Nest Boxes for Large Breeds?


Mar 26, 2015
I am having a hard time with my Light Brahma's breaking eggs getting into and out of nest boxes while setting. My current hen started with 8 eggs cause I didn't want to overload her she is in a standard apple crate which has worked just fine for regular egg laying hardly ever had a broken egg. In last 2 years I have never gotten a clutch to hatch because eggs get destroyed and the hen stops setting.Of the 8 at day 20 she still has 3 under her she has broken 3 others in last 2 days and before I let anymore hens go to set I was wondering what is the best height for the lip of a nest box for heavy breed chicken cause I believe she is breaking them when she gets out and hops down from her once daily feed and watering and she is only hen in this pen. For setting hens would a 2x4 boards or 2x6 boards box with straw be high enough to keep her from knocking the eggs out? Or am I missing something else with these large breeds I raised reg size hens in apple crates before and never had any of these problems but these big girls 9-10lbs hens seem to crush eggs easy.
Not sure I am best to answer this. But, I was curious. We use a lot of straw in the nest boxes to cushion the eggs. We learned to avoid using egg crates. They do break egg and kill chicks because of the little triangle holes. Make sure the eggs cannot get pressed into the gaps in the crate. We use wood or plastic (linoleum) to cover the holes in the crates. Might want to use a softer bottom layer. Like wood shavings. We do not even use a lip to keep the eggs in. The straw seems to hold them all in. Sorry I cannot offer more. This must be so frustrating.
I was corrected today when I went back out to the coops. All mine have lips. I remember we put them in to stop the girls from scratching out the straw. Sorry about that. Ours are right around 2 inches tall. Just enough to keep stuff in. We keep the boxes semi mobile so we can move a brooding box to a separate pen when we want to.

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