1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Cheap Ideas for Nest Boxes and Roosts?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by FarmerGirl, Jun 12, 2007.

  1. FarmerGirl

    FarmerGirl Out Of The Brooder

    18
    0
    32
    Jun 12, 2007
    I'm looking for ideas on how to make nesting boxes and roosts with items I might already have on hand or that I can purchase cheaply. Is this tacky or what, but I was thinking of just buying some of those plastic tote boxes and using that as a nest box. Would that work okay? Or maybe a wooden wine crate box? And attacking dowels to the wall as roosts?
     
  2. missusduray

    missusduray Chillin' With My Peeps

    360
    0
    139
    May 20, 2007
    Northern Minnesota
    I have a tree as a roost. I cut down a little popplar tree and hung it with some brackets meant for a closet pole. It puts the roost out from the wall enough so that the chickens can roost on it. It was free! I had the brackets in a shed. Remember that a roost should be over an inch in diameter. You should make sure that the chickens cant get their claws all the way around it and puncture the pads of their feet. It also must support the weight of the birds. A nest should be at least 12x12. Some prefer 18x18 for larger birds. Some birds will never use the nest boxes(like mine) and some will nest in a box that is 6 inches wide. It all depends on the bird. A wine crate will work well, a milk crate turned on its side and maybe a guard to keep the straw in would work. I am sure that you will come up with something great without having to buy anything. Good luck.
    Kristyne
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2007
  3. Picco

    Picco Chillin' With My Peeps

    786
    12
    181
    Mar 14, 2007
    NY
    some free things I've used as nestboxes:
    milk crates
    bushel baskets (my neighbor works at a super market)
    wooden wine boxes (ask someone at a liquer/wine store)
    five gallon plastic bucket (from drywall joint compound)
    old litter box with a cover
    plastic totes
    old dresser drawers
    old cabinets
    wooden fruit crates (from clementines)

    For roosts ask someone at your local lumber yard. There are lots of scraps they will usually give away. You can even use some of the scraps to build nests.
     
  4. dreamgirl

    dreamgirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    173
    0
    129
    May 28, 2007
    Hudson Valley, NY
    Picco, with the milk crates, did you do anything to cover them? Just attached them to the wall? Some one gave me a bunch and I was hoping to use them.
     
  5. prariechiken

    prariechiken Chillin' With My Peeps

    652
    58
    196
    Feb 9, 2007
    Midwest
    a couple of bucks at Wal Mart, come in various sizes and can be easily cleaned with bleach water as I was preparing to do with this one...

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Picco

    Picco Chillin' With My Peeps

    786
    12
    181
    Mar 14, 2007
    NY
    I don't cover the milk crates I either set them on the floor or hang them from the wall with nails and wire. The crates are deep enough that the hen has a darker more secure place. What's really nice about the crates is that they allow for good ventilation fore the hens when its hot and if an egg breaks so it doesn't smell. I used milk crates as nests for the forst 5 or so years of chicken keeping. I now have "fancy" homemade wood boxes that are a PITA to clean. They look nice and all but the crates were so much more functional. To make them look more agreeable you can spraypaint them with the new paint thats made to stick on plastic.
     
  7. chickensrme

    chickensrme Out Of The Brooder

    81
    0
    39
    Jun 3, 2007
    Maine
    Milk crates all the way but becarefull there illegal to have it says on the side of them. I tip them on there side and put a piece of strapping to keep the hay and eggs in they work great and if you know any body that owns a store talk to them they may through you a few.

    PS: out back of grociery stores have them all them time ispecialy at night.
     
  8. doodledo

    doodledo Chillin' With My Peeps

    122
    0
    129
    Jun 4, 2007
    chickensr, shame on you [​IMG] I had to lol when I read that.
    I am just getting started on mine also. ANd I have a few uqestions to go along with yours, if thats ok.

    nesting boxes: on the milk crates, once they are hung, you dont need to take them out to clean? Just take out straw and replace with new?

    roosts: do their feet have to be able to wrap around the wood? I was goin to use 2x2 trex decking. I guess thats out?
     
  9. chickensrme

    chickensrme Out Of The Brooder

    81
    0
    39
    Jun 3, 2007
    Maine
    i usualy take them out about once every 2 months and wash them i change the hay whaen it gets realy dirty and poopy. about the wood you just need something that keeps the hay and the eggs in how far from the grown are you putting them
     
  10. verthandi

    verthandi Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 18, 2007
    Maine
    I use the milk crates and like them, easy to attach to the wall and quick to clean. I do need to add another board to the front to make it easier for the hens to land before entering the box.

    Roost was made from saplings of aspen and scrap lumber with plywood drop board.


    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by