Nest Box Sizes

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by joebryant, Jun 8, 2008.

  1. joebryant

    joebryant Crowing

    I've read in a couple of books that large hens, e.g., Orpingtons, should have nest boxes that are at least 16x16x16. I've read posts here on BYC of people with Orpingtons using 12x12 nests or milk crates that size.
    Do the standard-sized 12x12 nests work just as well for large hens as they do the smaller hens, i.e., have you had any complaints from your hens?
    Do the book-writing "experts" know what they're talking about?
  2. riderbecky

    riderbecky Songster

    May 4, 2008
    Ottawa Valley
    Good question. I'd like to know this too. [​IMG] Be waiting to see what everyone says. [​IMG]
  3. Dixiedoodle

    Dixiedoodle Songster

    Apr 14, 2007
    I hope you get some answers, I asked a while back and no one posted at all.. I quess you could try doing a search (which when I did) but didn't find the one I was looking for..I'll be watching also.. Too bad we can't have a 'sticky' with SUGGESTED measurements of: the nest box, pop door, roosts, vents and sq ft per bird..It seems almost EVERY newbie asks the same questions and I quess some are tired of answering...Dixie
  4. dacjohns

    dacjohns People Cracker Upper

    Well, hmmm,

    I'm no expert but I am learning more all the time. I'm down to 4 layers right now plus one momma with chicks. The guy that gave me the hens said I had some Buff Orpingtons, a Rhode Island Red, and some Black (Jersey) Giants. The "giants' are bigger than the other birds but not that much bigger. All of these birds are using nest boxes that are slightly small than 12 X 12. They are a little cramped but it works. One of the BOs sat on 12 eggs, some were banty eggs, and successfully hatched out 8. One was with some help from me because I goofed and she left the nest before they were all hatched.

    If I do decide to let hens brood again I will move them from the elevated boxes to a little dog house at floor level.

    Two or three banties will try to fit in a 12 X 12 box. Rather funny to see. I kept throwing them out and I don't think it would have been a success if I had let them brood. Little too small.

    Other things I've been seeing say a 14 X 14 nest box for the larger birds. If I make more nest boxes I will probably upsize to 14 X 14. The thing about my boxes is that they are easy to make using 1 X 12s where the 14 inch boxes will require more cutting and different construction methods.
  5. Dilly

    Dilly Cooped Up

    Apr 15, 2008
    I was also reading some conflicting recommended sizes, so We choose to make our 14x14. We have orps and decided this should be sufficient.

    Good Luck with your birds.
  6. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    May 24, 2007
    My nest boxes are 11x12 and I think too small. I actually took out the divider wall between two to make a very large 22x12 box and guess what? They seldom use it - they all chose the smaller boxes to lay their eggs in.

    I have Australorps as my largest breed.

    If I was to do it over I would make mine 14x14 and call it good.
  7. joebryant

    joebryant Crowing

    Quote:I made mine yesterday. They're 16" wide x 18" deep x 16" high.
    I had a 48" width to work with, and didn't need four nests for max of six hens, so I just went ahead and made three that are 16" wide. THANKS, ALL WHO REPLIED!

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