Nest box with access from above

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by jbungener, Dec 29, 2012.

  1. jbungener

    jbungener Hatching

    Dec 29, 2012

    After moving to a city which only allows 4 hens, I am building a small coop for that size "flock".

    My latest design would be best suited to having a trap door giving me access from the top of the nest boxes as opposed to from behind the nest boxes. I know that chickens are instinctively afraid of things coming at them from above (i.e. birds of prey) and I am worried that by having the roof of their nest box suddenly open on them once or twice a day( and seeing my face followed by my hand reaching in) would spook my hens into abandoning the nest boxes.

    I could accomodate a back access door but it would be more hinges, more locks etc....

    Thoughts on that issue?



  2. Judy

    Judy Crowing Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    There are plenty of top access nest boxes in use. I've used them, and seen pics of "old timey" chicken houses with whole rows of them. Usually the hen is only in the nest for a fairly short time to lay the egg. I don't see why you couldn't peek and back off if you see a hen in the nest. If you collect late in the day, they will probably be gone off the nest, anyway.
  3. wahmommy

    wahmommy Songster

    Aug 14, 2010
    My nest boxes are external and open from the top. You will usually know if a hen is laying and you try not to bother them then. I have however interrupted them and it has never made them abandon the nest boxes :)
  4. n2omike

    n2omike In the Brooder

    Dec 29, 2012
    Here's what I built for my four Golden Comets. Both sides of the coop open up so it's easy to sweep it out with a push broom. The floor is a scrap piece of linoleum, which makes it easier and doesn't absorb odors as bad.
    The laying box is external, so you just lift the lid and gather the eggs. It has two boxes side by side, separated by a divider, but they only use one.
    It's got a place for wheels in the frame under the house, so even though it's kind of heavy, is is movable.
    The entrance has a door that can be closed with a rope when it's time to sweep it out, etc.
    It measures 4x12, and the house is 4x4.
    They usually hang out outside, and spend a lot of time under the house.
    The birds usually roost outside the house in the top perch.
    I don't live where they can run around free, so they stay in the enclosure all the time. They seem happy, and lay jumbo sized eggs almost daily.



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