Moving Nest Boxes Higher?

Juise

Songster
8 Years
Mar 4, 2011
958
10
123
I am doing some reworking in the coop, and I would like to add a cabinet to store feed / scratch / straw. I would like to keep as much floor space open as possible, though, so I was thinking about moving the nest boxes on top of the cabinet. So far, their nest boxes have been on the ground. To add to the confusion, I just built some new nest boxes that I haven't given to them yet.

Do you think this will be too much for them to handle all at once?

Is there a recommendation on how high up nest boxes should be? Or as long as they have access via a ramp or ladder does it not matter how high they are? I mean, I am not putting them that high, probably around 4 foot at the most.

Do you think I should first introduce the new boxes in the same location as the old before moving them up, so they have a chance to get used to them? I am thinking they will just keep laying in the corner if I take away their old boxes and stick new ones up on the cabinet. I moved their nest boxes from one side of the coop to the other a while back to make room for sectioning off an area for new birds that they will need to get acquainted with. I did this before sectioning anything off so they would get used to it, but they kept laying in the same spot their boxes used to be up until I fenced it off, even though they were the same boxes. They sure get set in their ways.
 

Opa

Opa-wan Chickenobi
12 Years
May 11, 2008
9,573
480
336
Howell Michigan
I use a 6 nest rollout box that I built and the bottom nests are 12" from the floor and the top row is about 30". The birds have no difficulty accessing the top row. Chickens find a darkened nest box appealing.

You should never have your nest boxes higher than your roosts as the birds will use them for roosts.
 

Achickenwrangler#1

Songster
8 Years
Aug 7, 2011
2,431
120
183
west virginia
they do seem to like to stick to one spot! That's fine until one goes broody and you want to let her! Mine are up high six feet right now, but that's a workout for the heavy layers, so I added a few more boxes at four and six feet..they sit on shelves right now and can move them as I want...I found the easiest way to get them into a new location is to put one of yesterdays eggs in the new spot, then they think it's OK. Alot depends on the agility of your birds, they do fine with a secure way to get there, they also like to be hidden from traffic and eyeballs.
 

RaZ

Crowing
10 Years
Apr 20, 2011
7,556
4,842
487
Paradise, MI
I have a pair that are 4 feet off the floor and they are by far the most popular place for laying eggs. The bantam, the Uggos and the big girls all use the same box.

There are other boxes on the ground and at 1 and 2 feet but are pretty much ignored.
Just a note: the Uggos started laying up in the attic on the bare floor until I plugged the Bryan Hole.
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Mavrik

Songster
8 Years
Jun 15, 2011
263
19
111
Roosts etc, can be too high depending how much landing space (can they FLY down) and a soft landing the birds have. I had a big issue with feet impact injuries, nothing is higher than 30 inches in my coop now.
 

CorinneP

Songster
7 Years
Apr 19, 2012
860
30
113
Up State New York
having a slanted roof on your nesting boxes will discourage them from being used as roosts. I have mine double stacked and the hens adjusted quickly when I put them in. of course I still have an occasional one lay an egg on the floor .. or behind a milk crate or something ground level, but most have found their way into the boxes and adjusted fine .
 

RaZ

Crowing
10 Years
Apr 20, 2011
7,556
4,842
487
Paradise, MI
Roosts etc, can be too high depending how much landing space (can they FLY down) and a soft landing the birds have. I had a big issue with feet impact injuries, nothing is higher than 30 inches in my coop now.
That's a good point. I have my coop set up with "steps" so they can hop up and down to the nest boxes and roosts.
 

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