my hand into! The only drawback is that - no matter how many nesting boxes you have or how big they are - chickens will be chickens. I'll hear all sorts of ruckus and the box will be packed full of girls, each one wanting to lay in the very same spot! However, they fought for the same box when I had individual boxes, too. They usually will settle on two at a time and rotate but it's fun to watch them fuss and fume for their favorite spots!
     

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