Recommendations for 5-chicken coop+run+nesting area?

Oct 2, 2020
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I have 5 16-18 week old pullets that are currently in a decently sized coop without a nesting area. It will be very hard for me to construct 5 nesting areas as a part of the coop, so does anyone have any good recs for a good full 5-chicken coop+run+nesting box setup possibly on amazon or anywhere else (that is weatherproof and well insulated)?

Also, do I physically put my chicken (when they are ready to lay eggs) directly into the boxes or do I teach them to go automatically when they have to lay? If the latter, what is the best means of doing that? when should i begin that sort of training assuming their current age?

For reference we have this setup currently (it‘s a rabbit coop, i know) but want to expand it [to add, we dont have a roosting area but the chicken seem to be fine. is not having a roost bad for the chicken?]: https://www.amazon.com/Pawhut-Woode...pY2tSZWRpcmVjdCZkb05vdExvZ0NsaWNrPXRydWU&th=1

Thank you for reading!
 

DobieLover

Easily distracted by chickens
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Jul 23, 2018
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5 chickens will do fine with 2 nest boxes. They could actually get by with just one.

They like to lay in a cozy spot they can nest down in by making a well out of the nesting material with their bodies. They need to be able to stand up when the egg actually passes.

You don't need to train them. If the nest area you provide meets their needs and is enticing to them, they will use it on their own. You can put fake eggs or gold balls in the nests.

You NEED a properly sized chicken coop. They need 4 sq ft per bird in the coop with 10-12" of roost space per bird.

They prefer to roost. Not roosting can lead to them getting dirty butt fluff as they cannot clear their feathers when they poop at night.
 
Oct 2, 2020
50
29
58
5 chickens will do fine with 2 nest boxes. They could actually get by with just one.

They like to lay in a cozy spot they can nest down in by making a well out of the nesting material with their bodies. They need to be able to stand up when the egg actually passes.

You don't need to train them. If the nest area you provide meets their needs and is enticing to them, they will use it on their own. You can put fake eggs or gold balls in the nests.

You NEED a properly sized chicken coop. They need 4 sq ft per bird in the coop with 10-12" of roost space per bird.

They prefer to roost. Not roosting can lead to them getting dirty butt fluff as they cannot clear their feathers when they poop at night.
Thank you so much for your detailed reply. Do you have any recommendations for specific setups I could purchase that would be good for 5 pullets?
 
Oct 2, 2020
50
29
58
5 chickens will do fine with 2 nest boxes. They could actually get by with just one.

They like to lay in a cozy spot they can nest down in by making a well out of the nesting material with their bodies. They need to be able to stand up when the egg actually passes.

You don't need to train them. If the nest area you provide meets their needs and is enticing to them, they will use it on their own. You can put fake eggs or gold balls in the nests.

You NEED a properly sized chicken coop. They need 4 sq ft per bird in the coop with 10-12" of roost space per bird.

They prefer to roost. Not roosting can lead to them getting dirty butt fluff as they cannot clear their feathers when they poop at night.
Oh, and if my nesting box is connected to the coop above ground, will the chicken know to fly into it? Most coops i see have a box attached like this and im curious as to how chicken know to lay their eggs in there
 

CNJ

Songster
Oct 12, 2020
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Hello, I trained my hens to lay in my nest boxes with fake plastic eggs from eBay. After they started laying in the nest boxes, I took out the fake eggs. Eventually they all laid their eggs in the middle nest box. When I saw two of them trying to squeeze in the middle nest box, I decided to use my fake eggs again and they started laying in the other boxes. I live in the tropics, so my coop design is different than cold weather places.

My eggs are very clean, they seldom poop in the nest boxes. If I see any poop, I take it out daily while I collect the eggs. I use pine shavings for the nesting material.

The floor of my coop has been covered with timorous grass. I was a little worried because some people on this site experienced chicken dying from crop impaction and blamed the timorous grass. None of my chickens had this problem. I like the way it broke down into compost. My coop has an earthy smell, I never clean the dirt floor. Once in a while I turn the chicken poop under the compost with a rake and add pine shaving.

Anyway, I let them out daily and they come in at night, so most of their poop is spread through my yard where it dries out and becomes fertilizer.


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NatJ

Free Ranging
Mar 20, 2017
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You can put fake eggs or gold balls in the nests.

Golf balls are pretty common--I think there's a typo in there :lol:

Oh, and if my nesting box is connected to the coop above ground, will the chicken know to fly into it? Most coops i see have a box attached like this and im curious as to how chicken know to lay their eggs in there

Chickens like to fly up and sit on things, and they like to explore everything in their area. So when they fly up, and then they see a nice place with some eggs in it, they later come back to lay eggs of their own.

When a hen needs to lay an egg, she wants to find a cozy nest and sit for a little while. She wants it to be the right size, and hidden (so predators or people don't find it.) It's even better if there are already eggs in the nest. So if she were wild or free range, she might pick a place under a bush, or under someone's porch, or something like that.

In a chicken coop, if there's a box about 12 inches each direction, with some straw in the bottom and a fake egg, it's usually the "best" place the hen can find, so she lays her own egg there as well.

Pullets laying their first egg might lay it anywhere (maybe they don't realize what's happening?) But after the first egg or two, they seem to get the idea and look for a good nest, and then they usually decide that the nestbox is a good nest. Otherwise they pick a spot in the corner of the floor, usually the corner that is hardest for you to reach :D
 

CNJ

Songster
Oct 12, 2020
585
987
196
I discovered another problem tonight. You will probably run into this situation as your chickens mature. One of my hens was puffed up in one of the nest boxes. I went out to close the coop door for the night and found her. I took her out of the box and placed her on a perch next to another chicken. My roosters are not old enough to mate, they still make chirping sounds, so I don't need a broody hen. I hope I can break her broody mind set. I will take her out of the coop in the morning and lock her out with my rooster chicks. My rooster chicks are on the bottom of the pecking order, they get pecked on if I don't let them out of the coop.
 

NatJ

Free Ranging
Mar 20, 2017
8,131
16,934
706
USA
does anyone have any good recs for a good full 5-chicken coop+run+nesting box setup possibly on amazon or anywhere else (that is weatherproof and well insulated)?

Where you live makes a difference, but basic guidelines for most places:

Allow at least 4 square feet of space per bird in the coop. That's for when they're sleeping, laying eggs, when it's snowy outside, when it's raining, and things like that.
For 5 birds, that's 20 square feet, so probably 4 feet by 5 feet.

Allow at least 1 foot of roosting space per bird. The roost should be over an inch thick, with no sharp corners (wider yet is fine.) That's for sleeping, and they may also spend some time sitting there during the day. So for 5 birds, 5 feet of roost.

For 5 chickens, one or two nestboxes are enough. They can take turns, and they seem to like using the same nest as everyone else. (Exception: if they all go broody, they will want one nest each. Cardboard boxes are OK for temporary nests if they all go broody at once and you want to keep peace while figuring out what to do next.)

Allow at least 10 square feet per bird in the run. That's for walking around, scratching the ground, dustbathing, sunbathing, and whatever else chickens like to do outside. The run can have a roof (nice in rainy weather, hot sunny weather, or snowy weather), or it can be uncovered. For 5 chickens, that is at least 50 square feet, so maybe 5 by 10 feet or 7 by 8 feet or something like that.

Different climates can change things. For example:
--for long snowy winters, allow more coop space for when they cannot use the run, or else put a roof on the run and cover several sides to keep out wind & snow.
--for hot climates, you can put a roof on the run, put the perches and nestboxes in the run, and skip the "coop" part.
 

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