Nest Boxes in the Run???/Milk crates???

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by NeilV, Jul 31, 2010.

  1. NeilV

    NeilV Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 15, 2010
    Tulsa, OK
    I built a coop for my chickens (8 birds) that is about 40 square feet. I then built some nest boxes, and they take up a lot of room in the coop.

    I have a really big run. Would it work to put the nest boxes in the run and build a little roof over them? (The nest boxes already have a sloped roof, but I could build a little lean-to structure to cover them up further.) Will the birds use them in winter, or ever, for that matter?

    Second, I have also heard about using milk crates as nest boxes. A couple of those would be smaller than the nest boxes I have built. Do nest boxes work? Do you turn them on their sides or put them top up?


  2. bubba542985

    bubba542985 Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 2, 2010
    i would not put the nest boxes in the run i would leave them in the coop. I use milk crates for my nest boxes they are screwed directly to the wall with a 2x8 running across the front( the front is the open side) then i screwed a piece of 1 inch pvc pipe across the front about an inch high to stop eggs from rolling out (you could use a piece of wood i just had an odd lenth of puipe laying around). the hens are able to walk up a ramp to the 2x8 then get in the nest box they choose. I use hay in the bottom of my crates and then i top the hay with pine shavings if you only use shavings they fall through the holes in the crate. for 8 hens you only need 2 or 3 nest boxes. I have 15 hens and they only use 3 of 8 boxes.
  3. moondog425

    moondog425 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 29, 2010
    I have nesting boxes built on to the side of my coop ( like alot of the ones in the BYC coop design pages) . There are three in a row about 12" tall, 12" wide and 14" deep. I have two hens and they use all three boxes. I have three in the run and they wont even look at them!
    If they wont use them try putting a golf ball in them, I have heard that will work.
  4. Puma

    Puma Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 18, 2009
    I use milk crates. Here is a picture. Just pick them up and empty out old straw and replace. I am going to place a hinged piece of plywood across the top at a sharp angle. This will prevent them from roosting on top of them.
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2010
  5. jennh

    jennh Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 21, 2007
    This has been discussed many times. I just use cardboard boxes. They are free, and you just throw them out or compost them when they get dirty. Easy [​IMG]

  6. moondog425

    moondog425 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 29, 2010
    Hey Puma, I really like the way that looks:D
  7. razmond

    razmond Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 20, 2010
    [​IMG] Nice job!
  8. Kansaseq

    Kansaseq Prairie Wolf Farm Asylum

    Feb 12, 2009
    NE Kansas
    You can put a shingle or piece of cardboard in the bottom to keep the shavings from falling out. I didn't even screw these to the wall; just set them on the floor.

  9. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2009
    I use portable nestboxes (plastic lidded bins and a covered kitty litter box) and move the boxes in and out of the coop, into the tractor, etc. Sometimes a hen will get it in her head that she wants to lay in a particular place and will wait until I put a nestbox just there. But mostly they lay where ever the nestboxes happen to be (these days, it's on our covered breezeway where it's shady all day and a bit cooler). So I think it could work for you to move your nestboxes out into the run, although it might take a while for the hens to adjust to the change.

    In the summertime, nestboxes inside a closed coop can get unbearably hot it's in direct sunlight.
  10. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    Quote:I like that set up. And they look easy to clean.

    Where did you guys get the milk crates? From the prices I've seen, it would be cheaper for me to build nest boxes out of wood.

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