Heighth of nesting boxes and other newbie ??'s

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by marcym, Apr 23, 2009.

  1. marcym

    marcym Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 21, 2009
    A brief intro.... Hi, I'm Marcy from IA and I think I've found a new obsession. I have twelve BO's that are about 7 weeks old. (I think they are mostly roo's) and I also have 20 Red Star pullets that are about 2 weeks old. (Still in brooder)

    My coop is an old milk house attached to a rock barn. Hubby said it's over 100 sq ft. The run is not quite 200 ft, but they can get through the panels and pretty much run free with the goats. I call them into the coop each night, and they all come running. I lock them up from about 8 PM till 6-7 am. We have two large dogs that keep critters at bay, at least so far.

    I've read pages and pages of threads here at BYC, but I still have some questions. Thought I'd ask them now so that I'll be prepared before anybody starts laying.

    Roosts: How far off the ground? We do have shelves that are about 5 ft off the ground, but hubby still needs to turn these into something workable for chickens. Is it instinct for them to use these or do I need to train them? How?? Right now all the BO's appear to be making little nests in the straw that's on the floor.

    Nesting boxes: How far off the ground should they be? If they are free range, is there any way to get them to come back to the boxes to lay so I don't have to hunt for eggs every day?

    Any tips or ideas would be appreciated. Thanks for your time.
  2. jhm47

    jhm47 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 7, 2008
    Not sure what you mean by shelves, but If they are shelves like you would use to store things, I'd possibly convert them to nests, and build a separate set of roosts.

    For roosts, I'd get some 2X2's, and build a set, starting about 3' off the ground, and gradually going higher on a slant. The higher the better, since height will protect against some (but not all) predators. Also, since heat tends to rise, the higher the better in the IA winters. The birds will quickly learn to roost, and you will not have to "teach" them.
  3. Snakeoil

    Snakeoil Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 10, 2009
    SE Iowa
    This might give you an idea on nest boxs, mine are one foot off the ground. My roost are 24" from the floor and then 12" apart on a slant.


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