External nesting boxes

bluebutterfly

Chirping
Jan 22, 2017
9
26
54
Middle of Louisiana, USA
I remember as a child that my grandad had a coop in the middle of a huge chicken yard where his chickens would go in each night and he just had roosts in there. On the outside of this coop on three sides, if I remember correctly, he had about five nest boxes on each side about 4 feet (?) off the ground and situated under the eave of the coop. I was thinking of doing something similar since my coop is smaller than the average duck. Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance!
 

GC-Raptor

Free Ranging
Jul 26, 2016
5,166
9,791
621
Connecticut, USA
Roosts should be higher than nest box floor. Chickens like to roost high and may sleep and poop in nests if they are higher. My new coop. 20181021_091815.jpg . Nests on right are lower than roosts. GC
 

Well Seasoned

Songster
Jun 18, 2018
139
253
126
White Mountain National Forest N.H.
Outside nesting boxes keep egg collecting simple, gathering from the outside. Yea, sometimes we'll find the eggs under the coop, on the ramp, e.t.c.



Roosting bars higher than the nesting boxes

20180319_151227.jpg



Nesting box area, still under construction in this pic
20180319_151232.jpg


Separation walls, hay added

20180621_203225.jpg


A view from outside......
20180621_203106.jpg
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
Premium Feather Member
Jul 3, 2016
15,862
30,462
1,052
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
My Coop
I've seen them completely external (haven't seen anyone post examples lately though) but I imagine the main thing you need to think about with external boxes is how to keep them dry, so that the eggs aren't going to end up damp. Elevating them a little will help, so will a big overhang or curtains in front to help block rain/wind.

Another possible suggestion is to just provide a small dog house or two in the run, ones with a roof that lifts. It's not perfect but it's easy to set up at least and can be placed almost anywhere. I got by with one for a year or so.

Oh almost forgot... if you're going with completely external boxes and are not always rising at the break of dawn, you'll probably want to have a pop door timed/or on light sensor to open the door at daybreak, to allow hens to get to the boxes first thing in the morning if they need to.
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
Premium Feather Member
Jul 3, 2016
15,862
30,462
1,052
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
My Coop

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