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Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Rainman, Jan 7, 2009.
They seem to be practical and take up less space than regular nesting boxes for egg laying .
Quote:OK,,you said it,,,,,what is it???????
What is a tunnel nest? Can you show pics?
I Googled it: sorry, no pictures.
Tunnel nests or community nests used to be used to reduce egg eating and increase the number of clean eggs. A tunnel nest is typically two feet wide and eight feet long, with a door at each end. There are no internal partitions. The hens wander in and find a really dark place to lay their eggs. It's good for 100 hens. A community nest is typically four feet long and two feet wide, with a single door in the wide face. The idea is the same. It's good for 50 hens.
Another approach is to flip the nest boxes around backwards, so the hens enter along a little runway between the wall and the nest boxes. You collect the eggs from the outside by opening a door or shutter. This darkens the whole nest area.
There is a pic of one version in this link. there is a lot of good info at ATTRA if you haven't used it..
Community and Tunnel Nests
A community nest. The lid is normally kept closed except during egg collection.
Community nests work on the idea that the hens prefer to lay in darkness, but they don't eat in darkness. This eliminates egg eating. The traditional community nest is a box four feet wide and two feet deep, with a doorway that's not much more than six inches wide and eight inches tall (and maybe with a flap of cloth or plastic across it). This is good for fifty hens.
Another variant is the tunnel nest, which is eight feet long, two feet wide, and has a small entrance at each end. This is good for a hundred hens.
Community and tunnel nests need to be well-ventilated without letting in much light. This is usually done by leaving the back partly open or drilling large holes in it (on the assumption that the nest will be installed to almost but not quite touch a wall of the henhouse). Sometimes they're installed at floor level, in the spots where the hens insist on laying in spite of having perfectly good nest boxes elsewhere.
Community and tunnel nests can be constructed as free-standing outdoor structures if you put a good roof on them. They'll probably need to be staked down to prevent them from blowing over in high winds.
It's an interesting concept--would alleviate having to cut a hole in our new coop for bump-out nest boxes---
but, 4x2 for FIFTY hens? that sure seems small to me.
Quote:GREAT SITE! Bookmark it for later!!
Thanks for posting it!