Need help with nesting boxes

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by chickenkerri, Feb 12, 2009.

  1. chickenkerri

    chickenkerri Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 10, 2009
    Western North Carolina
    I've been procrastinating! I have nine BA pullets that are 15 weeks old. The coop is done and awesome but we don't have any boxes yet. Do we need to build one for EACH of them? Or will they share space? Also, what is a good size to build the boxes? Materials? [​IMG]

    Thanks SOOOOOOOO much!

  2. RendonRoo

    RendonRoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 7, 2009
    ft. worth
    they will share boxes. I'm new and not sure about size but i've seen several post here where ppl. use 5 gal. plastic buckets on thier sides.
  3. ams3651

    ams3651 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 23, 2008
    NE PA
    I have 5 and they all share 2 although they seem to prefer one of them. I used 2 small dish pans and put them inside an old drawer (basically for a wood frame, could easily make). For nine I might have 4-5 boxes. The dish pans work well because when they get dirty I can just lift it out, dump and wash.
  4. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    If you build, boxes about 15x15x15" for standard layers is about right, placed a foot off the ground and with a perch in front. We built 6 boxes for 12 layers but 2 would have been enough. Have a lip on the front to hold nesting material in front.

    Shown here, about 3/4 down the page
  5. newchickmom

    newchickmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 8, 2007
    Lafayette, Indiana
    I have 26 hens with 8 nest boxes. They mainly use their favorite 4, so 8 was not necessary. I should have went with 5 or 6.
  6. horsejody

    horsejody Squeaky Wheel

    Feb 11, 2008
    Waterloo, Nebraska
    DH built me 8 nest boxes. They mainly use 2. I have even seen them standing in line to get in to lay an egg even though the other boxes were empty.
  7. ErinMari

    ErinMari Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 10, 2009
    My nine hens had nesting boxes but I didn't make the dividers tall enought so they would roost on the tops of them. so i took the dividers out but they pushed all the hay off the shelf and all started sharing a nest on the ground in the corner of the coop!

    how do i make them stop pushing the hay off the shelf and lay on the shelf instead of the ground?[​IMG]
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Quote:Hens will lay where they want, but you can influence them. They like to lay in dark places, so put sides and a top and put the nesting boxes in the darker area of the coop. You might try moving the nesting boxes away from the wall and put the entrance on the wall side to make it darker. Or you could partially close in the open side to make it darker. I'd think a 9" square opening would be big enough for your hens to get into the nest. Someone with more experience might want to comment on the entry size.

    A lip on the opening, probably 4" to 6" high, would make it harder for them to kick out the nesting material. A top on the nesting boxes will make it darker and keep them from perching over the nest and fouling it. If you make the nesting boxes dark or configured where you cannot see where you are putting your hand when gathering the eggs, I'd make the top hinged so I could open it to see where I am putting my hands. Black snakes especially love eggs and the older I get the less I like surprises.

    To show them where to lay, put an egg or two in the nest. This could be a fake egg, like a smooth rock the right size or plastic Easter eggs. You could use a real egg, but I'd mark it with a soft-leaded pencil so I would know which one is not fresh.

    The experts say you need one nesting box for every 4 hens but I'd be happy with two for 9 hens.

    If you have roosts higher than the nesting boxes, they won't roost as much over the nesting boxes, but I would not expect them to completely stop perching there and fouling the nests.
  9. TexasVet

    TexasVet Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 12, 2008
    Willis TX
    I just got through gathering my eggs, and 8 out of the 10 I found were all in a single nest.

    I use large store bins and domed litter boxes for next boxes. Got a couple of wooden crates turned on their sides too (with a short board nailed across the front). Sometimes they prefer one type, sometimes another.

    Kathy in Texas

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