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Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Hegatha, Mar 27, 2011.
Want to build a nesting box with three to four nesting. Anyone have plans with instructions?
Hi~ Here is a plan for building and attaching external nest boxes- hope it helps
As far as internal nest boxes- there are so many different ways to do it~many people just have a series of connected boxes with a sloped roof so they don't roost on top... but i've also seen people use kitty litter boxes, milk crates, bowls, drawers... you name it and its on here I guess the key is to keep the nest box lower than the roosts or they will sleep and roost in the nest boxes which can get messy.
Here's mine. I think their 12" x12" & sit about 2 and half feet off the ground maybe 3 feet can't remember.
do you want quick and easy or build it from scratch?
as for quick and easy, do you know anyone who has cats? the yellow box the tidy cat litter comes in works great, flip it on the side and remove the folding part of the lid, and nest box, I use them for broodies all the time, also a 5 gal bucket on its side with a U shaped piece in the front so it doesn't roll, there are ideas in the coop section for nest boxes on here too.
So many people do so many different things with nest boxes. I think we worry about them a lot more than the chickens. The main thing is to make them convenient for you.
The rule of thumb is to have one nest box for every four laying hens. They will mostly lay in just one or two anyway, but having enough is not a bad thing. I like a minimum of two anyway, even if for just 3 or 4 hens. If a hen goes broody, you may appreciate the extra nest box.
A few things I consider.
If they are too low or on the floor, you take away coop space for the chickens. This is not an issue unless you are tight on coop space. Another reason bigger is better.
Do you have a bad back? How much do you want to bend to get the eggs.
If they are not high enough for the chickens to get under them, that can become a very safe place for Mama Mouse to raise a family. When deciding how much space you need for chickens to get under there, don't forget to include the bedding. They tend to scratch loose bedding under the nest boxes so give it a little more space than you think you really need if you raise them.
If the nest boxes are real low, the chickens may hang out in them even when not laying. Also, they do scratch a lot. If the nest boxes are real low, they can scratch filth and trash in there.
Hens may decide that under the nest box and on top of the bedding is a good place for a nest. You need enough room to check under there and get eggs if necessary.
I know I've made it sound real bad to put them on the floor, but many people do and really like them there.
They do need to be lower than the roosts. Whe sizing them, I consider the minimum for a full sized chicken to be a 12" x 12". I made mine 16" x 16" and don't regret it. Sometimes hens like to crowd into a nest with two or even three laying at the same time. Sometimes one hen will not allow another hen to get in the nest with her, no matter how big the nest.
The way I determine height: I like a 5" to 6" lip on the bottom of the nest box to hold the bedding and eggs in. Many hens will scratch and scrape in the nest to get it just right before she lays her egg. If there is not enough of a lip, she can scratch out the bedding and any eggs that are already laid. Then I make the opening for her to get in about 6" to 8" high. Then, you may need to provide a little more height depending on how you frame the nest box. A hen stands up when she lays the egg so don't try to get it too short, though that is usually not a problem. You'd be surprised at some of the places I've seen them lay.
Those cat litter buckets, 5 gallon buckets on a frame, or many other ideas work great. You are only limited by your imagination on what you can use. Good luck and have fun with it.
Just for fun, here are mine. They are too close to the floor and I did add more lip after this photo. Having made those mistakes is why I can comment on this so well.
For our outside smaller areas, we bought big Rubbermaid tubs and cut an opening in the front. Filled with the litter. They love it and we can take the top off and get the eggs out. It's all one big box but several can fit in it. They usually take turns anyway.
I like the storage bins I found at Lowes. They run around $8 each. When I figure in the cost of materials and my time the storage bins are cost effective. Also, since they are lastic I take them out twice per year, clean, disinfect, dry in the sun, dust with insecticidal powder, and re-fill with bedding.
I have tons of Extra wood for building. Might just need three nesting boxes. I was hoping to get Ideas on building with wood they will be inside the coop and wall mounted possibly.
I use milk crAtes they work just fine
It is kinda hard to come up with plans. All you need to do is build a box, leave an opening for the chickens to get in, and hang it on the wall. The one shown on here is about the simplest I can find.