Do nesting boxes need locks/latches?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by kirak74, Feb 22, 2017.

  1. kirak74

    kirak74 Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 22, 2017
    Do external access nesting boxes need latches/locks? Ours are elevated about 3 ft off the ground and open from the top. The coop plan doesn't call for any but just wondering if there is any predator that could figure out how to get in? Thanks!
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Raccoons, mink/weasels and possibly opossums can figure it out.
    If it were 20' off the ground, a raccoon could still get in.
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2017
  3. 3riverschick

    3riverschick Poultry Lit Chaser

    May 19, 2009
    western PA
    My Coop
  4. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    Hi, welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    I have locks on my boxes and feel that if you have any predators it is cheap insurance. They say if a 2 year old can get in so can a raccoon.

    Nice catching that. [​IMG]
  5. 3riverschick

    3riverschick Poultry Lit Chaser

    May 19, 2009
    western PA
    My Coop
    On this big coop, the 2x2's are configured to mate snugly with
    the inside dimensions of the door. This is a predator proofing
    and also keeps moisture and wind out during a storm.

    See how the rim around the top covers to outside upper edges of the nest box?
    It also covers the top of the door so varmints can't try and pull the front down
    to get in. I agree the hinges on the bottom of the front should be bigger
    but these worked for us.


    The coop plan is an idiot. I keep latches on all my next boxes.
    use a hook and latch that has a spring built into the hook.
    ( see above URL) That way the animal has to figure out how
    to make the hook work two ways at once in order to get the
    hook out of the eye. In winter time, take some alcohol with
    you to the latch to deice any ice in the spring.
    There's another thought to keeping varmints from opening nest boxes.
    Our nest boxes have a front that folds down on hinges for cleaning.
    Plus a top which lifts up for gathering eggs. The sides and bottom are staionary.
    The trick here is to make the front and top so the varmint can't get its claws
    or finger under the edges of the movable panels to rip them off.

    So what we did was screw 2 by 2's into both the sides and front of the nest box
    lid plus the big coop door such that the 2x2's mated snugly
    with the exterior perimeter of the side panels or big coop door.
    Now when we shut any of these, one could not get one's fingers over the panel
    to open it because the 2 by 2 is obstructing that effort. Like putting an outside
    rim on a pot lid. It has worked well for us and we never had a varmint access
    any of the coop openings thus fitted.
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2017
  6. ChickenMammX4

    ChickenMammX4 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 17, 2015
    SW Ohio
    I'd say yes. Raccoons especially, are very resourceful. We have doorknobs, latches or hardware cloth secured with screws and fender washer on all accesses to the coop.
  7. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    Don't know what happen to your link for the latches.... but they were perfect! That's what I use as well.

    Never had the ice issue though, interesting to see challenges different people have and the solutions that come with them.

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