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Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by yellowirenut, Mar 6, 2012.
I have seen plastic nest pads used in several coop designs..
what are the pro and cons of them?
Okay, I'll bite. I feel bad no one has answered you. I'm assuming you mean the directional astro turf that people have in their Roll Out nest boxes, yes? Roll out nest boxes are designed at an angle so when the hen lays the egg, the egg immediately starts rolling down the slope to a bumper out of reach by the hen. They were designed for egg-eaters. If you have any chickens that eat eggs, either you'll be culling them, or figuring out a way to get the egg before they do. In a roll out nest box, you can NOT have any bedding of any kind that will impede the rolling of the egg down the incline. The grass-like turf is also "directional"-- meaning it actually helps the egg to roll down the box to the collection tray behind the box.
Here is Opa's roll out design: You can't really see the incline inside the box-- but the last picture shows you the collection tray and where the egg rolls out under from the nest box. The turf provides enough softness to prevent the egg from breaking when laid-- BUT also to help the egg roll away from the hen.
Picture BELOW: This is the front of the box where the hen lays and the incline in the box and you can see barely an egg that has rolled out of reach--
Below: this is the BACK side of the box-- where the eggs roll out and the plastic turf you are talking about
By the way, Opa has created the plans and designs for these roll out nest boxes --- so if you are interested in building them, he gives them away (and explains them) for free. He also has created a couple of threads about them, but you'll have to search in the search bar for 'Opa roll out box' or something along those lines. I know he's emailed people the plans when they've asked him. You could then ask him where to buy the turf, as I don't know where they are buying it from. I've read that people haven't had good luck with regular turf -- that eggs just don't roll like they should.
thanks for the reply. exactly what i wanted to know
Yes i have seen his post and was going to make my own roll out. Was thinking why not use the AstroTurf stuff but if the spikes are directional i can see why the ones the ones for nest boxers would work better. I am going to re read his page to determine the best slope for the eggs to roll.
Right-- some people had bought regular astro turf that just was straight up -- not directional. They didn't have very good luck with the eggs rolling well. I know there were a couple of places people were buying the directional turf-- because the "grass" is actually bent in one direction which was causing the egg to roll very well. There was one place that was pretty expensive and they sold it in small pads. Then someone came across a site that sold it for cheaper in larger cuts and everyone jumped on that. There is a thread about it-- it's much larger than the thread where he just talks about showing his pictures of his boxes. I remember at the time, I scoped out the company that sold the turf, but didn't need it at the time, so I didn't make an effort to remember or write it down. Good luck with your roll outs!! Guessing you have egg-eating hens? Hopefully this will fix 'em.
they dont eat them unless they are cracked or broken already
I am starting to build a new coop and wanted a nest design where i did not have to reach far into the nest. rather have the egg waiting for me when I open the hatch.
I am building the coop as a "kit" so when i make the switch my birds are without a place for at the most one night.
The company that was listed in Opa's thread was:
Bob W [FL]
The reason pad work better than turf is large hole in the pad and turf more carpet like. For egg eater you can't beat a ceramic egg. Plastic or wood or goofballs won't work. Rancher in Texas also used them to kill large egg eating snakes. I always have some where chickens lay egg. I have to put litte x's on the end of the egg so I can find the real eggs. You can bye them in brown and white. Chickens beeks tells them alot what thing are and a ceramic egg is not a fun experienc for a chicken. They quite eating eggs.