Do nest boxes need to have a top within the coop?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by microbiomom, Oct 9, 2009.

  1. microbiomom

    microbiomom Out Of The Brooder

    24
    0
    22
    Oct 9, 2009
    South Alabama
    We are constructing our first chicken tractor. We plan to use milk crates cut in half diagonally for nest boxes. This removes the top and I wonder if the girls will be comfortable without a top covering inside our coop. I am trying to avoid roosting on the nest boxes.
    Thank you
    Regards
    The Newbie
     
  2. PortageGirl

    PortageGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    mine prefer them that way (open that is). The fellow I got some of mine from had a sort of 'tray' set up, and since I was building a whole new set up, I went with two traditional nest boxes side by side, and then across the top of them, a sort of tray with 3 or 4 inch sides, wide open with some shavings in them... darned if most of them, even the pullets who never saw my pal's set up don't prefer the 12 x 26 (or so) tray area!!!

    as long as they're lower than the roost bars, they don't seem interested in doing anything but laying eggs there.

    /edit/ I'll take a pic tomorrow to show since I think that was a bad description! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2009
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    12,521
    107
    341
    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    The only thing about having them open-topped is that chickens may decide they like to perch on the tops of the nestbox walls and poo into the nestbox, which is annoying.

    If your chickens don't do that, then sure, go ahead [​IMG]

    Pat
     
  4. davony's chicks

    davony's chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    807
    10
    138
    May 30, 2009
    Missouri
    Yes, mine liked to roost on the tops and poo everywhere too.
    I put tops on mine.
     
  5. gsim

    gsim Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,993
    20
    176
    Jun 18, 2009
    East Tennessee
    Am having to re-do mine. Am going to put them on floor with a steep sloping roof overhead topped with linoleum . Currently they are equal ht to roosts, so about 4 or 5 of the 24 spend the night there pooping into everything. Will just have to stoop down to get eggs from floor level or near to floor level. Am just going to go with two 5 ft long community share-all type nests, flanking the wall-mounted feeding and watering troughs I made.
     
  6. cposz

    cposz Chillin' With My Peeps

    256
    3
    131
    May 5, 2009
    Twin Cities, MN
    Our nesting box is a wooden wine box - no top - and no problems, either.
     
  7. Mojo Chick'n

    Mojo Chick'n Empress of Chickenville

    I have both - some hens like the closed in feeling, some will lay on the floor under the nest boxes ... and some will lay in the barn on top of the hay pile [​IMG] I figure if they'll lay there (no sides, no top) they'll lay anywhere [​IMG] and usually do ( grrrr )

    If your hens haven't laid before, they'll get used to what you give them - if they are older and used to a certain way, they would probably prefer that, but they may like being enclosed better.

    I say go with whatever is best/easiest for you - and if they refuse to lay totally, then change it - but chances are they'll get used to it and be happy.

    There is the thing abtu them perching/pooping on the edges - which will happen [​IMG] - but I just put a board across the top at night when they start doing this.

    meri
     
  8. PortageGirl

    PortageGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Here's some pics of my nest boxes, not sure you can see em, but there's even some eggs in the bottom box and in the upper tray. Also, you can see that the roosts are a ways away and higher than the boxes. Mine never roost in or on the box, they all cuddle on the roosts.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by