Why external nesting boxes?

Poppy Putentake

Chirping
Aug 5, 2015
46
45
87
Vermont
Lots of the coop designs I've seen lately have external nesting boxes, and I really wonder why. I'm all for being able to check for eggs from outside, and I have a door for that on my current tractor -- a vertical door with the hinge on the bottom, so when I open it, I am opening up the back wall of the nesting boxes, opposite the entrance the hens use, not the roof. The external boxes seem needlessly complicated, requiring some kind of weather sealing for the hinge in the little roof and probably more material fitting than interior nesting boxes. So, what is the advantage?
 

DobieLover

Easily distracted by chickens
Jul 23, 2018
14,593
109,985
1,492
Apalachin, NY
My Coop
My Coop
Lots of the coop designs I've seen lately have external nesting boxes, and I really wonder why. I'm all for being able to check for eggs from outside, and I have a door for that on my current tractor -- a vertical door with the hinge on the bottom, so when I open it, I am opening up the back wall of the nesting boxes, opposite the entrance the hens use, not the roof. The external boxes seem needlessly complicated, requiring some kind of weather sealing for the hinge in the little roof and probably more material fitting than interior nesting boxes. So, what is the advantage?
They don't have to hinge top. The ones I built in my first coop hinged down and the roof was fixed and water tight.
In the first coop I built external nest boxes were the only practical solution for easy egg retrieval as the coop was not walk in style. Another reason is for asthetics.
 

CSAchook

Crossing the Road
Aug 21, 2017
3,657
28,255
972
New Mexico
I think one reason is maximizing floor space. My homemade coop is 6ft by 6ft. If I place a nest box directly on the floor, the amount of usable floor space decreases. By cutting a hole in the wall and attaching external nest boxes, I didn’t lose any floor space. Since usable floor space is typically how coop capacity is calculated, keeping that number high is important to me.
 

Folly's place

Crossing the Road
8 Years
Sep 13, 2011
18,067
24,193
906
southern Michigan
Mine are in the coop, about 2' off the floor, so floor space isn't impacted at all. In fact, it's a nice spot for the oyster shell feeder, and when I used a heated dog water dish, it helped it stay cleaned too.
I do walk into the coop to collect eggs, and check on things generally. Not having a walk-in coop would be awful here!
If you do external nest boxes, make sure they are weather tight and predator proof.
Mary
 
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Building Bridges

Songster
Jan 11, 2020
713
4,144
216
Ohio
Lots of the coop designs I've seen lately have external nesting boxes, and I really wonder why. I'm all for being able to check for eggs from outside, and I have a door for that on my current tractor -- a vertical door with the hinge on the bottom, so when I open it, I am opening up the back wall of the nesting boxes, opposite the entrance the hens use, not the roof. The external boxes seem needlessly complicated, requiring some kind of weather sealing for the hinge in the little roof and probably more material fitting than interior nesting boxes. So, what is the advantage?
I haven't built my coop yet and I have considered this question also. Glad you brought it up :D
 

Building Bridges

Songster
Jan 11, 2020
713
4,144
216
Ohio
I want to have an external nest box built for the reasons mentioned above but am too inept to do it myself. Time to hire a carpenter! Could anyone steer me in the right direction to find plans? I've been lurking for a while but am far from mastering how this site works.
Welcome Welcome !!! I've been lurking for months.....and it's a great place to find answers and to tap into the extensive knowledge of those who belong to BYC. I think you can just type "coop plans" into the search box and it will get you there. There's a lot to read and lots of pics in the coop build articles. So glad you decided to join us....I just know you'll be glad you did.
 
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