? Milk crates as nest boxes for larger hens?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by chantald, Aug 18, 2008.

  1. Hello
    I'm needing to get some nest boxes.. I had this large metal one that came with our coop.

    It is rather beat up, has holes.. but I thought it would be ok. It is really too big for my space.. and the large fixed size makes placing it difficult. That and the 3 youngest hens insist on sleeping IN it and making a big mess..

    So.. I took it out, added another roosting bar in the hopes that more space to roost would solve the sleeping in the nest problem.. and am wondering what my next step is.

    I have Aussies, RIRs, BRs and 2 mystery hens.. Would milk crates be a good solution or something else?
  2. cmcgoun

    cmcgoun Songster

    Milk crates are good, and you can also cut out parts of 5 gallon buckets to make good nests.
  3. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    Yes, milk crates work. 5 gallon buckets work. Any number of things work well. Look around and see what you can find for free.

    You won't need many. Chickens tend to crowd in together and want to lay in the same place.
  4. Great.. I'd love to see pictures of items re-used as nest boxes. I'll have to see if a search brings them up.

    So, 3 for 10 hens would be good.. that would take up so much less space than what I have.. it would be great!!

    Now, if they would just start laying! I had a long talk with them the other day..I think they are ignoring me.. [​IMG] [​IMG]
  5. kalaim

    kalaim Songster

    Jul 22, 2008
    Do you set the milk crates on the floor, or do you somehow still raise them?

  6. cmcgoun

    cmcgoun Songster

    You should probably raise them, although its not necessary
  7. jamietidwell

    jamietidwell Chirping

    Aug 7, 2008
    canton, ms
    I got the milk crate idea from my uncle. We hang them about 2-3 feet up and put straw or hay in them for a nest. They love them. And the comfort of safety by being raised up makes them happy. Good luck!
  8. LauraSBale

    LauraSBale Songster

    In my last coop i used a couple milk crates, i put a board on the inside bottom the put a board a cross the front so the bedding and eggs wouldn't fall out, and then nailed them to the wall.
  9. Do milk crates come in different sizes? Are there any deep ones (when on their sides) that would be more appropriate? Do I just lay them on their sides and secure them?

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/2775684582/
    Ok.. here are my two.. One is a milk crate screwed to the wall.. just a tad off the floor. The other is a kitty litter box, also screwed to the wall.

    WIll these work for my girls? I need more?
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2008
  10. jmc

    jmc Songster

    Jul 22, 2008
    South Central MA
    Good thread, friends!

    On the subject of milk crates.

    But shouldn't nest boxes be darkened somehow? Yet, a milkcrate is really open on all sides. Wouldn't it work better to cover the crate all around (inside or out) with...er....something?

    I've never tried milkcrates, but have considered it. Yet the 'difficulty' I've just presented above makes me pause.

    You who have used crates, have you just left them 'open' on the sides, just lining the bottom, or have you gone all around with covering? If you haven't have they been used well by your birds?

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