Tips for nesting boxes?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by ASweetHeart, Jan 4, 2012.

  1. ASweetHeart

    ASweetHeart Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 3, 2011
    Seven of my hens finally decided to start laying. The problem is, that they are all fighting over one spot, a nest they made in the top of my coop. I think they'd be more productive and happier if they had more places "acceptable" to them.

    I tried to make boxes myself, all they do is push the hay out. So my question is, what are caracteristics of boxes that hens really seem to like? Do they like a lot of space, confinement, darkness, light, boxes xxx amount off the ground, or anything else?

  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    My nest boxes are about at waist level, and they have a board on top so it makes them nice an private. My husband built them. They're pretty big.....four boxes and they're big enough for my turkey hen to get in there and lay an egg too.....(She surprised me when she did that). Also, it's rather dim in the hen house, because the hens like it shaded and quiet. There is also a ledge on the front of the boxes which is about 10 inches wide so they can jump up before they go inside. There's a board across the front, that's about five inches high too, to help keep the straw and shavings inside. (I use both inside.)

    They do prefer to use the box on the far left, or the box on the far right. They leave the middle boxes alone for some reason.......
  3. tabmom2

    tabmom2 Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 12, 2011
    My husband read in a magazine to get several covered cat litter boxes and fill them up with straw. Thats why we have right now. We are working in building a much better coop. They are on blocks in our pen. They seem to like it them quite a bit.
  4. 14" cubed about 30 inches off ground with a 3 inch high lip on front to keep bedding and eggs inside. A bar or 2x2 about 6 inches in front of lip so hens have something to hop on to. One box for every 4 hens is usually plenty.
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2012
  5. goldies99

    goldies99 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 22, 2011

    here is a pic of mine...pretty close to the floor....they really like does the kitty!!!
  6. Frost Homestead

    Frost Homestead eggmonger

    Jul 9, 2011
    Lago Vista, TX
    I put in 3 more nest boxes yesterday. My hens were starting to compete over places to lay so I just got some plastic bins, a board, and some pine bedding. here's a pic, they've already started using them. my birds are used to laying in a container on the ground.


    mine already started using the boxes

  7. Chemguy

    Chemguy Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 30, 2011
    Springfield, Ohio
    If your birds like to be up high, and you can't beat 'em, then join 'em! Get a few wooden baskets, like bushel or peck baskets, fill them with hay and nail them high up on the wall.
  8. ASweetHeart

    ASweetHeart Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 3, 2011
    Thanks for the suggestions!

    Think I may try the totes on one end, and altering the one I attempted to make a few days ago to add the crate (seems like it would be easy cheesy to clean) and a better roof for the other side of coop. Hopefully they'll take!

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