laying box design

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by atr04screw, Jun 14, 2011.

  1. atr04screw

    atr04screw Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 14, 2011
    We just got 5 chicks, 4 Plymouth Rocks and 1 unknown, which I think is a Brahma because it has feet feathers. They are still just a few days old and still in a starting box, but we are in the process of building their coop. The laying box is a 2'x4' rectangle with 12" walls. Should we put dividers in the box or is it ok to leave it open? The most chickens we think we will ever get is 12 or so, if that helps. Thanks in advance.
  2. TGreenhut

    TGreenhut Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 17, 2010
    Northern, CA
    My chickens prefer nesting boxes with dividers.

    Have fun with your new chickens!
  3. bryan99705

    bryan99705 Chillin' With My Peeps

    They like dividers but with only 5 birds you really only need 1 nest
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    There are so many different nest box designs that you will have trouble getting something wrong. What you are sort of describing with the 2' x 4' is a community nest box. You might do a search on there or google it to get more details. A 2' x 4' community nest box would be good for a lot more than 12 hens. The "normal" (as if anything with chickens is normal) design of a community nest box is to hinge the top so you can get inside to collect the eggs, have a top on it so it is fairly dark, and have an opening in each end for them to use for access. It needs to be deep enough so they can get by each other since one will position herself to be in the way if she can. Your 24" wide is plenty deep enough for that.

    Of course, an open "manger" type nest box that size will also probably work well.

    You might look through this to see what a few people have done with nest boxes. There are no hard and fast rules. You are only limited by your imagination.

    Nesting Boxes
  5. atr04screw

    atr04screw Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 14, 2011
    Should the dividers be more like walls that they have to walk around or smaller dividers that they can step over?
  6. Ivywoods

    Ivywoods Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 28, 2010
    Hiawatha, KS

    This is a picture of my community nest box. It is an antique "Farm Master." It has one round hole that opens up into the coop. The hens go in there, and they simply lay their eggs on the wire mesh in the bottom of it. The eggs then roll to the front because the bottom is slanted. All I have to do is go into the supply area of my coop, open the lid in front and gather the eggs. I have used this with as many as 35+ hens.

    They really don't need divided nest boxes. If you like that kind of set up, try it, but I think you will find they pretty much all use the same box. If I had my choice, I would make ALL my nest boxes to roll out to the front like this. The eggs stay cleaner. There is not as much breakage. You don't have to worry about chickens eating their own eggs.

    I built this nest box last winter. It is a 10 hole, but the hens usually only lay in one or two of the boxes. I am hoping to get time to convert it to a roll out nest sometime.
  7. 7L Farm

    7L Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 22, 2010
    Anderson, Texas
    Here's an easy design >[​IMG]
  8. FiveAcres

    FiveAcres Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 13, 2011
    White, GA
    That Farm Master design looks ideal. What would be the limit for hens using a community box such as that??
  9. atr04screw

    atr04screw Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 14, 2011
    What bedding should I use in the laying box? I have cedar bedding and hay, but I'm not sure which is best.
  10. Chucken

    Chucken Out Of The Brooder

    May 28, 2011
    NorCal SF East Bay
    The coop is still under construction, but the nest box is done except for linoleum and paint


    Lid up to collect eggs


    Disassembled for cleaning
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2011

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by