Have friends that have nest boxes with outside entrance...

Knock Kneed Hen

California Dream'in Chickens
9 Years
Feb 15, 2010
So. Cal.
I'm getting ready to start construction on my coop. I'm so inspired here!! Some friends have an interesting plan that I've not yet seen here. They have the roosts that occupy the main part of the structure. The birds must exit the roost area and go up a rather steep ramp to where they enter into their laying area. That area is only large enough for their nest boxes and a walkway in front of the boxes. They collect the eggs from the outside and its about 4 ft from the ground. The under part is where they store feed etc. Have any of you seen this design? The birds only go to the nest area to lay then they leave because no one else is around The boxes therefore are very clean. We can have nasty weather so I asked her if the birds utilize it when the weather is bad and she said they go out and up the ramp no matter what the weather. The only downside I could see to this is that if she wanted to close her flock up in the coop they wouldn't have access to their nest boxes.
Forgive me for chuckling just a little bit, but I would love to see hens that are that well-trained, and consistent. Mine have several "boxes" they can choose from. Sometimes, all eggs are in one of those areas. Sometimes 2 or 3 are in entirely other areas, sometimes not in a "designated" nesting box, sometimes when one decides to go broody, shoot, who knows where she'll go (Easter egg hunting can come at all times of the year, right?). I guess I'd have to ask, why the need for such control? Assuming the hens will go along with it, of course...more chuckling...
I guess they don't like dealing with the dirty nest boxes and there's less breakage too, plus they get cardio going up and down the ramp. LOL...

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