question about community nest box

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by momoeight, Oct 22, 2011.

  1. momoeight

    momoeight Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 20, 2011
    I have looked and couldn't find the answer to this exact question. I am building a community nest box that will be about 4' wide. I want to put one opening so that most of the box is nice and dark. What size should the opening be? I want to make it just big enough, but not too big so that the light is minimal. And any thoughts on putting it in the middle or the side of the front of the box?
  2. simplynewt

    simplynewt Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 12, 2011
    My Coop
    I dont thin the box would need to be that wide momoeight. If I am understanding correctly, a nest box should be about a foot in diameter so in a 4 foot spact, you could have enough for 4 nest boxes.

    About a 12" opening is what I understand the opening should be as well. You can make a box 12" wide, 12" tall and 12" deep and add some straw to the bottom of it and throw a piece of burlap on the front of it to ensure privacy and before you know it, hens will be doing their thing.
  3. goldies99

    goldies99 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 22, 2011
    chickens dont want a big open spot to lay an egg.....they like a small area to feel secure when laying...
    you will find that they all like to lay in the same box as well!!!
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2011
  4. SteveBaz

    SteveBaz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 6, 2011
    Pacific North West
    I would make them about 14"X14" or 16"X16" that is enough. You will find like they are as a group they will sit in a egg box to like that too. The girls of mine do everything together and I know that they will lay eggs together to.

    Welcome to the BYC [​IMG]
  5. goldies99

    goldies99 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 22, 2011
  6. fireguy56

    fireguy56 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 2, 2010
    Slidell, Louisiana
    Quote:Hi, Welcome to BYC. Lots of good info here and Opinions. I totally disagree with not laying in a large box. Mine do, as a matter of fact they would lay anywhere, if there were no nest boxes. The privacy part I somewhat agree with. I built two nest boxes that are 50'' wide and only put a divider in the middle of each. So, essentially I have four nest boxes that are 25" wide x 14'' deep x 14" high. They share all of the time. The only thing I added as an afterthought in an attempt to stop some from roosting on the front lip of boxes was a thin piece of luan plywood cut in a vee shape to discourge the roosting. Working great, no more roosting on the edge of boxes and pooping inside. good luck with what you go with. Almost anything will work for a nest box. Here are two pics of what I did. hope this helps.

    [​IMG] View of nest boxes from outside.

    [​IMG] View from inside. Originally open with 1" x 4" across the front to keep shavings in, then I added the vee shaped plywood to discourage the roosting. Plus gives them alittle more privacy as pp suggested. But they do share and seem to like the roominess of the lager boxes where they can move around some.
  7. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

    May 8, 2007
    The whole point of a community nest box is to make it larger than a standard nest box. The chickens all share the same one. I went to a community nesting area several years ago and it's worked well for my flock. They were sharing a favorite nest box before. Now they just do it without the crabby squabbles.

    I have a very wide open entrance area, but it's still subdued lighting in the nesting area. It's open enough not to trap heat in there, in the summer. They have enough room to move past each other. Mine seem to like it just fine. They don't lay eggs out in the yard when they're free ranging, they go back to the coop to lay.
  8. goldies99

    goldies99 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 22, 2011
    nice boxes fireguy....and your right, a chicken will lay an egg anywhere!!....its just what do they prefer and what they get use too!!!
  9. daver

    daver Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 11, 2011
    Linden, NC
    We are using a plastic storage box (milk crate) with one side cut down for five girls. They seem to love it. As it happened the girls picked the spot with their first eggs as we didn't think it would happen for a while. Easy peasy.

  10. RiddleMe

    RiddleMe Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 8, 2011
    Central Oregon
    Quote:That actually depends on the chickens. I have a row of nest boxes, each box is about 11x15 and thought what the heck, instead of sloping the top of the boxes I'll leave it flat, add a 6" lip and some shavings, and call it a community next box. I have some that definitely prefer the enclosed boxes but about 4 that actually prefer the wide open "box". They even have their favorite sections of the community box, I've had one of my hens waiting because two others were using "her" side, she finally just climbed in on top of them - I guess they weren't moving fast enough for her. I didn't actually think they would use it since it's wide open, there's nothing dark or private about it.

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