Tips for nesting boxes?

ASweetHeart

In the Brooder
8 Years
Oct 3, 2011
92
0
41
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?

TIA
 

chicmom

Dances with Chickens
10 Years
Feb 24, 2009
8,696
266
316
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.......
 

tabmom2

In the Brooder
8 Years
Oct 12, 2011
15
0
22
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.
 

goldies99

Songster
8 Years
Jul 22, 2011
611
24
161


here is a pic of mine...pretty close to the floor....they really like them...so does the kitty!!!
 

Frost Homestead

eggmonger
8 Years
Jul 9, 2011
1,451
20
148
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

 

Chemguy

Songster
8 Years
May 30, 2011
681
36
131
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.
 

ASweetHeart

In the Brooder
8 Years
Oct 3, 2011
92
0
41
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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