question about nesting box height

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Shag, Jan 8, 2009.

  1. Shag

    Shag In the Brooder

    Jan 3, 2009
    Maybe opinions will vary on this but I'd like to hear them. We have an 8'X8' run that's 6' high with a coop inside it that is about 5'X2.5'X2.5' high and the coop is raised up about 3' from ground level. The hens either walk up a ramp or jump/fly into the coop. My question is about the nesting boxes inside of the coop. Since the coop itself is already about 3' from ground level, do I need to raise the nesting boxes up a little inside the coop? I could raise them up about 18" and still make them 12" tall. Or should I just put them on the floor of the coop? Or start with them on the floor and raise them if the hens don't nest in them? Or sell the hens and buy my eggs from the store? Just kiddin' about the last question. [​IMG] Thanks for any advice!
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2009
  2. Dawn419

    Dawn419 Lost in the Woods

    Apr 16, 2007
    Evening Shade, AR
    Hi and Welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    Our nest boxes are sitting on the floor (on top of pine shavings litter) since they are made from an old plexiglass fish tank (for raising out their fry/babies) and I didn't want to attach them to the coop wall.


    Whenever I add fresh pine shavings, I just move the boxes, add the new litter and move them back into place.

    The main thing to remember, no matter what you decide, is to keep the nest boxes lower than the height of their roost or they'll roost on or in the boxes which usually results in messy boxes and eggs.

    Hope this helps!


    P.S. We'll be the first to tell you to build a bigger coop, or another one, and get more chickens before we'll ever suggest you sell them and buy store-bought eggs! [​IMG]
  3. scooter147

    scooter147 Songster

    Jul 30, 2008
    To really answer your question, hens have not real preference, it's just getting them to lay where you want them to.

    Here are my experiences.

    1. My experience with them on the floor is that the hens have a tendency for getting in them during the day and scratching and flipping the eggs and bedding about which can lead to broken eggs and dirty eggs. When they are elevated they don't seem to do this.

    2. If they are elevated a bit it is easier on you to collect the eggs.

    3. Keep them lower than the roosts, chickens will generally choose the highest point to roost.

    4. Starting on the floor and raising is a good way to get them to learn where you want them to lay.

    Mine are actually three feet off the floor and it has worked great for over 30 years.
  4. ManDash

    ManDash In the Brooder

    Jul 2, 2011
    Kansas City, KS
    I designed a coop with the nesting boxes and the roosts at the same height. For the first few nights I had the new hens, two were roosting in the nesting box, so I would move them to the roost. After about 5 days they started all roosting in the correct place (I am still waiting for eggs). It may take a little attention, but they can be trained to go to the correct place.
  5. bryan99705

    bryan99705 Songster

    Coop floor height has no bearing on the nest height. Raising the coop helps save your back, reduce vermin access, and preserve or increase shaded run space

    One consideration for raising the boxes is to preserve your floor space and not creating a hiding spot for mice and other critters to set up housekeeping.

    A concern I have, due to experience, is keeping the birds a reasonable height off the ground (I had a heavy hen hurt because she was jumping down and collided with another bird and a feeder) Another thing I did was attach a walkway on the front of the nest so the birds jump to it then walk to their favorite nest. This way they don't jump into a occupied nest.
  6. 2overeasy000

    2overeasy000 Songster

    Dec 1, 2010
    Quote:Sell your eggs and buy more hens at the store. Haha.
  7. reksat

    reksat Chirping

    Mar 7, 2011
    My coop is 2ft off the ground with the nest boxes on the interior and they are 20" off the ground with a landing and walkway attached.It seems like a goods setup to me.

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