nest boxes

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by hdmax, Sep 8, 2013.

  1. hdmax

    hdmax Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 29, 2013
    Central Ohio
    I am getting ready to build the nest boxes for my pullets, the oldest of the Rsl are 14 weeks old, and the youngest are 11 1/2 weeks.
    First of all, if they are too young will they roost in the nest? (I have read that the Red Sex Links may start laying any time after about 17 weeks of age.) I also have more then 130 cockerels, (For freezer patrol!), and 19 turkey poults they are all about the same age. (A few of these will join the Freezer Bregade next Fall!) Will I have a problem with the turkeys or the boys using the nest?
    I plan on making the nest 14 1/2" wide due to the fact that the wall studs are 16" on center, and these nest is being added to the outside of the coop for easy egg gathering, 14" high, and 16" deep, and 24" off the coop floor to the bottom of the nest. I am starting with 7 nest, with a design to add 7 more on top of these if needed.
    Does this sound like a good design, or should I rethink it?
    The turkeys will not start laying for a few months, (6-7 months most likely!) and I have a large dog house (28"W x 36"L x 38"H at the peak, with a 14"X18" opening, all wood construction including a wooden floor, and shingled roof!) I plan on placing in the run when the time comes for the turkeys to lay.
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    First, I don't know anything about turkeys, sorry.

    All chickens will want to sleep wherever is highest. You need to be sure that the roost is higher than the nests. You might also want to close off the nests til they actually start laying. Sometimes a chicken will decide to sleep in a nest, maybe because they are low in the pecking order, maybe for reasons we can't fathom.

    The rule of thumb is one nest to 4 hens (I don't see where you said how many hens you have.) But the truth is, they will have favorite nests and use only some of them, and you will sometimes see a hen push her way into a nest where someone ele is trying to lay. You can also build one or a few "communal nests," wide enough for 2 or 3 to use it at once.

    I personally would not build external nest boxes. It's a lot of fussing to make them both weatherproof and predator proof, for one thing, and I just use what's available. You will need to check inside the coop anyway, just to see what's going on, and quite pssibly to collect an errant egg that has been laid outside the nest boxes. But some people like them. I have a walkin coop (I imagine you do, too, with that many birds) and just use whatever containers are around the property, either top opening or front opening. They like the variety, actually, and will use one type for a while then switch -- or make their own nest in a corner, in the hay. I have an old wooden box that I put a couple of partitions in, and a 1x4 across the bottom front to hold the hay in. Ther's also a plastic open top container with a dipped lip in the front that is great for a broody and chicks. I've even used cardboard boxes with the top open.
     

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