Does this look like a workable nest box design?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by kiaya611, Mar 26, 2007.

  1. kiaya611

    kiaya611 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 5, 2007
    Lebanon, OR
    I have look at many nest boxes online and in books and have talked to people about different things that work well and don't work well in a nest box, either for cleaning or access. I have come up with the following design that incorporates many of the things that I have seen or talked about.

    Before I go out and buy the lumber, I wanted to see what your opinions were with this design.

    The general idea is of course a box for the chickens to lay their eggs in. The extra "features are as follows:

    * Diagonal Lid so that the chickens won't try to roost on top of the boxes and it is hinged to allow good access to the nest for egg collection and cleaning.

    * Hinged front 1X4 which is attached to the 2X2 "perch walk" that can be dropped down for easy cleaning of the boxes. It will either have latches on the sides to hold it in the up position or it will have rotating boards underneath sort of like a drop-leaf table to hold it up.

    * The bottom, sides and lid are going to be 5/8 plywood and the back will be the actual back of the coop instead of wasting lumber for basically 2 backs. The dividers will be 1X12s. They will only go 12"up the nest box. I haven't really seen anything that would suggest that they have to be completely closed "cells" plus, again, it would be a waste of lumber. I would however put a full length piece of plywood shaped like the end pieces about every 3rd or 4th nest to support the lid.

    [​IMG]

    The only thing that I have been going back and forth on in my mind is whether to have the 2X2 "perch walk" or a solid 10" walkway for the hens to get to the boxes. Most of the "professional boxes have the thinner board with a gap between it and the box, but somehow that seems uncomfortable to me compared to a 10" walkway. Of course then the walkway will get really pooped on allot and I imagine that is the reasoning behind the smaller board for a walkway "perch walk".

    Please give my your thoughts. I always appreciate the knowledge of those that know more than I or have a different perspective.

    Thank you,
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2007
  2. Sunshine Hen

    Sunshine Hen Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 26, 2007
    Stamford, CT
    I think it looks great. Did you design it, or find it?
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2007
  3. urbanhomesteader

    urbanhomesteader Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yorba Linda, CA
    I think the perch walk works best. Less chance walking through ploop and dirtying up the nest. JMHO.
     
  4. kiaya611

    kiaya611 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It is really a compilation of things that I have seen and things that I thought would be nice to have like the hinged front board and perch walk, I thought that would be good because then you could unlatch it, drop it down and scrap everything onto the floor instead of having to pick it up out of the nest box. The general shape with the sloping roof, I have seen several places, some have the walk on the other side for mounting the entire group of boxes on the outside of the coop but I don't have any room behind my coop as it is very near the property line fence so mine will have to be inside the coop.

    Take care,
     
  5. akahn01

    akahn01 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 18, 2007
    Virginia
    wait i got a question about nest boxes. How big do you think the area would have to be to have a heavy chicken? (buff orpington)
     
  6. kiaya611

    kiaya611 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    According to all of the checking I have done, the box should be 14" wide X 14" tall X 12" deep for "Heavy" breeds. It is 12X12X12 for Standard breeds.
     
  7. Aloha Moa

    Aloha Moa Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 25, 2007
    I will forward this to Mr. Alohamoa, as he's thinking of building nesting boxes too, and may have some thoughts on your design. Thanks!
     
  8. kiaya611

    kiaya611 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    After constructing most of the first of the nest boxes, I thought I would correct/clarify some of the issues that I discovered with the design. I have placed a newer drawing that has added text and features that I hope will help if you are interested in this design.

    [​IMG]

    Hope this helps.

    Best wishes,
     
  9. ChicknLover

    ChicknLover Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 27, 2007
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    I am too constructing a coop, I was debating whether to put hardware cloth on the bottom of the nest boxes, that way the dust falls through, I can't remember where I saw it, but they used hay/straw with this. I am graduating from a tractor with a few hens to a group of 10-12 this spring. Thanks for your design/drawing, it helps much...
     
  10. kiaya611

    kiaya611 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Glad to be of help. I just finished my first prototype of this design and so I thought I would post the pics of it. It shows the full view, the view with the top and front section open, a close-up of the front section open, the "drop-leaf" mechanism in the closed and open position.

    [​IMG]
    FULL VIEW

    [​IMG]
    TOP AND FRONT OPEN

    [​IMG]
    CLOSE-UP FRONT LOWERED

    [​IMG]
    "DROP-LEAF" MECHANISM IN THE CLOSED POSITION HOLDING THE FRONT IN THE RAISED POSITION

    [​IMG]
    "DROP-LEAF" MECHANISM IN THE OPEN POSITION ALLOWING THE FRONT SECTION TO LOWER (TURNED 90°)

    This is my first attempt at building a nest box, so be kind. I checked around and used ideas from many different places and people. I thought up the drop-down (drop-leaf) front all by myself [​IMG] It works very well and is very simple. I just took a 2X2 and got those things you put on the bottom of furniture to help it slide and put one at each end. I got a 3/8" carriage bolt and a washer and locknut and with a simple 90° turn, you can lock or unlock the front section so you can lower it to scrape/brush out the nest boxes instead of having to pick up the bedding out of the boxes.

    I will be making the 2nd one tomorrow and then it's on to the roost and putting in electricity and plumbing. I am a bit behind schedule, but I am catching up now.

    Thank you for checking this out.

    Best wishes,
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2007

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