Nesting box advise

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by jehaz, Aug 6, 2013.

  1. jehaz

    jehaz Out Of The Brooder

    Hi

    I have a run thats 24'x16', and a coop thats 8x16 (but its 2-stories high so its really 8x16 + 8x16, with an internall ladder between floors).
    The top floor of the coop is just for chilling in with a perching pole, and the bottom floor has some nesting boxes all along the length as well as a lot of communal space also for chilling in.

    Because ithe coop 16' long, I was just going to put in a row of nesting boxes. If I made each one 16" wide that would make 12 boxes.
    I understand that for my 22 chickens, thats way too many boxes, (although if I get more in the future it will accomadate them too).

    So what would be the problem with having too many boxes? Would they just not get used? Would they lay less eggs if its less cosy?

    Also, does it matter that the boxes are not higher than the shelf inside the coop? i.e. they just walk into them rather than jumping/flying up.
    I am going to have a 3" high piece of wood to step over into the box, and to keep the straw in. But if they need to be high I can raise the boxes by a foot and they'd still have a foot of headroom before the 2nd floor above them.

    Thanks,
    James
     
  2. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Overrun With Chickens

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    New Brunswick,Canada
    In a perfect world you could not accomodate much more than 36 birds in your coop. (My guess without seeing your set up). I would go for it personally the egg boxes that are not employed can always be used to house supplies.

    My coop is just a 4x8 rescued metal shed with Styrofoam insulation.

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    My poop board is directly above my nest boxes and my roost are only 3½ inches above them. Saves the day when eggs are laid through the night..
     
  3. whitt910

    whitt910 Out Of The Brooder

    I have 26 chickens with 23 of them being hens. I used 5 gallon home depot buckets and we cute the lid in half and cut the center out to make it have a "lip" so the eggs and nesting material don't fall out. I have 15 nest boxes and some of them do go unused, but on the other side of that is that the hens have favorite ones and will line up waiting for one hen to get out so they can get in, even though there are about 14 other ones are unoccupied. I have it so they can fly up on a roost right outside of next box that way they feel up off the ground and safe. they do prefer the higher ones it seems. I would put a "lip" on the front so the eggs don't roll out and the straw works great. Mine seem to prefer the ones that have less hay in them and they mush it all the way up to the front and don't even use the hay. I think you are on the right track.

    Hope this helps :)
     
  4. jehaz

    jehaz Out Of The Brooder

    looks like you have a deer problem too!
     
  5. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Overrun With Chickens

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    New Brunswick,Canada
    That problem usually solves itself come October, November, when you enjoy venison.
    That particular deer is safe for another 2 or three years.
    He is grand father is on the hit parade this fall.
     
  6. jehaz

    jehaz Out Of The Brooder

    oh dear!
     
  7. osagechickens

    osagechickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 3, 2013
    You might consider making them more narrow. My current boxes are about 16" wide and I believe that they are two wide. I will have two chickens in one box continually fighting over the box and the result has been some broken eggs. In the new coop that I am currently building I am making the nest boxes 12" wide to try to discourage multiple chickens in the box at one time.

    Just my thoughts,

    Mark
     

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