Some nest box questions

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by xapikleia, Feb 2, 2009.

  1. xapikleia

    xapikleia Out Of The Brooder

    55
    0
    39
    Jan 15, 2009
    So Cal Suburbs
    -How big do my nest boxes need to be?

    -Do they need to be a considerable distance from the ground?

    -Can they be open in the front and the back?
     
  2. waynesgarden

    waynesgarden Feathers of Steel

    498
    1
    131
    Mar 30, 2008
    Oxford County
    Mine are 11 1/4 x 12" and are just big enough for my medium Chantecler hens. If you have a bigger breed, I'd suggest a bit larger nest.

    They do not have to be high off the floor. I like mine to be high enough the birds can walk under them since my coop is on the small side. They are 16 to 18" above the floor. If they are off the floor, try to provide a perch just in of the nests for the girls to stand on while waiting their turn in the nest.

    Birds seem to like nests that are shaded and somewhat private. I have a "curtain" cut from an old pillow case that covers part of the front opening and shades them from the morning sun.

    They can be open on two sides. I built mine so I can open a small access door fromn outside the run to collect eggs.

    Wayne
     
  3. gkeesling

    gkeesling Chillin' With My Peeps

    398
    0
    129
    Nov 24, 2008
    Hagerstown, IN
    they can be open on both ends, but put something like a 2" piece of board at the bottom of the open end(s) so that the hen won't kick out all of the laying material you have in the nest.
     
  4. hinky toes

    hinky toes Out Of The Brooder

    76
    1
    29
    Nov 1, 2008
    Bozeman, MT
    My nest boxes are about 16" x 16" x 16" and enclosed on three sides. The gals like a little privacy, so having a more open box might force them to lay somewhere other than the desired location.
     
  5. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    16,261
    769
    406
    Nov 18, 2007
    Florida
    My Coop
    From McMurray Hatchery
    By nature, hens like dark out of the way places for laying eggs. The nest you provide can encourage them to lay where you can get at the eggs for collection. Nest boxes for heavy breeds should be about 14" wide by 14" high by 12" deep. Allow one nest for every 4 to 5 hens. Nests should be 18 to 20 inches off he ground.

    My nest boxes, on the top boxes the top opens and the lower boxes have a door for out side access. There are pictures on my BYC Page.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2009
  6. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    16,261
    769
    406
    Nov 18, 2007
    Florida
    My Coop
    Oops a duplicate [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2009
  7. Schroeder

    Schroeder Chillin' With My Peeps

    577
    22
    154
    Nov 9, 2008
    Central Indiana
    My Coop
    I'm thinking about putting burlap "drapes" over the nest box entrances to darken the boxes. Will the chickens destroy them? Will they get soiled so quickly as to make this impractical? Any other ideas for darkening the boxes and making them more "discreet"?
     
  8. waynesgarden

    waynesgarden Feathers of Steel

    498
    1
    131
    Mar 30, 2008
    Oxford County
    My "privacy curtain" is a flannel pillow case that gets dusty but the birds don't seem to peck at it. In the spring, I'm going to make it removable so I can shake the dust off easier.

    Wayne
     
  9. ssteiner

    ssteiner Chillin' With My Peeps

    128
    0
    119
    Nov 24, 2008
    Orange, CA
    I built a rabbit hutch style coop and attached a nesting box to the back of it after using a jigsaw to cut a whole. I attached the nesting box using shelving brackets which I mounted into studs inside the coop. I designed the lid of the box so that it can be lifted and eggs retrieved. It's only about 6" off the coop floor, but the girls seem to like it a lot. It's about 13" by 13" by 13".

    -Scott
     
  10. Sissy

    Sissy Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,764
    11
    191
    Jul 18, 2007
    Sevier county, Tn.
    I use the old yellow empty
    cat litter pails with the handle as nest boxes,
    hook
    them on the coop wall, only about 4inches of the floor have bantys,
    easy to un hook and cleanout and it has a
    a small 2' ridge in front so the eggs dont roll out.

    From Orange Ca.
    now from the great
    Beautiful smokie mountains..
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2009

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by