How high should the nesting box and roost be?


10 Years
Mar 7, 2009
where chickens dare to tread..

At present, my nesting box is on the floor of the coop, but I'm noticing from pics on byc that most have theirs raised. How high should it be?

Also, I think we need to raise our roost... how high should that be?

Thanks for any input. My pullets are about 3 months old.
My very chicken savvy friend said that heavy birds, such as (BR's), should not have roosts higher than about 18-20", because if they are about to lay they could break an internal egg from jumping from a high roost....just another FYI.

Am new to these domestic birds, so dunno?
Mine is maybe about 2.5 feet to 3ft off the ground, i have standard hens who have no problems with it... also my roost is just a bit lower than my nest boxes and all hens roost on the upper two roosts (i have a leaning roost) and one sleeps in the window sill lol.
As you can see from the responses, different people use different methods and they work fine. There is no hard and fast rule. The general recommendation is to raise the nests 18" to 24". This is mainly to help keep the nests cleaner but also to keep you from bending as far to gather the eggs. Also, in a tight coop, if they are up this far, the chickens can still get under the nesting boxes, so it gives them a little more room. They are mainly ground birds so additional coop space up high really doesn't help much.

The roosts should be "clearly" higher than the nesting boxes. Chickens normally like to roost at the highest point they can get to. Not always, but normally. You don't want them roosting in the nesting boxes as they poop a lit when sleeping and you get dirty eggs. I'd recommend blocking off the nesting boxes until they are ready to lay so they don't get in the habit of going in there on their time off. It will help teach them to roost on the roosts also.

Good luck!

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