I use white shavings because they are much easier and cheaper to clean up. I have two rows of 3 nest boxes each, the lowest one about a foot off the ground and the one above it is about foot from that one. I have RIR's, EE's, BSL's and Buff O's.
Here is a picture of them as we were building the coop. I'm so proud of my hubby. I think he did a great job!
My only problem is the shaving are so dusty. It seems to get all in my nose etc. I havent made any nesting boxes yet but my guys are only 18 weeks old. I have some smaller plastic dog crates I was going to use each side as a box and see if that would work? It would be easy to screw into the wall and easy to clean when needed. I use the Pine shaving for the floor.
We used to use hay, but we had a lot of problems with poopy eggs and cracked shells. I think it was too easy for the girls to shove all the hay to the ccorners of the nest boxes. We switched to shavings and both problems immediately improved. Now we may get a cracked shell once a week, and there's a lot less poop on the eggs. It's also really easy to grab a handfull of shavings to throw into a nest or 'fluff' up what's already there. We're sold on the shavings, and our girls don't seem to care.
We have our four boxes 'double-decker' style. The bottom two boxes are about 15" off the ground, and the top two sit directly on top of them. The girls prefer the bottom boxes, but we usually have at least one egg (out of about 8) in a top box each day.
My hens aren't laying yet, but they soon will. My nests are up two feet and all have three inches of layers of rug padding on the front and layers decrease to one inch of rug padding on the back. That's covered with indoor-outdoor carpet. It's designed so that when the egg is laid, it will roll to the back where there's an insulated, drop-down door on the outside of the coop so that my wife can reach into the back of the nest to gather the eggs without her having to go into the coop.
Quote:Joe, I am jealous. I want to be spoiled,,um, pampered, like your wife. For my coop, my husband wanted to slap six pieces of plywood together and call it a coop. The only way I got the coop I did, is because I started building it all by myself and went out and purchased everything I needed. he complained the whole time-and told me his granny's chickens survived just fine with a make-shift coop.