? laying/nesting boxes question

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by 7peeplings, Jun 27, 2010.

  1. 7peeplings

    7peeplings Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 11, 2010
    Inside the chicken house, I have 3 nesting boxes. The are about 18" off the shavings floor. Will a hen jump up there easily to lay an egg, or should I build little ramps or ladders up to each one?

    I cant get a photo do upload today.

    Thanks for any advice!
     
  2. Dr HaHa

    Dr HaHa Grinning Chicken Lips

    Feb 11, 2009
    Nekoosa Wi.
    Morning 7peeplings! They won't have any problem getting to the nest boxes but you might want to build a railing for them to land on just outside of the boxes. About 3" out from the boxes. My girls will often walk along it picking out a suitable nest. Hope this helps!
     
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    At 18", they should be able to jump up there easily. If you really want to, you can put a shelf or perch in front of the nests, or maybe 6" to 9" below the openings. I would not build ramps or ladders as these will just be in your way when you clean the coop.
     
  4. 7peeplings

    7peeplings Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 11, 2010
    Perfect! that's what I needed to know. I was just worried that they might roost on a perch there & splat eggs down to the floor.
    I have a perfect stick for this.
    Thanks a bunch!
     
  5. SparksNV

    SparksNV Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 13, 2010
    Spanish Springs, NV
    Won't the chickens use the pole to roost on? Or is 3" too close to the wall to be comfortable?
     
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Quote:The pole is lower than the roosts so they should not roost on it. They may perch on it during the day to play or rest but should not roost on it at night. This pole just to allow access to the nesting boxes.

    Is 3" too close to be comfortable to roost on? Probably. Mine like to roost sitting across the roost, not along it. But my roost is round. If the roost is flat, who knows? I have had 12 week olds try to roost on the 1-1/2" thickness of a 2x4 nailed to a wall. I was amazed they stayed up there at all. This was during integration and they were trying to roost as far from the adults as possible so maybe they had some motivation. For grown chickens, the recommendation for a roost is to have it 12" from the wall.

    I would have put a perch for them to get to the nests about 6" away from the front of the nests if they have to fly or jump very far up, but Dr. Haha seems to get 3" to work. Maybe the good Dr. uses something fairly wide or with easy access, although it sounded like a railing?
     
  7. SparksNV

    SparksNV Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks Ridgerunner! I am designing my coop now & hope to start building this week. My nest boxes will be 18" off floor but plan on using the DLM with 6" of pine shavings - so that makes it only 12" up from shavings - do you think that is too low? I have plenty of room to go higher if needed.
     
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    I'd go a little higher. You may plan on 6" but you can easily wind up with more. If the chickens get under the nest boxes and play, they will keep the shavings under there scratched out and mixed up with the rest. But if the space is too tight, they will scratch the shavings from the rest of the coop under the nest boxes and fill that space up. Then they don't have room to get under the nest boxes and clean that area out.

    Another reason. Chickens like to lay in tight protected dark places. Areas that look like they are hidden from predators. If the space is too tight, it may become a tempting nesting area. In some ways that is not a bad thing, but it can be difficult to bend down and reach in to get the eggs. Fake eggs in the nest helps with that, but a certain Delaware pullet and I had some serious discussions about that.
     
  9. SparksNV

    SparksNV Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Again Ridgerunner - thanks for the info - i just moved the nesting boxes up in my plans - they will be external nesting boxes so the chickens will not be able to get under them in the coop. As far as outside, the coop will be elevated 2 ft. I have some metal poles I salvaged and will use one of them for a perch to access the box. I'll put some non skid tape on the poles.
     

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