Nesting Boxes for BIG Birds: How big?


11 Years
Mar 21, 2008
Collierville (Memphis), TN
We are just finishing our new coop: D just in time for our last batch of pullets to move out with the older hens. We have had various standard hens and even a nice big wyandotte, but this year we have added some Jersey Giants. I have no idea how big these girls will get and I am concerned that the nesting boxes we have been using (milk crates) won't be large enough.

Since I already have all the building materials out what would be the ideal size nesting box? I know I need them to be around 18" off the ground, but would it be safest to just build one long box or do I need to separate them?

Any suggestions are appreciated. I am ready to wrap up this project!

Here is our list of birds:
New Hampshire Red (1 yr)
Gold Laced Wyandotte (1yr)
2 sex links
2 Amerucana
1 Silver Wyandotte
3 Jersey Giants
1 Buff Orpington
1 Rhode Island Red
Some people use community nest boxes, but I like seperate, especially if you're going to have a broody. I would say if I had huge birds, I'd do 15x15. I'm going to do a 12x12 in my coop for my cochins, and they do fine with it.
I had some black giants in the past and they didn't seem exceptionally huge to me. I think nest boxes sized for the rest of your typical standards breeds would be fine for all of them.
My boxes are 16"x24"x14" and the girls like to double up in them. I have 6 boxes for 6 layers, but they like a few in particular- there will be 16 laying total by August, so they'll have to share more regularly.

Again, though, I have giant BR, so these are perfect to double up like they seem to prefer.
Hmmm, maybe I won't tell the hubby that his JJ's might not be as big as he hopes. I think he would be happy with a chicken that made people say "oh my!". I personally think he just wanted some that were bigger than my Wyandotte.

Would there be a problem building one large (long) nesting box? I have also heard with bigger birds you don't want them to high off the floor. So I was thinking 18" or so.
My birds' favorite boxes are on the floor. They have a second layer of boxes above, but they won't use those unless all of the others are full and they're dancing with their legs crossed. I say floor.

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