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Nesting boxes: On the floor or on the wall?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by BYCforlife, Mar 20, 2017.

  1. BYCforlife

    BYCforlife Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My chickens have been laying very few eggs. That's not the point, but some friends recommended I put the nesting boxes on the wall to make them harder to get to, to rule out chickens being temped for a tasty treat. (eggs) Would this help?
     
  2. BYCforlife

    BYCforlife Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Would this be better on the wall, to make the chickens feel more broody? It would be more private.
     
  3. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Overrun With Chickens

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  4. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This is where I put mine........

    [​IMG]

    As per poultry husbandry books from decades ago.....a time when farm chickens were a profit center so they studied this stuff.....nests were to be elevated off the floor enough that a bird standing flat footed on the ground (coop floor) could not see into the nests. For some reason, when birds could see in the nest, some developed the habit of eating eggs, which of course was not a good thing. Solution was to elevate them up off the floor, which also freed up the floor area below.

    If you didn't provide any nest boxes, but kept them confined inside the coop as shown above, they will lay eggs anyway, but where? Somewhere in a corner in a nest they make for themselves? Where? So the purpose of the nest box is to give them a dark, safe, secure place to hide their eggs. Nest boxes above were made of plywood, but the interiors were then stained a dark color and this is the darkest (really the only dark place) inside this coop. Some will also drape a light curtain of dark cloth over the front to make it more so.

    Outside of the occasional egg that is laid on the roost at night, all eggs in this coop are left in one of these three nest boxes. The birds are allowed to roam around in a large fenced in area, but all return to the house and these nest boxes to lay. Average from the past week is running over 7 eggs per day from 9 birds.
     
  5. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Also, top of nest boxes should be below the level of the roosts, or else birds will make for and roost on top of them, fouling (fowling?) the top with their droppings. As double insurance to keep them off, top of nest boxes should be sloped as shown.

    [​IMG]

    Also, bottoms of these nest boxes are made of 1/2" x 1" welded wire. Any dirt, dust, or broken eggs that show up inside the nest boxes simply falls through the bottom and onto the floor. As shown, they are bedded with hay, which gets worn and dirty and is swapped out about once a month or so.

    These are a modular unit that simply rests on the wall brackets. You can pick them up to carry outside for cleaning.
     
  6. pdxevergreen

    pdxevergreen New Egg

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    I'm for putting them on the wall. They will adapt, and you will have an easier time collecting their eggs.
     
  7. BYCforlife

    BYCforlife Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I wonder, maybe by chickens layed some eggs on the roost, and they cracked, then they ate them? That's possible.... I have 5 nesting boxes, but I will try the curtain. Will the chickens be smart enough to know there is a nesting box back there?
     
  8. BYCforlife

    BYCforlife Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay. I am a designer for myself, so I made it so my boxes are accessible from the outside. It's a small coop, so I thought it was necessary. I am talking about the coop in my profile picture.
     
  9. BYCforlife

    BYCforlife Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay, thanks. I have 8 non-broody hens. The most they have ever sat on an egg is about 20 seconds. Are there any other ways to incline them towards hatching their eggs?
     
  10. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Overrun With Chickens

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    Last edited: Mar 21, 2017

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