Nesting box advice

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Mep81, May 17, 2019.

  1. Mep81

    Mep81 Hatching

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    May 17, 2019
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    Hello! New forum member here! I have a new mixed breed flock of nine. They are currently four weeks old. I’ve had backyard chickens for the past 7 years.

    I need some advice about my nesting box design. My coop is a 5x5x5 moveable free-standing structure on wheels, and we keep the coop within an electric-netting fence. The chickens freerange inside the fenced area, and they go into the coop at night or to lay. The coop has two external nesting boxes that the hens enter from inside the coop.

    I’m wondering if it would work for the nesting boxes to be attached on the outside of the coop so that the hens enter from the outside. Is this a good idea? This would prevent them from sleeping (pooping) in the boxes at night. Would they be able to find the boxes for laying if they can’t access them from inside the coop?
     
    Naser likes this.
  2. Naser

    Naser Songster

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    They would find them, but if they can access them at dusk they can sleep in them if they like.
     
    aart likes this.
  3. SueT

    SueT Free Ranging

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    Welcome to BYC! 5X5 seems a bit crowded for 9 chickens.....so I see why you want to try adding the boxes on the outside. You'll just have to see if they can find and accept them.
    Good luck!
     
    trumpeting_angel and aart like this.
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    You could try it and let us know how it works out.

    Welcome to BYC! @Mep81
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  5. SueT

    SueT Free Ranging

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    Another idea for nest box location--since your coop is 5' high---if you made a wide poop board across one side under a roost, you would have room to put nest boxes under it on the floor. That's what I do. My hens love to lay in plastic milk crates. And no one will want to sleep in them, since they are below the roosts. They like the crates upright, and I fasten them to the wall so they won't tip when the hen hops onto the edge.
     
    Sueby likes this.
  6. Mep81

    Mep81 Hatching

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    May 17, 2019
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    Interesting! I’ll have to have boxes that allow for collection from the outside, since my coop is not meant to walk into. I’ll let you know what I come up with.
     
  7. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake

    I know one lady who didn't have enough space in the coop... so made a free standing set of nest boxes that just stands in the run.

    Something like a side table or end table would turn into 2 stacked nest boxes.
     
  8. archeryrob

    archeryrob Chirping

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    Ours all started as small pullets and they wanted to sleep in and poop in the nesting boxes. We had to literally let them start to roost in them and go in 1/2 hour after dark and physically relocate them to the roosts. In a couple nights most got the idea. Some took a week. New birds all seem to have the same problem,

    If you can't walk in it, can you use two people, one to push them out of the nesting box and one to grab them through the clean out door and stick them on the roosts.
     

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