Pros/Cons of protruding nest boxes

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Mamma_Duck04, Jul 14, 2011.

  1. Mamma_Duck04

    Mamma_Duck04 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2011
    Crazyville, VA
    Beside my OCD that just doesn't like the look of nest boxes sticking out, what are the pros vs. cons of this design?? I would think those small spaces would heat up/stay cold more than having them integrated in the coop body- am I wrong on this?? Is it mainly to add more space to smaller coops?

    We have a fan that blows in the coop all the time as it is, & I've found even when it's terribly hot outside, I can still keep the general temps in the coop fairly reasonable, but the thought of having small nest boxes sticking out just makes me think of little chicken roasters or freezers (depending on the season). I'd already planned to have them integrated in the main coop body with liberal access, so I'm trying to make sure I'm not missing something important with this protruding design.

    Any insight would be much appreciated!
  2. Young Heritage

    Young Heritage Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 4, 2010
    Monterey TN
    Both of my coops have them and I went with this design due to space. They are not tiny coops but I wanted as much space as possible. Framing cost and trouble is more for this design than putting them inside. Not a lot but a little more. My chickens do not seem to have any issues with temps. Coop is not insulated so why would the nest boxes need to be? Both are exposed to the outside. I also have a large window and large vents on each side that keep the entire coop as comfortable as it can be for no A/C. [​IMG]

    Side Note: I do not run the A/C in my home. We only use box fans. My coops are generally cooler than my house [​IMG]
  3. wayneh

    wayneh Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 25, 2011
    N. E. Alabama
    We have built 2 coops and both have outside nest boxes. The only problem I have incountered is leaking during heavy rain. I fixed this on the first with a awning over the hinge crack, this is where the water was leaking. This solved the problem with next coop. I changed the hinging point and extended my roof another 2 inches over the box. Think this will solve that problem. other than that, I have no problems with external nest boxes.
  4. Young Heritage

    Young Heritage Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 4, 2010
    Monterey TN
    I have a fixed and sloped roof on the nest boxes and open them from the side on my new coop. The whole side of the nest boxes fold down to get eggs. I learned the hard way on my first coop so I decided to to go this route with my new one i just built.
  5. Rocky Top Chick

    Rocky Top Chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 2, 2009
    North Carolina
    we have both types of nest boxes in our coop. started with the ones built inside, got more chickens and needed more nests so DH attached one on the outside. All are used and I honestly don't think the chickens prefer one over the other. I really don't see any difference myself with the exception of using less coop space for the outside next box.
  6. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I've never wanted them. There may be eggs laid outside the nests, or any number of unexpected problems, so if I'm at the coop anyway, I'm going to go in and check on things. They are extra trouble to build, and make predator proof leak proof. I want to be able to move nests, change them out, clean them by dumping them outside and hosing them, etc. I've never spent money on a nest; there has always been something lying around that I could use or easily convert. I also don't want a coop so small that 2 sq ft of floor space will matter to them.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 14, 2011
  7. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2010
    Forest Grove, OR
    Mine protrudes into the covered run, so it is always dry and shaded. My coop is small, so this design made the most sense.
  8. Young Heritage

    Young Heritage Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 4, 2010
    Monterey TN
    Quote:How does it make them lay eggs outside? They have to enter the nest boxes from inside the coop so the chickens do not know any difference if it is a box inside a framed wall or a box on the outside of a framed wall. They are not that smart. I will agree on the most of your post other than the space thing and sometimes "whats laying around" does not match the look you are going for. 90% of both my coops are from recycled materials so I am not bashing the idea. [​IMG] My nest boxes take up much more room than 2 sq ft, [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2011
  9. Nifty-Chicken

    Nifty-Chicken Administrator Staff Member

    I had my nest boxes inside for about 4 years and then moved them outside "protruding" to give my girls more space inside the coop. We are in a very mild climate, so temps weren't an issue.
  10. AlienChick

    AlienChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 9, 2010
    Glasgow, KY
    We built ours protruding as well.

    We just wanted to keep as much of the sq footage as possible inside the coop for possible chicken math later on.

    The chickens are now laying in the boxes and all is well.


BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by