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Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by EZZIEMAE, Jul 19, 2010.
How big should nest boxes be? And also how far off the floor for the first row of boxes? Thanks
I built a 3-nest box and each is about 14inch square, basically each space is the size of a milk crate but taller. As far as how far off the floor, I think that is a matter of preference. Just be sure they are not higher than your roosts or they will roost on them instead.
Generally speaking, I'd say as wide as the chicken is long. I built some from plywood. It is 2 rows of 4 each. They are 14 inches square and are big enough for my largest cornish rock hens. On the other hand, I also have hens that are laying in 5 gallon buckets sitting on the ground. Hens are a bit picky and will share the same nest area a lot. But they really just want a place that will be dry and safe.
I was going to use the milk crate reference. I say if you don't have the material to make them that large then the best rule to remember is they have to be able to get into them and be able to turn around in them. Mine are about three feet for the bottom boxes and about 5 foot at the top boxes. Hope that helps some.
I actually use Milk Crates for my nesting boxes, i screwed the Milk crates directly to the wall then i ran a 2x8 across the front to give them something to walk on to get to the crates and i then made a ramp out of a couple 2x4 boards so they can walk up to the 2x8 then get in there nest of choice. to keep the eggs from rolling out i screwed a piece of 1 inch pvc pipe across the front of the crate ( i screwed it about an inch from the bottom of the crate) so the eggs dont roll out, i line the crates with a little hay in the bottom then i pile the pine shavings on top of the straw because if i only put the pine shavings it just falls through the holes in the crate when the hens turn around in it.
thank you all for your responses!!! you've given me ideas now on which way to proceed!!!
We bought several Stanley #5 stackable bin boxes from the local Lowe's that look like this :
but are a bit larger..
Quote:I use crates also, actually I bought mine at WalMart - they were in the office section for file storage. I wired three crates together (long sides wired together), turned them up on the end, used a mop pole and chicken wire to create the "wall" to keep things from rolling out of the crate, stuffed with hay, and they love the nests. I like that they "breathe" and allow for air circulation in the heat of Texas.
Quote:Wow! Great idea, especially on a small scale. Love the idea that they would be incredibly easy to clean and sanitize when needed!
i build a 4 hole nest from about 2/3 sheet of 1/2" plywood. the boxes are 12"x12". the front side is 14" tall and slopes up to 18" to keep them off the top. there is a 1x4 across the front to keep things in place. I found a similar pic here in byc.
construction only took about an hour.
the box sits about 2' off the floor. I didnt put a bar in front but am considering it to ease the efforts to access although so far, ive had no problems, the girls are getting in there.
i dont think it matters how high up they are, if the chicks want to roost in them, they will. I have one that does and a friend of mine has 5 or 6 that do. Id like to break them of it, but not sure how to do so since the house is not in my back yard.