Coop questions! (nest boxes?)


11 Years
Mar 9, 2008
Rhode Island
I am redesigning the small coop I have for my 3 hens. How many nest boxes do I need, and how high off the coop floor should they be??

Also, is it true that the roost bar HAS to be higher than the nest boxes or else the hens will sleep in the boxes?

If you need to know, I am getting 1 Americauna, 1 RIR, and 1 Plymouth Barred Rock.

Also, how many square feet does there run need to be?
And I have a feeling they will tear up the grass in there run, can 3 hens happily live on dirt if they do tear up the grass?
They say one box for every 4 hens. Personally I think i would do two so they'd have a choice.
Boxes should be 18- 24 inches off the floor and yes the roosts should be higher than the nests so they don't try to roost and poop in the nests.
The run should be about 4' per bird. Yep birds will be happy on dirt. I'm going to give mine a sandy area to play in.
Take care
4 sq ft per bird in the coop, 10 sq ft per bird in the run.

I wouldn't build more than one nest box, but two won't hurt anything. Bet they only use one, though.

Yes, roost higher than nest box.
My nest boxes are on the floor of the coop. It's not high enough to put them up 18". And also the access door in the back is at this level. The whole coop is about 4 feet off the ground. Am I going to have a problem since the boxes are at floor level? I have nine bird 4 rhode island reds, 3 orps and 2 silver wyandottes. They are all still young and hang out on the perch or the top of the boxes now.
This is my first flock and we built the coop ourselves by looking at pictures of coops on this website which l must say was very helpful.
No, you shouldn't have a problem with your boxes being on the floor, so long as they are lower than your roosts. Chickens naturally want to get as high as possible to roost at night.
I added a floor level nest box for my blind hen, thinking it would be easier for her than the other boxes. She doesn't use it, but some of my hens prefer it to the regular boxes which are about 18" off the ground.

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