Do nesting boxes need walls/dividers? And other questions

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Hummingbird Hollow, Jul 29, 2011.

  1. Hummingbird Hollow

    Hummingbird Hollow Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 1, 2011
    Colorado mountains
    I'm almost done with my coop (will try to get some photos uploaded before the girls go out). I've created 3 nesting boxes from 3 dresser drawers that I purchased from The ReStore for $.50 each. The drawers are about 12" wide by 16"deep and have walls that are about 5" tall. They are secured to a shelf that sits about 12" from the floor of the coop and have another shelf about 15" above them to keep it cozy. There is a nice roost about 5 inches in front of the boxes that they could hop up onto before entering the nesting boxes.

    My question is whether I need to build dividers that separate the three boxes from each other or whether the 5" wall of the drawer is enough separation.

    OK, I guess I have two other nesting box questions. Can I fill them with the same pine shavings that I'm using for the rest of the coop? And should I allow my 6 week old pullets access to them right away or block them off until they are closer to laying age?
  2. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    I have one nest box with dividers and one without. You can always try the community nest box, and then add a divider later if one of your (future) hens is territorial and likes her privacy.
    Until recently, I'd always used pine shavings in the nest boxes. My lead hen discovered some hay we'd bought for growing grass and loved it, so we now have one box with hay. Mine lay in either.
    My nest boxes in my main coop were there from day one. Some find that the younsters try to roost inside them, but mine never did. If yours do, then just block them off with cardboard. I had wooden eggs in mine, and liked that they explored them - hoped it would give them the right idea [​IMG]
    There's really no wrong way to do next boxes [​IMG]
  3. Ole rooster

    Ole rooster Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 25, 2011
    Milner, Georgia
    I did dividers for one main reason. When I go in my little room in the mornings and sit down like they do, I like my privacy. I just figured they would too.[​IMG] Plus if I get one setting I'm sure she won't want vistors coming by.
  4. Bantam Chase

    Bantam Chase Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 11, 2011
    SC PA
    We've always just had one box without dividers - it measures about 2'x18". At times there are two nesting hollows in, and I've seen 2 RIR hens lay side by side. I say try your drawers and see - if someone starts laying on the floor then put the dividers in. [​IMG] FWIW - we've always used shavings on the floor and hay in the box.
  5. Hummingbird Hollow

    Hummingbird Hollow Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 1, 2011
    Colorado mountains
    Thanks folks. It 's so nice to have a place to come ask these kinds of questions. What did we all do before the internet? I guess there was always some old-timer down at the corner store you could go and ask your questions too, but this is so much easier.
  6. wava1vaughn

    wava1vaughn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 24, 2011
    Cairo Ga.
    Hi from Ga. on my first coop I had a nest box 8' long with dividers every 12" All my chickens wanted to lay in the same end box. I took out the dividers and they all still lay in the same corner sometimes stack 4 high. On my other pens I just put in 3' nest boxes with no dividers and everyone is happy. You can even nail a 5 gal bucket to the wall laying flat and cut the lid in half the chickens will be delighted. They don't care the boxes are to make the human happy. [​IMG]
  7. Speed

    Speed Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 20, 2011
    The Berwicks
    If you divide them, don't be surprised to see one of the boxes get more use, for what ever reason they pick a favorite and all tend to use it. My boxes are 15"w x 12"d x 11"h. I have 3 at this size and only 2 ever have eggs in them, the outer right box and the middle box. The outer right box gets more use, I've seen on multiple occasions 2 hens in that box at the same time.

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