Size and height for new nest boxes for Buff Orpingtons

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by fjorddreamer, Aug 6, 2009.

  1. fjorddreamer

    fjorddreamer Songster

    Sep 27, 2008
    Nova Scotia
    Hi there,

    I've searched this but have found different answers, so thought it best to ask all you experts on BYC. We're building our new coop for our buff orpington pullets. My husband wants to know what size nest box you recommend and what height off the ground? We were thinking of using milk crates so they can be easily cleaned, but we still need to know how high up to put them, as he would still build a frame for them to sit on even if we used crates. Opinions, please. He's hoping to build the nesting area tonight and I need to get these pullets moved out of the horse stall they're in now so am anxious to get the coop completed! :) Thanks, in advance, for your advice and opinions!!!
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    I'll include a link that may give you some ideas on nesting boxes. Sounds like you really don't need many as your plan should work.

    Some people put the boxes on the ground but most elevate them a little. Some things to consider.

    Buff Orpingtons are fairly heavy. They can get up and down but most people think it is best they don't jump down too far. Heavy birds are more likely to injure their legs jumping down.

    If your coop is tight for space, if you get your nests high enough they do not detract from you coop space. Chickens are basically ground dwelling birds, so the only coop space that counts is on the ground.

    If you raise the nests, they stay cleaner. The standard recommendation is 18 to 24 inches. I have mine about 12 inches.

    The milk crates will be big enough for the nests. If you have them on hand, it is a great solution.

    The roost needs to be clearly higher than the nesting boxes so the chickens will be less likely to roost in the nests and poop in them. 12 inches higher should be plenty. Remember the heavy birds hurting their legs jumping down. The lower the nesting boxes, the lower the roosts can be.

    Good luck!
  3. CityChook

    CityChook Songster

    Apr 9, 2008
    Minneapolis, MN
    My Coop
    Great Advice Ridgerunner.

    I also have buff orps and my nestbox is sort of unconventional. I used an old drawer (modified) and made a community nest. My space wasn't wide enough for two boxes so I made one longer one - kind of like a trough. It's plenty big for two girls to get into at the same time, and they do share it. No one poos there, I have yet to find an egg on the floor and they always come back to the box to lay when they're free ranging, so they must like it.

    It is 18 inches off the floor (there is space to walk underneath, but no one spends much time there), 23 inches long and 17 inches wide and 9 inches deep. I didn't put a roost in front, but made the front ledge sloping. There is no top. It's filled with pine shavings and two golf balls.

    The roost, in case you care, is 30 inches off the ground. They can get up and down just fine, but they do make quite a thump when they land. Freaks me out a bit, but they seem fine.

    Good luck!

  4. MIKE555444

    MIKE555444 Songster

    Jun 8, 2009
    Pliny, West Virgina
    My Orpintons are close to laying age(18 weeks tomorrow)

    I was thinking that I wanted to build about 14" x 14" what do you think?
  5. Ours are a foot off the ground with a perch in front. Our golden comets are similar in size to your Buff Orps, and have been using the perch since they were 2 weeks old! Ours are 15"x 15" x 15" and sometimes two hens go in together, occasionally 3...

    Last edited: Aug 6, 2009
  6. chfriedmam

    chfriedmam In the Brooder

    Dec 20, 2015
    I have a similar concern. One of our hens laid her first egg today, in the run. They are a speckled sussex, austrolorp, and a buff orpington-all pretty big. They've had the nest box below with some wooden eggs in it in their coop for over a month. the bedding does get moved around, but I've never seen one of them in there. I wonder if they can fit! Do you think I need to go bigger? I think I should.

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