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Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by sesa, Mar 24, 2010.
What is the recommended height for nesting boxes?
Depending on the size of chicken, 12X12X12 is standard, but I like to go 14X14X14 to give them a little extra room. Hens aren't picky, tho as long as they can fit in it and turn around.
Do you mean head room for the hen when she is in the nest or height off the ground? Chickens don't seem to care too much about either.
As for head room, I have not noticed a problem with a lot of head room or making it fairly tight. You need three or four inches for the nesting material, then enough room for the chicken to move onto the nest. I'd suggest a minimum of 12" total. I made mine 16" but that was more for construction ease than worrying about headroom for the hens. They don't seem to mind. Many people have nests that are open at the top and these work well.
As far as height off the floor, different people do different things. Some people put their nest directly on the floor. Many people like to raise the nests off the floor a little to help keep them cleaner, say 12 to 18 inches. The chickens don't scratch stuff off the coop floor into the nests if they are raised. This also gives the chickens room to get under the nesting boxes so the nesting boxes do not reduce the available coop space for the chickens. Many people like to set the nests up about 4 feet so they don't have to bend too much to get the eggs. With these, it is usually a good idea to add a perch a couple of feet off the floor or a ramp to help the hens get up to the nests. Don't forget to figure in the height of your litter when planning nest box height. It can make a big difference.
The only hard and fast rule for nesting boxes is to keep them lower than the roosts so the chickens want to roost on the roosts instead of in the nests. Other than that , make it convenient for you.
My nest boxes are 2' off the floor and they are 14"W x 12" D x 14'H. my girls have No trouble laying in them
Do you have roosts in front of your nest boxes, or can they get into them without?
There's no true recommended height off the ground for nest boxes, if that's what you're asking. Some folks use a covered kitty litter box on the floor, while others place them around 24 inches high. As long as your actual roosts are higher than the nesting boxes, you're good to go.
2 or 3 feet high.
My nesting box is 4" off of the ground.
The dimensions are as follows: 9" h, 12"w, 12"d. The opening is far less at about 6" as I installed a 3" barrier to keep the shavings in the box.