Nest boxes

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by bock, Dec 19, 2010.

  1. bock

    bock Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 10, 2008
    Northern CA
    I am going to be selling eggs from my free-range hens this summer. I am worried that since they will be free ranging on 3.5 acres, they will find other places to lay. We are building the coop right now, and I was wondering how I could build the most ''attractive'' nest boxes, so they will choose to lay in there. Any suggestions would be great! Thanks! [​IMG]
     
  2. jennh

    jennh Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 21, 2007
    Lititz
    Can they get out of the coop on their own? If not, keep them in until they lay in the nest boxes a couple of times, and they SHOULD come back to nest. Just like they come home to roost. I use cardboard boxes. They're free, plus when they get dirty, I just compost them, or burn them, then put the ashes in the compost pile. JMHO

    Jen
     
  3. chicks4kids

    chicks4kids Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2009
    Northern Indiana
    I think the key is to make sure that your nest boxes are cozy and confined so that the hens feel comfortable and safe laying their eggs in the box. And darker if possible. In my experience, when a hen starts laying a nest somewhere else, she has other intentions for those eggs that you plan on selling....she's going to hatch out babies!! Here's my set-up for nest boxes. The back side has been blocked off to let less light in but I can still grab the eggs from the back (2nd pic). Hopefully this can give you some ideas!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  4. swimmer

    swimmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 17, 2010
    Utah
    If you have access to an old dresser, those work great. Can be constructed into some very nice nesting boxes.
     
  5. bock

    bock Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 10, 2008
    Northern CA
    Thank you! Those pics were very helpful! I was thinking about building some that pop out the back, so you can lift up the top and collect eggs without going inside. That way I can save some space. I love the idea about keeping them dark, hopefully that will make them come back for more. I am so exited, but I am not even getting the chicks until February. The wait is already getting to me! [​IMG]
     
  6. aceoftrumps

    aceoftrumps Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 14, 2010
    South Central Louisiana
    These are my nest boxes. 1x3 lip to keep the litter in it....1x2 across the front for their access to the nest...I use wood shavings because it's neater than hay and doesn't attract as many insects. Made from pine board, 12x12 and 14 tall. Slanted top so they don't roost on it or poop on it. I built 12 of them...no other reason except I wanted to. And not too hard to build. I used 1x12 pine boards. And I'm no carpenter!!!


    [​IMG]

    I chose not to make access from the outside since it's so hard to keep it water tight....and I need to go in there everyday to check things, etc. Plus I built it walk-in anyway. Just my choice.

    Kurt
     

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