Considering used nest boxes (galvanized metal)...are they safe?

TN Henny Penny

In the Brooder
9 Years
Jan 22, 2011
65
1
41
We saw some nest boxes for sale on craig's list. Can we safely clean them to be sure we're not introducing harmful bacteria or other hazards to our chicks? The lister had 10 sets of 12 stacked boxes (6 on 6), so it seems unlikely this is a backyard enthusiast? Our chicks are only 4 wks old, so they won't be needing the boxes soon. Any advice? Linda
 

dawg53

Humble
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Nov 27, 2008
28,249
15,737
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Glen St Mary, Florida
Quote:
Personally, I wouldnt use metal nest boxes because they hold heat and cold. I prefer wood boxes, little or no conductivity/transferrence of heat or cold. There could also possibly be a chemical reaction between the cleaners/solvents used with the metal to clean it.
 

patandchickens

Flock Mistress
12 Years
Apr 20, 2007
12,520
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Ontario, Canada
I don't like galvanized nestboxes but they work ok and if you really want them you should be able to disinfect them satisfactorily (if they are in clean-ish condition already) using bleach or oxine and good scrubbing of the crevices.

Personally I'd make nestboxes that were more customized to my coop and my #chickens, though.

Pat
 

TN Henny Penny

In the Brooder
9 Years
Jan 22, 2011
65
1
41
hmm..thanks for giving us something to think about. Twelve boxes is more than we need at this point and that's the only size unit available. Six would be plenty for us and with the heat/cold considerations definitely give us pause! Thanks for the feedback - think we'll just get out the wood, screws and nails like we originally planned! You guys are great!
 

elmo

Crowing
11 Years
May 23, 2009
4,907
268
336
DFW
Another thing to think about: using portable plastic nestboxes. You can cut a hole in plain plastic lidded bin, or use a covered kitty litter box, etc. Plastic is easy to clean and there are no crevices to harbor mites.

If one nest gets pooped in, you can just take the whole box over to your composter, dump out the contents, hose it down and leave it in the sun to dry. Then you can replace fresh bedding (maybe put a little poultry dust on the bottom of the box first), and return to your coop, all done.

If you have stationary boxes that are screwed or nailed to the wall, cleaning one becomes more complicated.

A portable nestbox is also very useful if you're managing a broody, too. You don't have to disturb her from her nest to move her to a separate pen. You can just move the box with then hen, nest and eggs inside it.
 

patandchickens

Flock Mistress
12 Years
Apr 20, 2007
12,520
349
341
Ontario, Canada
You know, the one thing I most wish I'd have done when building my nestboxes is I wish I'd built them sized to exactly contain some sort of plastic tub (dishtub or the like) so that when a hen goes broody I could remove her and her clutch to another area some night by just picking up and relocating the whole tub. As opposed to having to actually move the hen and move the eggs individually and hope she continues to set.

Not a *huge* thing, but if you expect to raise chicks, worth considering.

Pat
 

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