Stackable Storage Bins as Nest Boxes: How many for bantams?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by HappyPlace, Dec 17, 2011.

  1. HappyPlace

    HappyPlace Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Considering my little pullets may start laying in the next month - couple months? - I would like to have nest boxes at least ready for them. I don't have much room in the coop so the stacking nest boxes should work fine. I'm wondering, though, how many I will need.

    I have 11 pullets, all about the size of a pigeon or morning dove. If I have one bin that's about standard size (about 12"?), that should fit at least a couple birds and work as a communal nest, right? Would it be better to have two boxes, though? If they are stacked on top of each other, will I have to secure them to the wall even though these aren't large fowl? I don't want them to tip over... Will bantams even use a nesting box that large?

    Also, because of the size of the coop and the position of the roost, If I have two nest boxes stacked, I would probably have to have them facing the roost and they may end up being almost level with it. Will they still use them?

    I appreciate any help/advice that anyone has.
     
  2. <3 N.C Chicken Chick <3

    <3 N.C Chicken Chick <3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A communal nest dosen't work, because theybreak the eggs. good luck [​IMG]
     
  3. HappyPlace

    HappyPlace Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Not arguing, but won't having individual nest boxes have broken eggs then, too? If other hens are using the nest box after each other (or are all trying to squeeze in at once), shouldn't the eggs get broken?

    I'm asking so I know. Why would a communal nest box be bad? Why would the eggs get broken?
     
  4. wolftracks

    wolftracks Spam Hunter

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    Quote:I had 6 birds in one box once. They were packed in there too. I had to untwist some to get them out. If I hadn't been so worried about them I would have taken a pic, but I saw them and freaked out. You should have seen it.

    So 6 of maybe 15 hens want to lay at once and they all like the same box. I have removed 4 because they only use 3, ever. Sometimes eggs get smashed, but not often. Just pad them well.

    I should also mention that I have one coop where I had had my husband place the boxes very high. This coop always had my Game hens in it and they would try to lay high up on a 2x4 and the eggs would drop. Those boxes had to go up. Almost every box I have now is on the ground. That seems to be where every one of my birds prefer to lay. If I have only 3 to 6 birds in a coop I've started only using 1 to 2 boxes. Even 15 get 3. They like to follow eachother.

    I have never at any time had birds who would each use a different box. EVER! Most had never been used, so they were put where they would be.
     
  5. dsfrango

    dsfrango Chillin' With My Peeps

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    For bantams the boxes should be a little smaller and cozy. It should most definitely be secured down in case anything happens. If its only 1hen per box they will move much less, being that they dont have to shove around and push for a position. And a general rule with nesting is 1 box per every 6-8 hens you have. They will even take turns sitting sometimes.
     
  6. <3 N.C Chicken Chick <3

    <3 N.C Chicken Chick <3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Its just what I had read on another thread. In the end its up to you. [​IMG]
     
  7. HappyPlace

    HappyPlace Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks everyone for the advice. [​IMG]

    So a larger nest box for bantams (where a few might be able to fit in) wouldn't be good? I still think stacking nest boxes would work best in the space - but is the general consensus to go smaller?
     
  8. dsfrango

    dsfrango Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, go smaller and stacking is fine but put a small perch of some sort in front of the higher ones so they can hop in rather than fly in and knock it over or break the eggs
     
  9. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The general rule of thumb is to allow 1 nesting box per 3-4 chickens. We have 9 bantams, and plenty of space, so I have 5 nesting boxes. They ordinarily use only 1 of them, though, and will queue up outside it, or sometimes hop in and share that particular one.

    Other days, they pick a different box and lay their eggs there.

    If you're short on space, you could try two boxes and see how it goes.
     

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