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Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by grubbyman 2, Sep 29, 2010.
How big does the nest box need to be ?
Are there general suggestions for width, depth, height ?
For my RIR i use ,18 inches wide by 18 inches long by 1 foot tall. ( I also, have a couple that are 2 foot long , I found attracts broodys). Can you go smaller? Of course. Egg companys laying cages are much smaller.
I use plastic milk crates and it works fine
Ours are basically 1'x1'x1' we have blackstars which are not small birds the nest boxes are a good size for them. We have never found poop or anything else in them cause they don't have enough room to hang out in them. Just enough room to lay and get out. At least that's what I'm saying cause that's how big I made them LOL. Also that should be the minimum size for a nest box IMO. Hope this helps!
I think 1"x1"x1" is the accepted minimum for large fowl. They like somewhere secluded and dark. People use milk crates, baskets, kitty litter boxes..all kinds of things. Hens are really not that picky.
For my Barred and Buff Rocks I made them 14x14x14 but I think the average is 12x12x12. I wanted them to have a little wiggle room.
I have had as many as three hens in one crate at one time! Apparently they are big enough!
I got a lot of differing dimensions from various sources online. I liked this guys reasoning the best http://www.byexample.com/homestead/barn/chicken_nesting_boxes.html
I ended up with six nesting boxes in one...
I built it all with scrap lumber and lumber from Home Depot that was in the "cull" pile. (very cheap)
I started out like this with the sides and one floor with the dividers in...
Then is grew with more boxes in it... notice that not each box is the same size. I decided to build them with slightly varying dimensions and then see which ones the ladies would like the best. So the smallest was 12" X 12" X 12" high. And the others only varied the width dimension...
the slanted roof is a must so that no chicken can be on top of the nest boxes.
Apparently, according to what I've read online the opening in the front needs to be snug (6"high X 9" wide) or so. So that the chickens go into the box and feel safe and secure (cavelike) inside.
This is a picture of the box before putting it into the coop...
It seems to work GREAT!!!!
I like the idea of creating an opening smaller than the nest box on all dimensions, does anyone else have experience with this concept?