Small Opening for Nesting Box


In the Brooder
9 Years
Oct 15, 2010

I was reviewing some nesting box designs and stumbled upon an agricultural extension website that claimed egg production increased when the opening to the nesting box was reduced to 6" x 9". Most of the pictures I see on the internet show a wide open box. Does anyone have experience with a small opening like they suggest?

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Chickens prefer a little privacy and will choose a smaller nest opening over a larger more exposed one. A smaller opening would be better as long as the interior of the nest is regular size and it don't interfere with egg collection.
I have noticed that my little Banty Cochins lay more inside the nesting boxes that I made for my Muscovies than in their own boxes. The duck's boxes are rectangular & fully enclosed except for a circle cut in the front, to one side, for access.

On the other hand they also seem to like layign in a long, open-top box the ducks use too. but it is VERY 'nesty' in there so maybe that's why?
Mine seem to really like laying in a box that I have built inside a XL dog house. It's about 14" square, but sideways inside the doghouse, so it's "private" (not open towards the doorway)
Otherwise they use a small plastic doghouse (almost 2ft long, only about a foot wide), that is plenty big enough (about 4 hens can fit in there....) but it's "deep" if you know what I mean, so they lay their eggs way in the back. I put crushed up corn cob type kitty litter in it for padding, and a golf ball, and they caught on.
I tried giving them a plastic tote with a smaller doorway cut into the side, and they wouldn't use it
maybe the hole was too small, but they squeeze into other tight spaces.....who knows what they were thinking. It's out there cluttering up my yard now

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