Is it necessary to have the nesting boxes above floor level in the coup

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Farmer Mike S, Mar 2, 2013.

  1. Farmer Mike S

    Farmer Mike S Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 18, 2012
    Glen Mills, PA
    I'm building a coup, and I just noticed that in the plans I'm using the nesting boxes are floor level. In most designs I've seen, the nesting boxes are like a foot off the ground. Now I haven't got to building the nesting box yet, so I should be able to adjust this in my plans, but how necessary is it to raise the boxes? And if it is, what should the minimum hight be?
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    There are no "rules". Do what ever you think best. For certain, I do not like the nests to be screaming high. That's just me and my experience with pullets and such. Again, there are no rules, except the rules about not having them open for young birds to just sleep and poop in, higher than the roosts so as to confuse them, stuff like that.
  3. Northie

    Northie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Higher ones would be more convenient to collect eggs from I bet. What if you have a broody hen though. Would you want the nest close enough to the ground that the hen and chicks could come and go out of the nest easily?
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    There really are very few rules in keeping chickens. There are a lot of guidelines to help people that don’t have the experience but you’ll find people violate many of those guidelines all the time. We keep them in so many different conditions and using widely varying management techniques there can’t be one right or wrong answer for all of us. I can’t really think of any guidelines about positioning nests other than the roost rule.

    It’s hard to talk about placing nest boxes without talking about roosts. Chickens generally like to roost as high as they can get. They poop a lot at night. You don’t want them sleeping in the nests so your roosts need to be higher than the nest boxes. That is a rule.

    Where you put them height-wise will depend some on how your coop is built and some on personal preference. If you don’t have much height in your coop you can’t raise them very high and keep them lower than the roosts.

    Some people like them setting on the coop floor. It depends on how the nest is built but it’s possible the chickens can scratch trash and maybe even poop in the nest. If it’s open on top with high enough sides, that shouldn’t be a problem. Some people with bad backs like them high enough they don’t have to bend over to get the eggs.

    If they are real close to the floor so the chickens cannot get under there, and remember to count bedding height, it’s possible mice will build a nest under there. Chickens eat mice so if they can get under the nests, mice won’t nest under there.

    If chickens can get under there and it looks kind of protected, hens may decide it would make a good place to lay an egg. I like having enough room so I can at least see what is going on under there.

    I personally like to see in the nest before I stick my hand in there. I’ve seen a snake in the nest a few times. My heart gets going fast enough just seeing one. My heart really doesn’t need for me to find out it’s there by sense of touch.

    As you can probably see, most of this is personal preference. I think you’ll find the chickens don’t really care. People do.
  5. shelbydog

    shelbydog Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 30, 2012
    Bristow, ok
    Ridgerunner, your find a snake by touch comment reminded me of when I was a kid, a friend and I were catching fish in a muddy run off ditch to put back in a pond. My friend thought he had a fish in his hand and he pulled up a snake instead! He screamed like a was soooooo funny!!!!

    My ex's chicken set up is what I'm going off to make mine better than his. His nest boxes are about 5 ft off the ground and open. His birds would sleep in the boxes and roost in the rafters above them so there was ALOT of poop in those boxes. And with me being 5'1 collecting eggs was a tippy toe job. And I think that was too high for chicks. Mine will be closer to ground with tops and roof rafters will no be accessible for roosting.

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