Upcycle bench to external nest box?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Wise Woman, Oct 3, 2015.

  1. Wise Woman

    Wise Woman Songster

    Apr 12, 2011
    The Enchanted Forest
    Our new coop build has been postponed until spring. Hubby decided to build a deck instead and has spent the past two months ripping out an old concrete patio and building and new deck with a bridge and a walkway. So my coop got put on hold.

    We have designed the coop and are doing an all in one coop/covered run design similar to the Carolina Coops Penthouse model. If I had the money I would just order one from them a be done with the whole deal. But I can't so I have to do what I can. The actual coop will be raised about 2 feet off the ground and will be approximately 8 ft long by 6 ft wide. We want to make a row of external nest boxes along the 8 ft side of the coop to save space inside the coop. Chicken math and all.

    Do you think this idea is feasible? We have a bench that is approximately 6 ft long that hubby made for the dining room of our old house. It was basically a large box and the lid lifted up for storage. The thing is that he left the back and the bottom unfinished since no one would see them. He made it out of 2 x 4s, and pine T & G so it is very sturdy. We were thinking that if we turned it upside down so the top is the bottom (he currently has the lid nailed shut) and had the open back facing into the coop, it would be a perfect external nest box. All he would have to do is build up the sides slightly and make a new top to gather the eggs out of. Which would be perfect because he could make it in two halves so it would be easier for me to lift. If the bench is too heavy, he could put some legs on it for support. Might look silly, but it is 6 feet long, so it might be too large and would need some extra external support. I have never seen external nest boxes with outside legs, but I don't see why it isn't doable?

    We hate to let things go to waste and thought this would be a great way to recycle his bench. It is currently in the goat house being used for them to stand on when I trim hooves and so forth, but we are down to one old goat now and she is easy to handle. It can easily be power washed and re-painted. So is this a stupid idea or should we try to use it? I am gathering as many bits and materials as I can so come spring, we have the money and the materials and are ready to go. Thanks for your thoughts and input.
  2. 88sub4x4

    88sub4x4 Chirping

    Apr 10, 2015
    Long Island, NY
    That sounds like a great idea. I don't see how it wouldn't be doable especially since your husband seems very knowledgeable with construction. I'd go for it.
  3. wamtazlady

    wamtazlady Songster

    Jul 18, 2013
    Kalispell MT
    I also have a 6' by 8' coop that is 2' off the ground. I also have an external nesting box divided into 3 nests. It's working great. The nesting box didn't need any legs for support and it's heavy as he built it using cement siding instead of wood. The support is all under the nesting box. I think using the bench is a great idea. My coop was built to house 12 hens comfortably and so far it's worked well. I also have vinyl flooring to make clean up a breeze. The only change I would make if we were to build it again is the pop door. I'd change mine to a floor opening as I plan on keeping their food and water under the coop in the winter. Even with 2' eaves I'm afraid snow might build up in front of the pop door I have and they won't want to go out when there is snow. If they had a pop door in the floor there wouldn't be any worry about snow.

    I worry most about snow because we're snowbirds. During the winter we'll have a house sitter living here. I'm trying to make everything as easy as possible for the house sitter. The house sitter might not want to go out and shovel snow in the coop when it's cold and windy outside.
  4. Trefoil

    Trefoil Songster

    Dec 7, 2011
    I also think its a great idea, but would put support of some kind under it. It would relieve the stress of the weight of the nesting boxes and make it last a lot longer. You are much better off building vs buying unless you only need it to last a year or two. Aside from the fact that you can build 3x the coop for the money.
  5. Wise Woman

    Wise Woman Songster

    Apr 12, 2011
    The Enchanted Forest
    Thanks for the advice everyone. Much appreciated. I will save it and use it as a nest box. It should be no problem to put a couple of legs on it for support. Perhaps we could use some porch posts cut down so it looks nice. It should be big enough for about 6 individual nest boxes. I was thinking of using dish pans so I could just pull a pan out, clean it and change the shavings. I never had external nest boxes before, so I want to make sure they are easy for me to clean and maintain.
  6. HaloAmanda

    HaloAmanda In the Brooder

    Jun 24, 2016
    Norwalk, Connecticut
    I've seen them with support beams going from uner the box to the coop at an angle. I think like that or legs would be fine. Maybe get 1 box of the cheap peel& stick linoleum tiles and line the side that will be the floor so it makes cleaning a bit easier. Or a few coats of good paint. (Buy from the oops section) and you can probally get one of the super durable easy to clean kinds since color won't myyer and that's even cheaper than the cheap tiles.

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