interior nesting boxes with flip down lip for cleaning

primaldiva

Chirping
Nov 6, 2018
11
29
72
HI all, I am in the process of a new coop build I have been designing for a few years. I have a boutique egg farm in the northern cascades of WA state with 80 hens, no roosters. It's a very elaborate coop with attached run, attached is a basic sketch before windows were framed. Due to our snow load and cold temps nest boxes will be inside the coop (22 of them).

I designed them 18" off ground, below the poop boards and roosts, in 2 rows of 11 along one wall.
I was planning on building them from sheets of this product which is made in USA and not was much as an environmental nightmare as it could be I guess. It is also $32 for a 4 x 8 sheet as opposed to $74 for sanded sheathing plywood. I would need to place edge bands on the cut edges. I am looking to avoid wood for nest boxes due to having to paint them to prevent insects etc. I feel these will be easier to keep clean. Boxes will be 12" x 12" x 13" high.

Here are my questions:

1. Anyone object to using this material? The only drawbacks I see are how heavy it is, as well as the fact that it is easier to strip screws fastened into MDF.
2. Has anyone used it? Did/do you like it?
3. I would like the 3-4" lip holding the nesting material in to be on hinges so it can flip down for easier cleaning. For a run of 12ish feet (11 boxes) I would probably divide this lip among 4 boxes each. Math is not exact but you get the picture. Any thoughts on this? Lip could be MDF or painted 2 x 4. Any objections/input on this?

Thanks in advance.

Andrea
primalDIVA farmette
 

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Sally PB

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
Aug 7, 2020
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Belding, MI
Lip could be MDF or painted 2 x 4.
I would avoid MDF. If it gets wet, or even is in a very humid environment, it will absorb moisture and crumble. It's also rather heavy. A 4x8 sheet of 3/4" is close to 100 pounds, I think.

It's a composite substrate. MDF = medium density fiberboard. I have seen it warp, split, crumble, and if you drop it on a corner, the corner will smash. It's made of wood fibers and resin.
 

primaldiva

Chirping
Nov 6, 2018
11
29
72
Hi there, sorry I forgot to include the link. It is melamine, which is MDF with a coating. I read all the reviews and this stuff is water resistant and resists staining. Much better product than just plain MDF. However, it is indeed heavy. About 90-95# per panel, and I will need 2 panels. Plus whatever I use for poop boards. This stuff is made in USA and has no formaldehyde.

https://www.lowes.com/pd/Melamine-Board-Actual-0-75-in-x-49-in-x-8-08-ft/3605066
 

3KillerBs

Enabler
12 Years
Jul 10, 2009
10,530
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North Carolina Sandhills
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My Coop
Hi there, sorry I forgot to include the link. It is melamine, which is MDF with a coating. I read all the reviews and this stuff is water resistant and resists staining. Much better product than just plain MDF. However, it is indeed heavy. About 90-95# per panel, and I will need 2 panels. Plus whatever I use for poop boards. This stuff is made in USA and has no formaldehyde.

https://www.lowes.com/pd/Melamine-Board-Actual-0-75-in-x-49-in-x-8-08-ft/3605066

OK, I'm familiar with that since it was used by the house-flipper in a home we used to own.

It's ABSOLUTELY not for outdoor use. The coating is water-resistant, but if any water actually reaches the interior it swells up and disintegrates.

Screw holes strip out easily and it chips or crushes if dropped.

We ended up replacing those shelves with plywood.
 

Chuckie chicken

Chicken Chucker
Premium Feather Member
Feb 26, 2021
686
3,231
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In exile
My Coop
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If by "water resistant" they are referring to the melamine, that claim would cover temporary spills on the melamine surface itself, not prolonged exposure to moisture, or the wicking that would occur at the edges. As others have said, it will soak up moisture like a sponge then swell and crumble. MDF is not structurally sound either. Even dry it tends to sag badly if it isn't supported... wet, even worse.
 

primaldiva

Chirping
Nov 6, 2018
11
29
72
It's plenty big for 80 birds. They free range on 1/2 acre during the day in an electric fence but even if they didn't the coop and run is 480 square feet. There is 80 feet of roost in the coop. I've been doing this for five years now and am licensed by the state; my chickens get plenty of freedom and space, trust me. Animal welfare is my number one priority.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Nov 27, 2012
100,597
143,486
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SW Michigan
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It's plenty big for 80 birds.

It's a very elaborate coop with attached run, attached is a basic sketch before windows were framed. Due to our snow load and cold temps nest boxes will be inside the coop (22 of them).
Looking at your model, and it's one dimension for scale, both structures appear to be about 6x8 and 4x10...and the nest banks reduce the further.
Maybe the actual buildings are bigger?
 

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