Should I add a ramp to my nesting boxes?


11 Years
Jun 3, 2008
Bolton, CT
Hi everyone.

My hens are coming home sooooon!! Finally had nice enough weather to paint and prep the coop and will build the run this Saturday.

My question is this. My coop is approx. 4 x 4 x 6H. The three nesting boxes are about 3 ft off the ground (as well as the roost). Will they be able to fly up to those comfortably? It looks a little tricky to me.

I am getting standard size hens (RIR, BO, EE, Jersey Giant, Barred Rock).

I have read with the heavy breeds (like you are getting), the bottom perches/nesting boxes should be 24 inches off the ground... then you can put higher ones above them in a stair-step manner and the will hop from perch to perch to box, etc. It's just that some of the heavy breeds can't/don't fly that well, on the other hand, some will fly right up there no problem. You may just have to wait and see how your girls do.
I'd seriously consider steps or a ramp. With the small 4' x 4' coop, they may not have enough room to spread their wings and fly. The Jersey Giant especially could have problems.
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I am only booksmart on the subject but I made my nest boxes with a landing perch in the front... the book said it's nice for them to have a place to land. But mine will only be 2 feet up (or even a little less).
All but the Jersey Giant can jump/fly up three feet. Those Jersey's are a true "heavy weight". I like the hay bale idea. That way when it comes time to cleaning the coop it can be easily moved and used in their run or in your garden and a fresh/clean one can be moved in.
the perch idea is a good one..

there is no chicken that I can think of that cannot jump almost straight up, 3 feet.. I have 55 Buff orps. they can fly over a 5 foot fence with room to spare..
My black aust. can get on my roosts without a problem, they start at three feet. And they eat too much.

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