My rollout nest box build - Pic Heavy

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by RiddleMe, Jun 30, 2012.

  1. RiddleMe

    RiddleMe Songster

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    After doing a bunch of reading and looking at all the pics in Opa's thread about his new design, I decided to take a crack at building my own set of roll out nest boxes. I have a sweet little EE who lays 5 large/jumbo green eggs each week but has become an egg eater, if this means I don't have to cull her, it was worth the effort!!

    I built my boxes using left over scrap lumber from other projects, mostly 3/4" and 5/8" OSB, some 3/8" plywood, and a small sheet of 1/4" particle board. So I had to come up with my own plan, to fit the lumber I had available, but I was still able to stick with basic dimension recommendations. The boxes are ~10"x12"x12" in the front and 12"x12"x12" in the back. Most of my OSB was already cut at 2'x4' so I just went with 8 boxes. The plywood was 18"x4' so I have a ~6" flat area at the end of the ramp, but I think that will work ok.

    Getting started, drew my design/dimensions on my 8' piece of OSB and laid out the dividers for a test fit before cutting.

    [​IMG]

    My little helper... Very helpful and loves to hand me dropped pencils, fetch screws, etc.[​IMG] Don't worry, he knows to stay well away when I'm using the circular saw.

    [​IMG]

    The sides are done. I added the 2"x2" so I wasn't drilling into the ends of the OSB "shelves". This way I can drill down into the 2"x2" to attach them. I extended the lower ones so they can serve as supports for the entry steps.

    [​IMG]

    Adding the shelves and dividers. I did this in steps, 1) I glued the bottom of the dividers to their respective shelves and used a few finishing nails with each to hold them in place (to impatient to wait for the glue to dry). 2) I screwed the little support pieces to the bottom of the middle shelf. 3) I installed the two shelves and connected the tops of the bottom row of dividers to their support. Then repeated steps 2 and 3 with the top shelf.

    I put everything together inside my shed, we had thunder storms all day long and I wanted to be able to just close the doors and run for the house if it started to dump rain.

    [​IMG]

    I really liked Opa's ramps, and had the perfect 1"x4" scrap to use to duplicate his ramp angle with minimal cutting, right until I realized that my ramps were only 18" (vs his "24) and I needed to decrease my front height to 2 5/8" to keep the same angle. After searching through my scrap for something that would work and require less cutting, I found the perfect boards, but they weren't long enough to make side ramps. So I decided to just put them at the front each nest box, with a brace at the back of each ramp I don't think they will slip off.

    On the bottom row of boxes, in the lower left and right corners, you can also see small 2"x2" scraps. These were to attach the front trim pieces. I would have used them regardless (the whole didn't want to drill into the ends of OSB), but since all my wood was already cut at 4', meaning the shelves and trim boards were the same length, the trim boards don't actually reach to the outside of the side boards. Oops...

    [​IMG]

    One back board in place, I left a 2 3/4" gap to accommodate the height of whatever fake grass I end up with and still have 2" for the eggs to roll under. The back boards are held in place with 4 screws so I can adjust height pretty easily if I need to.

    At the back of the bottom row of ramps you can just see the stop board at the end of the egg collection area and a bottom board to act as a brace for the ramps, a nice little piece of scrap siding that just happened to be the right length and thickness.
    [​IMG]

    I'm ready to paint once the clouds clear up. Once I've build a base stand for it to sit on, and gotten it moved (thank goodness DH is strong, this thing will be heavy!!), I'll add a hinged top board for storage on top and the steps. Didn't want to add steps until last as they will just be in the way while painting/working on the front of the boxes.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2012
  2. yakibert

    yakibert Songster

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    Nice!
     
  3. RiddleMe

    RiddleMe Songster

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    Nest boxes painted and installed. Moved the hens into their new coop last night, got my first two eggs this morning so they seem to have passed muster! Of course, I found three hens crammed into one box when I went out this morning, crazy chickens.

    Lower right corner is my Am hen BeeBee, she's having a really hard time with the heat this year (90 degrees today).
    [​IMG]

    BeeBee dipping her toes in some water to cool off.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. dominiques

    dominiques Chirping

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    Love your colors! Why did you lift your nest boxes up off the floor? I'm building our coop and trying to decide where to place our boxes and noticed that about yours. Thanks! HOpe BeeBee is ok with the heat.
     
  5. RiddleMe

    RiddleMe Songster

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    I wanted the girls to be able to use that floor space and also didn't want to have to collect eggs at floor level. Not a big deal for me but I have an 80 year old neighbor who collects if I'm out of town. She's also the reason for the rear rollout with access doors in the wall, so she doesn't have to enter the coop.

    I still have to install a hinged board on the slanted top to keep them of that area, it will be storage for extra feeders and other misc supplies.
     
  6. dominiques

    dominiques Chirping

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    Great idea and use of space. [​IMG]
     
  7. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg Songster

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    This is a great design, I want to use the roll away to the back also and have a access from outside but I don't want the entire box or the egg collection box to be outside as it may get too cold in the winter. This way I can have a hatch in the outer wall with the entire box indoors. Also like the storage idea.
     
  8. RiddleMe

    RiddleMe Songster

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    It's worked great for me, we are often below freezing here, though rarely in single digits, and having it inside the coop I've never had an issue with frozen eggs. And everything has worked as planned, the eggs roll to the back of the rollout area, stay nice and clean, and no issues with breakage or egg eating, even with the occassional thin shell. And I easily removed a ramp this spring when a hen went broody, so she had a nice flat box to sit and hatch her babies (have a second broody in there now).
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2013
  9. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg Songster

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    What is the approximate pitch of the roll away floor? I assume your boxes are 12 wide and 12 long then 10 tall in the front at the high point of the roll away floor? So basically you are pitching down 2" in the 12" depth of the box? Or am I misunderstanding your measurements? Also what is the depth of the total unit including the egg gathering area in back?
     
  10. RiddleMe

    RiddleMe Songster

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    Biy
    Boy, I reread my narrative and was temporarily confused, and I built the thing! You have it right, except they are 9" tall at the high point of the ramp vs 10" - I had that wrong in my 1st narrative but cannot correct but the front ramp support strip is set at 2 5/8", the ramp is 3/8" plywood so that makes the top of the ramp sit right at 3" in the front. The back collection area behind the net box is 12" deep. The ramp itself is 18" long and has a 2:12 drop, so there is a 6" flat area at the back. The original poster whose design I based this on used a 24" ramp, 4" high at the front, so still a 2:12 drop. I have found that even with the shorter ramp they still roll across the flat part to the back of the collection area. To be safe I also took some pipe insulation, cut it in half long ways and attached it at the back of the collection area to act as a bumper, but I don't think it's really necessary.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2013

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