Pros and Cons Inside coop nesting boxes or outside

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by sodamancer, Jun 5, 2012.

  1. sodamancer

    sodamancer In the Brooder

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    I have been looking over hundreds of coops and there is never a mention of WHY your would build your nesting boxes inside the coop or make an attached box outside the basic 4 walled coop. Is it just looks? is there an actual reason one way or the other is better. talk to me i only have 6 weeks before the girls go out.

    [​IMG]

    or
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  2. Fraunie

    Fraunie Chirping

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    My understanding is that it is a space issue. Putting them on the outside saves the interior space for roosts etc. I, too, have poured over hundreds and really need to make some decisions, stat!!
     
  3. Garlough Marco

    Garlough Marco Hatching

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    Would you rather crawl into your coop to retrieve the eggs or be able to collect them without having to set foot inside your coop? That's the question I asked myself. I chose building nest boxes on the outside. My wife will be able to collect eggs as well. :)
     
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  4. sodamancer

    sodamancer In the Brooder

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    but there is a hinged door to the interior nest box so theoretically no crawling
     
  5. Garlough Marco

    Garlough Marco Hatching

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    That's correct. I also wanted more floor space for my ladies in their coop house. Building the nest boxes outside gave them that extra space. I want them to be outside as much as possible but wanted them to have more interior room to roam on those NW days when the weather isn't fit for any creatures big and small.
     
  6. canesisters

    canesisters Songster

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    I think that both of what you're describing could be called 'exterior' nest boxes. From what I've seen, it's not really the location of the box itself but the accessibility of it. Can you get the eggs without getting inside the coop? Lots of folks set up 'interior' nests that are some sort of box completely inside the coop and you have to walk in to get the eggs. To my way of thinking, an 'exterior' nest box is one that has some sort of door to the outside regardless of whether the top projects inside the coop or outside.
    Personally, I love the look of the boxes that are a little addition on to the side of the coop.
     
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  7. duckinnut

    duckinnut Songster

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    There are pros and cons to both. Mine are interior but my coop is large. 8x8x6h shed type. I have 6 nest boxes and the top of the rack of boxes I use as a shelf for all things chicken. Such as shavings, DE, oyster shell amongst things. It is all a matter of personal preference basically and the size of your coop.. I toyed with the idea of externals but was pressed for time as it would have added construction time. Another factor is keeping water from getting on top door externals, if I were to have externals it would be side door instead of top.
     
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  8. igep

    igep In the Brooder

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    Hi All: (and especially to my unknown neighbor in Marshfield MA)

    Interesting debate on internal vs. external nest boxes. We are in the process of building a coop and have just put in external boxes. Main reason is that I was afraid I would not have enough roost space for my 16 chickens in an 8x6 coop the way we have it set up.
    We are putting flashing on the top seam and will caulk around the edges. We plan to have front access doors. I will keep you posted how (or if) it keeps out the rain as we have had some very heavy storms in the past week. Any additional suggestions would be appreciated. Will send pictures later.
     
  9. HEChicken

    HEChicken Crowing

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    I just built a new coop and initially I was planning to have external access nest boxes. Then one day I realized that in order to do that I was going to have to cut a hole in the wall of my coop, and then affix the nest boxes in such a way that there were no leaks in the coop. This realization, I will add, came after reading multiple threads about people having issues with leaks in their coop at the nest box seams. And then I realized that my coop is a walk-in coop and as such, I will be walking in daily to make sure there are no birds with health issues who never left the roost that day, and that the feeder still has feed in it, and while I'm there, its easy enough to grab the eggs. So I went with internal nest boxes.

    I can see doing an external set up if space was an issue - it is a way to increase the interior coop space if you find yourself with more birds than you originally planned on.
     
  10. bruceha2000

    bruceha2000 Crossing the Road

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    My coop will be in a barn (converted horse stall) so I don't have the weatherproof issue. If I did, I would think it wouldn't be that hard to over come. Your house doesn't leak when it rains (I hope).

    I suggest the OP's first picture has a serious weatherproof design flaw. The top shouldn't be hinged to the wall. I don't know how you could keep rain from running down the wall and into the nests. Make the top part of the box with a 1" or 2" skirt (meaning the opening isn't the full size of the top) and a 1/2" raised lip at the edge of the opening. That way any rain coming down the wall can be channeled off to the side (since of course you caulk the joints) and you can attach the top with hinges underneath on to the raised lip.

    I plan to build the boxes such that I can get to the eggs from the alley rather than HAVING to go in the coop. I'll probably put them inside the coop so they don't project into the alley since I have enough space. But, as always, there are tradeoffs. If they are in the coop, they need sloped tops so the chickens don't sit on them unless you don't mind cleaning poop off the top. [​IMG] Thus a bit more work than a simple box. On the flip side, I can use the existing 3/4" plywood stall wall as the 'back' of the nest box and cut out only as much as I need to reach in for the eggs rather than a full 12"x14" openings which might not conveniently fall between the studs. I'm sure it will be a BIG trial and error exercise. But, then, so is this foray into raising chickens. [​IMG]

    Bruce
     

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