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How high should the nest boxes be off the ground

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Canarygirl, Mar 17, 2007.

  1. Canarygirl

    Canarygirl In the Brooder

    Mar 17, 2007
    We are first time chicken people. In fact we don't have the chickens yet, still building the coop. The coop is 8' x 12' and we plan to get 3 hens and 1 rooster. Opingtons. My husband is building the nest boxes for them and want to install them. Please let us know. Thanks
  2. hypnojessi

    hypnojessi In the Brooder

    Jan 13, 2007
    Troy, MO
    18-20 inches off the ground
  3. shandea

    shandea In the Brooder

    Mar 17, 2007
    Newbie here... just wondering why they need to be raised?
  4. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    That's a good question.

    I would think it makes it harder for ground predators to get them, keeps them slightly cleaner, and feels safer for the hen....

    I don't use raised boxes and my hens lay directly on the ground in their hutch. I've had no problems with this and get plenty of eggs.
  5. ebbtide

    ebbtide In the Brooder

    Jan 23, 2007
    It will also help keep them off the floor so they wont get stepped on and broken. Here's a pic of our boxes if it helps.
    They are 20" from the bottom.
  6. hypnojessi

    hypnojessi In the Brooder

    Jan 13, 2007
    Troy, MO
    having them raised helps keep the chickens from scratching in them and possibly breaking the eggs
  7. cornishman

    cornishman In the Brooder

    Feb 27, 2007
    just don't put them up higher than your roost pole...they will poo all over your nest...got a couple to move cause of that. cornishman.[​IMG]
  8. Llysse

    Llysse Songster

    Mar 11, 2007
    Cornishman is right. If you have your nests higher than your roosts, your birds will prefer to roost on (or in front of) the nests. Chickens always want to roost in the highest spot, if possible. (This means that a snapshot of your ladder-style roosts will often also be a snapshot of the current pecking order--with the most IMPORTANT birds at the top!)

    As to why the nests should be up off the ground? I think it's also because hens like to nest in out-of-the way spots. If your nest is right on the floor, she may not feel she has enough privacy. On the other hand, just when you think you've provided them the best, safest spot for laying, they may choose another one in your favorite planter that's not half as nice, by your standards. Those gol-danged chickens. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2007

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