More help needed...interior vs exterior nesting box

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by absinor, Aug 30, 2008.

  1. absinor

    absinor Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 21, 2008
    We are determined to finish the coop this weekend!

    Our coop for 4 hens is 3'x4'. Here's a pic of the box as it was yesterday so you can get an idea of the space.

    I am now thinking that it would be better to attach the box on the outside to give the hens more space, but afraid of our limited carpentry skills.

    Do you think it's ok generally where it is in this pic? The roosts are going to be high up on the opposite wall, higher than and as far away as possible from the nesting box.

    What do you think? Nesting box inside or outside? It would be simpler to leave it inside, but we want to do the best thing from the start.

    Thanks for all the help! My chickens would be in trouble without you. Please ignore the level of carpentry shown in this pic [​IMG]

  2. Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Apr 20, 2008
    Birnamwood, Wisconsin
    We have ours inside because of how cold it gets here in WI. I guess it's just a personal have more floor room putting them out but warmer keeping them in. And possibly less predator problems.
  3. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    May 24, 2007
    Hangin Wit My Peeps makes a great point about having them inside due to cold weather (don't know where you live?). I, too, have mine inside but for different reasons.

    First, I have a walk in coop; so I we walk into the people side to get the eggs through the back of the nest boxes. I love this set up because:
    1) we can get our eggs without standing outside in bad weather,
    2) we can take the time to look everything/everybody over without standing out in the rain/snow,
    3) if a child leaves the back of the nest box open I don't ever have to worry about a chicken getting outside and eaten by a predator because they just get through to the people side which is still safe inside the coop.

    Now, having said all that... I think your chickens would be happier with more floor space, so I would suggest you attach your nest boxes to the outside of the coop. (Although, having the flat roof on the nest boxes like you do, does, in itself, give the same floor space.) You may end up not liking all the poop that ends up on top of the nest boxes though.

    By the way.. your carpentry skills look just fine... you are doing a great job! [​IMG]
  4. absinor

    absinor Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 21, 2008
    Thanks for your responses! This chicken business is a bigger project than we expected. I feel lucky to have this board to ask questions!

    We're in Portland OR so rain is more of a problem that severe cold and snow. The box would be under a 3' roof overhang so I feel ok about rain. We'll also caulk well to keep the box dry.

    Predators are a good point! I wonder if we had clasps with locking carabiners on the sides of the lid, and then a clasp with a lock on the front, if that would keep them safe. If the box is well built, the lid is the point of vulnerability, right?

    It will be too high up for the kids to open (for now!).

    I guess the bottom line is that I will feel better with them having more floor space and keeping the nests/eggs cleaner. They have a covered run, an uncovered run and some free range time, but it's going to be a long wet winter. I can build better roost options if the box is outside too.

    Anyone have pics of their exterior nest boxes?
  5. funkychickenowner

    funkychickenowner Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 30, 2008
    Sussex County NJ
    Dont worry as someone else here said you will get your $1000 dollar egg! I'm still waitin' for mine.
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Alternatively, if you do not want to go to the trouble of engineering/building a strong secure weatherproof exterior box, what if you did the following:

    -- reduce it to one nest box, perhaps slightly generously sized, and
    -- mount it 14-16" off the floor so that if they want to duck under it they can (I think they will percieve this as extra floor space even if it is not 100% fun-to-use). I *think* that should leave it still safely lower than your roost?

    Good luck and have fun, that looks like a nice little coop you're building there,

  7. Chicabee19

    Chicabee19 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2008
    Your box looks a lot like what I plan to do, just a little different layout.

    I think it's just fine for Portland weather!

    maybe think about making your run sand, and covering part of it?

    good job
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2008
  8. Jenski

    Jenski Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 17, 2008
    Middle Tennessee
    We started out with side-by-side nesting boxes on our 4-hen coop, but later modified to have stacking top-and-bottom ones. It used the space well, the girls like both boxes, and we have more perch space. We didn't have to make a huge change, and the boxes are still inside.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by