Is the size of a nesting nox important?


In the Brooder
Dec 16, 2017
My dad was remaking my chickens a coop and he made the nesting boxes 2 feet long and 1 foot wide, but he made the top about 2 feet tall. He said that size didn’t matter but I’m pretty sure it matters, he also said it doesn’t matter if it’s dark for them to go broody, so he left the front open and lots of light comes in so we’re also arguing about that. Can anyone help me figure out who’s right?
Chickens will lay in what they consider a safe spot. The more appealing your nest box, the more likely they will choose that over less desirable places (like on the floor in the corner of the coop, under a bush or under the ramp). Your box is big enough for a chicken to enter and turn around etc. You can easily block the opening with some fabric curtains of sorts (an old pillow case or something will work) and leave only a one foot wide opening for chickens to enter. This way you can keep your dad's construction and make it a bit darker and more secure for the chickens. You could add a divider so you have 2 different one foot sections or keep it the way it is. Room for more than one chicken isn't terrible, mine stand in line for the favorite nest box, but they wouldn't have to if it was a bit bigger.
There is no strict right or wrong for a nest box. Mine is about 14"x24" and 2 chickens can fit in it side by side. I even added windows on 3 sides so they can look out while sitting inside, so light doesn't stop them from wanting to lay in it or go broody in it.
I have one that's an old wine box, one that's an old milk crate and one that's a basket. All slightly different shapes and sizes. As long as they lay in one of these places, I'm happy. Having a designated spot helps prevent broken eggs.
Sounds like your dad built a communal nest box. Nothing wrong with that.
Like pirate girl suggested you can add a curtain to make it a bit more secluded feeling.

Hug your dad and thank him for helping. It will mean a lot to him.
Yeah, it doesn't matter. Chickens will pick and choose what they like. I think the pros will say 12"x12" is the perfect size, but the chickens don't know that! You don't have to have "covered" nesting boxes either. We have covered boxes but my 2 hens lay in the same old wire nest box that has no top! Go figure. Chickens! :D nesting boxes & bucky.jpg

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