Nest boxes: use of plastic dishpans.

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by tsmith6790, May 15, 2010.

  1. tsmith6790

    tsmith6790 Hatching

    May 4, 2010
    Newbies here building first coop. We have 6 standard hens 4-RIRs and 2 leghorns. Our henhouse has 3 nest boxes. The boxes are 16" side by 14 deep with a thin plywood front with a smaller opening to enhance the notion of a small, safe cave. There is a small lip on the front to assist the hens in climbing in since they are 18" off the floor. We like the idea of dispans to keep the cleaning to a minimum and keep the eggs safe. Here is the question:

    What is the minimum recommended size for the dispan, width x depth? What is the maximum height of the sides that won't inhibit the hens from climbing/flying over to get in the pan?

    Terry and Cheryl Smith
  2. BankerJohn

    BankerJohn Songster

    Apr 2, 2010
    Lecanto, Florida
    a neighbor uses the pink bed pan that is used in hospitals.
  3. BCMominMD

    BCMominMD Songster

    Mar 12, 2009
    Southern Md
    Others may be able to give you better info regarding measurements.
    I just wanted to share that I have used cat pans (just the bottom part) on the floor under the nest box (as they kept laying their eggs there anyway). Works great but once in awhile it looks like someone stood on the side & dumped the whole thing over. So just be aware of how securely they will fit in your space if the bird is walking on the edge.
  4. my3jsons

    my3jsons Songster

    Feb 15, 2010
    I bought mine at the dollar store. They are 12" x 16" with a height of about 6". Our girls aren't laying yet but I really believe this will make for an easier cleanup when they do. We'll be able to pull them right out. Most laying boxes for large breed hens are around 12" x 12". The ceiling in ours is about 18" from the bottom of the dishpan. This gives the chickens an opening of about 12" x 12" to get into the nesting boxes. Hope this helps. You can look on my page and about half way down is a photo of what we did. Have fun![​IMG]
  5. EggsForIHOP

    EggsForIHOP Songster

    Apr 18, 2010
    I am not an expert by any means - but that sounds exactly like what we are going to try - well, sort of, we were at WallyWorld today and found small rubbermaid containers for $3.50 a piece - couldn't pass it up as they had the lids, so now the modification to the plan is to snap the lids on, then cut a hole in them but leave a lip on it across the bottom - that way no eggs roll out onto the ground and break. I'm sure I saw something just like it somewhere on here, couldn't tell you where though, but I am have gotten all 'ideas chicken' from this website![​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
  6. columbiacritter

    columbiacritter Songster

    Jun 7, 2008
    Scappoose Oregon
    I have used dishpan nest boxes for years and love them. I just bought walmarts standard white dish pans. Every couple months I pull them out and give them a good scrubbing.
    My big wide behind orpington hens have no trouble fitting inside them.

    One of my hens likes to throw everything out of the nest box before she lays and the plastic box gives enough the eggs don't break.
  7. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    I would say the minimum would be 12 x 12, since many build their nest boxes that size. I lined my nest boxes with plastic tubs I got from Big Lots and cut to fit; they are probably about 14 x 16.

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