1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Newbie! Nest box/coop question

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by sukochickens, Mar 18, 2015.

  1. sukochickens

    sukochickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    220
    8
    63
    Mar 16, 2015
    Virginia
    So this may be a stupid question, but I've read that you're supposed to raise the nest boxes in the coop. How high should I raise them and how do the chickens get in them? Do they just jump in, need a ramp, or use the roosting polls? Lol. Also I have a roughly 4 foot fence around my yard. Will they be able to get over it? I wanted to let them roam the yard for a bit during the day. Thanks!
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

    34,028
    449
    448
    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    No, you don't have to raise them. I have them at floor level and a foot or so higher. Some hens prefer each height. In nature, they generally nest in places like under a bush.

    4' will not keep most chickens in if they want out.
     
  3. sukochickens

    sukochickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    220
    8
    63
    Mar 16, 2015
    Virginia
    My husband wants to raise them, I think for added floor space. I just want to make sure we don't put them to high so the hens can't get into them. I plan on getting barred rocks. I know they're a bit on the heavier side. Do you think they could still get over the fence? I don't worry about our neighbors complaining but we live back off of a busy road and I wouldn't want them to wander down there. I guess I'll just have to watch and see what they do. I don't plan on leaving them unattended much when they're out anyway. We live by water and I've seen hawks. [​IMG]
     
  4. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Overrun With Chickens

    4,335
    1,306
    311
    Mar 9, 2014
    Northern Colorado
    I found that if the nest boxes are raised and protrude into the coop the hens tended to lay UNDER not in them. I also know that my heavy birds will easily clear a 4 foot fence. (poor garden took a very bad hit when they hopped right in)
    Hawks are another matter that make letting them out unattended very risky IMHO.

    Here is a pic of my nest boxes so you can see how they get in the higher ones.
    [​IMG]

    I have a 2x2 for a landing spot since they like to inspect the boxes before entering.
     
  5. sukochickens

    sukochickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    220
    8
    63
    Mar 16, 2015
    Virginia
    Thanks! I'll have to tell my husband about them laying under the boxes. [​IMG]
     
  6. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Overrun With Chickens

    4,335
    1,306
    311
    Mar 9, 2014
    Northern Colorado
    Oh and the dish pans make cleaning the nests a snap as well as the shelves they sit on for the uppers are removable to help clean any shavings that get pushed out.
    Under the nest box was a pain in my rear since I had to kneel in the shavings to hunt for the eggs. That is why I built this kind of set up for them with the new coop.
     
  7. sukochickens

    sukochickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    220
    8
    63
    Mar 16, 2015
    Virginia
    This has helped a lot! Thank you! I told my husband about them laying under the boxes and he said, "well we don't want that. I guess I won't raise them." We're going to have 6 boxes all in a row. So they won't be stacked on top of each other.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by