Milk crates for Buffs and Barred Rocks....

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by beebiz, Jul 10, 2007.

  1. beebiz

    beebiz Songster

    Jul 2, 2007
    W. Tennessee
    I did a search for "milk crates" and found several posts where people say that they use milk crates for nests. Several years ago, I had some Silkies, Cochins, and some BB Reds. For those little gals, I used milk crates and things worked out fine. But now, I have nothing but Buff Orphingtons and Plymouth Barred Rocks... about 58 total (about 35 pullets and the balance in roos). If I use milk crates for nests, will they be big enough for the Buffs and Rocks to lay in and to hatch eggs in????

    Thanks in advance for your help and advice!

  2. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    I don't know about hatching eggs, but they're large enough for my Wyandottes, who actually like them. I have since removed them because they aren't needed, but if I put one back with straw in it, I know one of the Wyandotte sisters or one of my Barred Rocks would lay in it.
  3. beebiz

    beebiz Songster

    Jul 2, 2007
    W. Tennessee
    Thanks Cynthia. I am thinking very seriously about trying them. It would be sooooo much easier than building nests from scratch. My main concern was if there would be enough room for the hens to have a clutch of eggs and be able to get in and out of the nest without breaking the eggs. I believe I'll give it a try though!

    Thanks again!!
  4. Yonaton

    Yonaton Songster

    Jun 28, 2007
    West TN
    For some reason there's two different sizes of milk crates. The bigger sizes (if you can find them) will work perfectly. Look at yard sales and such and even go to the milk distributor place...they have to get rid of old ones after a certain amount of time.
  5. dreamgirl

    dreamgirl Songster

    May 28, 2007
    Hudson Valley, NY
    I was going to do this too, someone gave me a few, but when I measued them today I noticed that even the larger 18" one was only 10 1/2" deep. I thought regular and heavy breeds were supposed to be 12" deep?
  6. okiechick57

    okiechick57 Songster

    [​IMG] After finding my hens laying in this plant pot...I decided not much room was needed, haha....they have huge nesting boxes and ended up here [​IMG]

    Last edited: Jul 12, 2007
  7. Buckguy20

    Buckguy20 OKIE MOSES

    Apr 13, 2007
    Choctaw Oklahoma
    Hello, [​IMG]
    I have milk crates (salvaged from a city dump years ago) that I have nailed to the walls in my hen house. They make great nests and are plenty big enough for my large breed chickens. Orpingtons, Giants etc.
    You just need to make sure they are leval. Sometime when you fasten them to the walls they pitch forward. You can offset that some with plenty of straw or hay but sometimes you have to rig something up to level them. I have some also sitting atop a 2x12 shelf but I like them hanging from the walls better because they are easier to clean.
    They work ok on the floor but not as well if it is a dirt floor because they will draw moisture
    Also if you do set them on the floor or a shelf, you need to weight them down because they will sometimes tip over when the hen is getting in or out. I have used rocks or bricks and then covered them with the nesting material. I use straw.
    Mine have a metal ten hole nest box as well but 80 % of mine lay in the crates.
    Hope this helps, [​IMG]
  8. wendy

    wendy On the Hill

    Jun 14, 2007
    central louisiana
    we have barred rocks and aussies
    they lay in the milk crates. we did make the mistake of using different sizes and they favor one over the other! so from my personal experinence if i had to do it over again i would stay with one size!! [​IMG] [​IMG]
  9. ChicksinBoise

    ChicksinBoise Songster

    Jun 14, 2007
    We have them and the hens have no problem laying in them.
  10. beebiz

    beebiz Songster

    Jul 2, 2007
    W. Tennessee
    Guys, thanks for all the feedback!! It's pretty obvious that there should be no problem with my BO's and PBR's laying in the milk crates. The only thing that still concerns me is whether or not they will have enough room in them to hatch out chicks without breaking several eggs or killing the chicks. Have any of you had any experience with your large breed hens hatching out chicks in the milk crates??? If so, please tell me how it went.

    Thanks again for all the information that you have each shared with me.


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