Nest box in or out?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by RachelVT, May 12, 2010.

  1. RachelVT

    RachelVT In the Brooder

    Apr 28, 2010
    I live in VT and it gets quite cold....I really wanted my nest boxes on the outside to keep as much floor space as possible. But now I am starting to second guess myself due to the harsh winters. My coop is 8' x 8' and I am getting 5 hens. I would love to be able to get more in the future. How many nesting boxes could I do on the inside and still have room for more hens? How many boxes do you think I would need for say....8 hens? I was going to do 3 for the 5 first hens I get. That should be good for 8 hens right? I don't know, I find my head is spinning!!!![​IMG]
  2. 8 hens 4 boxes 2 to a box is my rule not sure if it is right or not but that is the way I do it.....

    Good luck to you
  3. sgtmom52

    sgtmom52 Birds & Bees

    I have an 8x8 coop with 9 girls in residence right now ~ at one time had 10 girls and 2 roos with no problems. DH put in 8 inside nest boxes when he built it ~ but they only use their favorite 4. Often I will find all of the eggs for the day in 1 or 2 boxes ~ I think they wait in line for the "favorite box of the day"!

    I like my inside nest boxes as I like to go inside the coop and spend time with the girls when I collect eggs.
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    There is IMHO only one reason for having outside nestboxes. That is if your coop is so small you want to preserve floorspace AND TOO SHORT to mount them at least 14" above the floor.

    If your coop is 8x8, presumably it is walk-in height. Thus, just mount the boxes on the wall, a foot and a half or two feet above the floor, and the chickens can happily stroll around underneath them and no space is lost.

    Outside nestboxes are significantly more aggravating to build, more freeze-prone, less weatherproof, and less predatorproof than inside boxes, so should be avoided whenever possible IMO.

    If you want outside *access*, it is easy enough to build a lockable hatchway in the wall so you can reach in and nab eggs from *inside* boxes [​IMG]

    GOod luck, have fun,

  5. I have 13 hens and 4 nest boxes. Usually they say one box per 4 chickens. No matter how many you have, they will always want to use the one that the other hen is already in! [​IMG] My coop is 8x8 walkin style coop. My boxes are raised off the floor, allowing room for the chickens to use the floor space as they want. Works great for me! It also makes sure that I walk in the coop and give it a visual inspection at least once, if not more, a day.

    You can see the space under the nest boxes that allow the chickens to use the floor space. You can also see they always want the box they can't have...the white is trying to get into a box already occuppied by 2 birds![​IMG] This was taken the first day that 4 girls started to lay...they all wanted to check out the boxes for size. I usually do not have quite the holdup for the girls to use the boxes.

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