nesting box questions

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by amydzek, Nov 14, 2010.

  1. amydzek

    amydzek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    we only have 4 hens... do I need to have 4 nesting boxes or can they share? how big do they need to be? and can I make them out out hay filled plastic milk crates?
     
  2. wenlo

    wenlo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    1 or 2 at the most, although 1 should be enough. The milk crate should be about the the right size. I wonder if they would have trouble getting in and back out. How were you planning to secure them?
     
  3. can you hear me now?

    can you hear me now? Chillin' With My Peeps

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    One should suit. I have 40+ birds and only 8 boxes, does them just fine.
     
  4. Cowgirl71

    Cowgirl71 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Your questions depend a lot on whether they are going to be free ranged or not. If they are going to be penned up, then they can make do with one hay lined milk crate. If you free range them, then you'll want two very enticing nest boxes for them, otherwise they may decide to lay elsewhere. [​IMG]
     
  5. amydzek

    amydzek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    well they get to run around the back yard while we are home weekends and evenings and they get to go in their secured run during the day, well they will once they move outside permanently so I dont know if that counts as free range... I was just going to screw the milk crate (cut down a few inches) onto their chicken shelf inside the coop and then fill it with hay...how am I supposed to make a nesting box enticing????
     
  6. amydzek

    amydzek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    also since we live in fl do they need like blankets or something for the winter.. it gets kinda cold here in jan and feb...
     
  7. wenlo

    wenlo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That sounds good. It should be dry, darker if possible and feel safe.
     
  8. mississippifarmboy

    mississippifarmboy collects slightly damaged strays Premium Member

    One milk crate is fine and you don't need to cut it down. Just fill it about 1/3 full of hay, straw or wood shavings and hang it in the darkest corner lower than the roost poles. If you don't hang it lower than the roost they might roost on the nest box entead. We use milk crates in about 1/3 of our coops and never have a problem. Chickens aren't as picky as some seem to think. You'll do fine. Good luck.
     
  9. Cowgirl71

    Cowgirl71 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:What breed(s) do you have? Some breeds are better for colder climates than others.

    To make a nest box enticing, make it dark (dark colored with very little light), private (not near the feeder, chicken door, etc.), lot's of hay, and roomy... [​IMG]

    ETA: If you live in Florida, then the chickens should do very well through the winter without anything special. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2010
  10. Ryan McEachern

    Ryan McEachern Out Of The Brooder

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    Milk crates work fine, just put them turned on their side, and scew a wooden slat across the front to hold the shavings in. We use 4 crates, stacked two high and two wide, screwed to the back wall and pressed against the side wall, for our 20 hens, they only use two of the boxes, unless one of the ladies is in a huge rush, then they will lay in the third - and only once in the year did they use the fourth box. Preference is for the lower corner box which is next to the side wall of the coop - nice and dark and quiet, next best spot is the one above that, and the least favorite boxes are the ones furthest from the corner of the coop.

    Have Fun!

    -Ryan
     

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