Why external nesting boxes?

Mtnboomer

Songster
Mar 17, 2019
575
1,106
172
Southwest Virginia (mountains)
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.
I did exactly the same. Works great and bone dry
 

Mtnboomer

Songster
Mar 17, 2019
575
1,106
172
Southwest Virginia (mountains)
Bandaid 'advantage'?
Just 'bad' design, to ameliorate the already bad design of too small coops.
How can it be "bad design?" Or coop "too small?" My coop holds 20 healthy happy birds. Its easy to clean through the main entry door. I can replace food, water, and retrieve eggs without ever stepping foot inside and it has been tested against bears, raccoons, foxes, and bobcats without a single predator entry. My box doors open down allowing for protection from rain and snow and even a place to rest food and water containers while refilling. So where is the "bad design?"

If there was a failure or flaw in something that results in unhealthy environment, animal sickness or disease/death, or maintenance issues than it can be interpreted as "bad design." But if it is a fully functioning system without issue, calling it a bad design is nothing more than a difference of opinion.

I have always respected your opinions, but in this case saying that all external nesting box coops are "bad design" is something with which I must disagree.

If designing and building your own coop, plan ahead. The framing and construction of the boxes are as simple and easy as those for interior boxes except for the addition of a hinged door.

So playing devils advocate, I will ask you what are the disadvantages that make external nesting boxes such "bad design?"
 

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aart

Chicken Juggler!
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But if it is a fully functioning system without issue, calling it a bad design is nothing more than a difference of opinion.
Yep, it's just my opinion ;) based on the many 'failures' I've seen here.
You needn't agree, nor take offense(unless you really want to).

ETA: the 'bad' design I was mostly referring to are the typical prefab coops that are copied overandoverandover.

Your design may work fine for you, and it's much different than most external nests.
At least the nests are covered somewhat with the roof overhangs and don't have a hinged tops.
Curious how long you've kept 20 birds in that coop and what your climate is?
Also if a bear has actually tried to get in there.

Here's how to add your general geographical location to your profile.
It's easy to do, (laptop version shown), then it's always there!
1580657044819.png
 
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Mtnboomer

Songster
Mar 17, 2019
575
1,106
172
Southwest Virginia (mountains)
No offense taken and I hope none was given (by me). I have kept chickens for only 3 yrs (built the coop when i started). We are in a unique situation. My wife is a vet pathologist and her colleague studies color expressions through genetics. Our birds are part of his studies so we raise the chicks keep the roosters with genes he wants to continue. So we harvest our birds several times a year as needed to keep the genes he wants. So we have had as few as 6 and as many as 22 ranging in age from 5mos to 18 mos. On avg probably 14 birds are in there at any given time.
Yep, it's just my opinion ;) based on the many 'failures' I've seen here.
You needn't agree, nor take offense(unless you really want to).

ETA: the 'bad' design I was mostly referring to are the typical prefab coops that are copied overandoverandover.

Your design may work fine for you, and it's much different than most external nests.
At least the nests are covered somewhat with the roof overhangs and don't have a hinged tops.
Curious how long you've kept 20 birds in that coop and what your climate is?
Also if a bear has actually tried to get in there.

Here's how to add your general geographical location to your profile.
It's easy to do, (laptop version shown), then it's always there!
View attachment 2016771
No offense taken and I hope none was given (by me). I have kept chickens for only 3 yrs (built the coop when i started). We are in a unique situation. My wife is a vet pathologist and her colleague studies color expressions through genetics. Our birds are part of his studies so we raise the chicks keep the roosters with genes he wants to continue. We harvest our birds several times a year as needed to keep the genes he wants. So we have had as few as 6 and as many as 22 ranging in age from 5mos to 18 mos. On avg probably 14 birds are in there at any given time.

We live in the mountains of southwest Virginia. Our climate is....fickle. we can have 10" of snow in April or 65 degrees at Christmas, rain 5 days a week for a year or not a drop for 3 months.

Yes a bear has tried to get in, maybe several. Its hard to tell if it was the same one or not. From May - Nov bears are a frequent sight. Im not claiming my coop is bear proof by any stretch of the imagination. A determined bear WILL get in. By i tried to make it at least difficult enough for him to lose interest. So far it has worked.
The roof overhangs add ventilation (welded wire mesh for soffits), protect the boxes and side "windows" from rain and snow.
 

Poppy Putentake

Chirping
Aug 5, 2015
46
45
87
Vermont
Thanks for all your replies. The one advantage I can see to the external, "hanging", nesting boxes is that when you design the coop, you don't have to think as much about what to do with the space underneath or above. It does still seem like a bit of additional complication in construction, and also that, for a similar amount of material, labor, and space taken up, you could just make the entire coop that much larger. I'm sure they do work okay once built.
 
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