Nest box help

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by seafood, Feb 13, 2008.

  1. seafood

    seafood Songster

    Feb 12, 2008
    Are nest box designs REALLY that crucial? Aside from being elevated off the ground, big enough and dark enough for the hen to feel comfy, do you really need all of the other bells and whistles?

    My plan was to use simple white pine or plywood. Plan to build 12” x 12” x 14” sized boxes with a slanted roof back to front. Also will have a “lip” on the front to keep eggs from falling out and a perch about 4 inches in front of the box. That’s it.

    All of these fancy boxes with hinges and drop down bottoms for cleaning and exterior “back doors” to get the eggs. Its great if you want to be that fancy but are they needed?

    I guess my real question is this. How hard are the nests to clean if you don’t have a floor that drops out? Seems to me I will just put on a pair of work gloves, remove old, dirty hay and fill with new fresh hay. Is there more to it? Am I missing something?

    Thanks all.
  2. UncleHoot

    UncleHoot Songster

    May 22, 2007
    St. Johns, Michigan
    That sounds good to me. Mine are essentially divided shelves with a lip on the front. Make sure you make a slanted "roof" on the top, though, otherwise they have a tendancy to roost and poop. I wish I had known that before I built mine... [​IMG]
  3. Buckguy20

    Buckguy20 OKIE MOSES

    Apr 13, 2007
    Choctaw Oklahoma
    I have a high dollar galvanized unit with ten nest boxes. I also have six mlk crates nailed to the wall. They lay in the crates the best but I have used everything from old refrigeerator bins to five gallon buckets. They will lay in just about anything. I think there is a thread on here with pics about a five gallon bucket design. Use your imagination, just about anything can work.
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2008
  4. SeaChick

    SeaChick Songster

    Apr 25, 2007
    Southern Maine
    I don't have a drop-down floor and I certainly don't miss it! Our girls don't get the nest boxes very dirty at all; every month or so I just empty out the shavings in there (small whisk broom and dust pan work fine) and add new shavings some DE. No promblem,

    I do have "egg doors" on the back, but that's just so we can collect eggs without going into the coop.

    I think your plan sounds fine!!

  5. willheveland

    willheveland Songster

    Jan 29, 2008
    southern tier,NY
    I think your plan is perfect.Bells and whistles are more for the owners than the chickensThey are not so demanding.
    Mine sound just like what you are talking about,except I built mine so that a plastic rubbermaid dish pan would fit in there.I put wood pine shavings inside and nailed a strip of wood across the front to keep it from falling out.Then you can just pull them out to collect eggs and slide back in.They wash out easy and refill with shavings. Will
  6. Kristina

    Kristina Songster

    Apr 30, 2007
    South Louisiana
    My chickens are easy LOL....They all insist that they must lay in the one milk crate that sits in the coop. Everyone from the biggest to the smallest uses it! Little girls go in 2 at a time [​IMG]
  7. willheveland

    willheveland Songster

    Jan 29, 2008
    southern tier,NY
    here's ours. will
  8. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    The bells and whistles types seem to come from two sources -- traditional designs from like 1950 (or 1850 <g>) meant for people with fifty or a hundred hens and skajillions of other farm chores waithing to be done; and newfangled versions concocted by people who just like sitting around thinking up different ways of doing things.

    Milk crate, rubbermaid tote, old drawers, whatever - the chickens do not seem very picky so it's sort of whatever you want to live with [​IMG]


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