Nesting box size

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Onebroodymomma, Nov 12, 2014.

  1. Onebroodymomma

    Onebroodymomma In the Brooder

    Oct 19, 2014
    Ok, so I have been searching around and I know there are a ton of questions on this, but the answers always confuse me so much!!

    So we have a coop right now, that the previous owners of my house built and was using. It was poorly built, but works for now. We are planning on building a new coop (amazing the amount of usable lumber we have found laying around!) and we need to have some nesting boxes. The ones in the current coop are very obviously too small, since our cochin cannot fit inside it!

    How big do you need to make the nesting box? If we have several sizes of chickens, do we need different sizes of nesting boxes?
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    Hens and nests obviously come in different sizes. A small chicken can use a larger nest but obviously some nests are too small for some large chickens.

    The normal recommendation is a nest with minimum dimensions of 12” x 12” x 12”. A full sized hen can easily fit in that. There is nothing wrong with a larger nest though. I personally like larger nests for a few reasons. I made mine 16” x 16” x 16” to fit the studs in the coop all and I’m glad I did.

    Hens like to lay together. It’s not that unusual for me to see three hens in one nest at the same time. If the nests are smaller, one winds up literally laying on top of another. There are some cute photos on this forum of that but I try to avoid it.

    When a broody hen hatches chicks, it’s fairly normal for the first chicks to hatch to climb up on Mama’s back. If the nest is so small the hen is sitting near the edge, the chick might fall out of the nest and onto the floor when it falls off. Part of that depends on how the nest is built but I like the broody to have plenty of room to not sit near the edges.
  3. RonP

    RonP Crowing

    I made mine 16x16x16 also.

    One day I may have large birds and wanted to be set.
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Mine are 14" wide, 14" deep and 16" tall with a 10" diameter entrance holes.
    I have a portable floor nest that's 14" wide, 16" deep and 16" tall.

    I tried a 5 gallon bucket on the floor, but it's just too small for even my smallest pullet to turn around comfortably got rid of it.
  5. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Crowing

    Dec 6, 2012
    New Brunswick,Canada

    My nest boxes are milk crates 12"x12"x12". Two golden comet hens can fit and lay in these crates.
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2014

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