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Nest box size

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by lnm03, Nov 3, 2008.

  1. lnm03

    lnm03 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 6, 2008
    What is the best size for our nest boxes? I have Black sexlinks, white leghorns and an assortment of bantams. Also, I think my packing peanuts were RIR's and my two mysterious chicks I now believe are partridge rocks....could be wrong on that one but we will see.

    Any how I have read several different sizes....12'' w X 12'' h X 12'' d, 15'' w x 12'' h x 12'' d ect..... so I got the 12''h & the 12'' d but what is the best width??? 15, 12, 14, wider not so wide any suggestions??
     
  2. hinky toes

    hinky toes Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 1, 2008
    Bozeman, MT
    Ours are 16 x 16 x 16 for no reason other than the dimension worked out that way when I built the 2 unit by 4 unit nest box condos to fit in the space available (that's 8 nest boxes for 24 layers). So far, they seem to be happy with the set up...14 to 18 eggs per day laid in the nests! No rogue layers yet.
     
  3. Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Hangin Wit My Peeps AutumnBreezeChickens.com

    Ours is 12x12x14. 18 inches off the ground All the hens seem to like them so far. I hope they always will! So far I have had 4 new layers and they ALL laid in the nest boxes [​IMG]
     
  4. chicknsnbiskits

    chicknsnbiskits Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 20, 2008
    Colorado Springs
    Quote:Do you find that there is less egg-eating with the nest boxes off the ground? We have 8 pullets, only two are laying, and we have 1 12x24 box that they both lay in. Now, however, all 8 girls are involved in eating the eggs I don't get to quick enough. [​IMG]
    Should the box be divided/raised/ is it even big enough for 8 girls?
     
  5. Gardeninggranny

    Gardeninggranny Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 29, 2008
    I always allow 1 nestbox per two hens. I think divided or separate boxes work best from about a foot square to 18 inches or similar sizes.
    Covered kitty litter boxes work great. You can pick them up by the handle to get the eggs. I have them on and off the floor.

    Once hens start eating eggs it can be a real problem. Oldtimers used to kill those birds. Sometimes its a nutritional problem, try getting some ground oyster shell for them. Are you feeding a layer ration?

    Sometimes they are bored or too crowded. Throw a head of cabbage or a pumpkin in the coop for them to pick at.

    You can also use hard plastic, wooden, or other fake eggs in the nest- after taking the real eggs out as soon as they are laid. Sometimes that will break the habit.

    Don't feed eggshells to your chickens unless they are well chrushed. Pieces that look like whole eggs may get the problem started.
     
    2 people like this.
  6. chicknsnbiskits

    chicknsnbiskits Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 20, 2008
    Colorado Springs
    Thank you so much, Granny!

    I am feeding them layer pellets and finely crushed eggshells. I want to get oyster shell for them as well, but it needs to wait until next week *budget*. Is that enough? or do they need something else? I heard about giving them boiled soybeans for extra protein and scratch to keep them busy. What do you think?

    About the pumpkin... did you mean a whole one??

    Thanks again for your help. I'd appreciate any other tidbits and wisdom.
     
  7. chicknsnbiskits

    chicknsnbiskits Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 20, 2008
    Colorado Springs
    Oops, forgot something... about the fake eggs. I can't get "nest eggs" around here. I'm sure i could find golf balls, but in the mean time, I filled a plastic Easter Egg with water (to give it weight) and put that in the nest. Is that ok?
     
  8. Gardeninggranny

    Gardeninggranny Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 29, 2008
    Yes a whole pumpkin. Just throw it in the coop whole and they will peck at it and gradually eat ii. If they don't start a hole in it the first day make a small one to get them started. It has lots of vitamens and gives them something to do.

    Maybe the plastic eggs filled with sand would work better than water.
    Golf balls could work too. Sometimes the craft stores sell wooden or ceramic eggs as well as plastic ones.

    Having the nest boxes in a darker area also helps.

    Layer feed is supposed to have enough calcium and other minerals in it for hens but I find that sometimes they seem to need something else. That's why I feed oyster shell in the winter when they can't go free range and find what they need.
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. Gardeninggranny

    Gardeninggranny Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 29, 2008
    Another little note about feed. Don't supplement with too much scratch feed. It draws rats and it gets their diet off balance for laying. I'd use something besides soybeans to treat them with. Just make sure the extra stuff is eaten up before night so it doesn't attract as many pests. Something they have to work at like a head of cabbage or the pumpkin will also keep them busy.
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. razmond

    razmond Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 20, 2010
    Seattle
    Quote:I appreciate your advice, Granny....
     
    1 person likes this.

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