Re-Thinking My Nest Boxes

BarredBuff

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I am in the process of renovating and repairing my main chicken coop. It is about 10 years old, and it needs some repairs made. My back wall is rotting out due the consistently wet weather we get. I failed to paint early on and I am paying the price for it now. However, it is minor and can be easily fixed.Then I will paint the coop.

My main renovation question is about my nest boxes. They are attached to this back wall and will be removed in the process. I have never liked how they worked. The boxes are in a row, and open from all sides except the side attached to the wall.


What do your nest boxes look like? What do you like about them? What do you dislike about them?
 

Myrth

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I am in the process of renovating and repairing my main chicken coop. It is about 10 years old, and it needs some repairs made. My back wall is rotting out due the consistently wet weather we get. I failed to paint early on and I am paying the price for it now. However, it is minor and can be easily fixed.Then I will paint the coop.

My main renovation question is about my nest boxes. They are attached to this back wall and will be removed in the process. I have never liked how they worked. The boxes are in a row, and open from all sides except the side attached to the wall.


What do your nest boxes look like? What do you like about them? What do you dislike about them?

My DH made my nestboxes out of an old bookcase. It was a small bookcase, two shelves. He put dividers on each shelf with plywood. This created a set of 4 nest boxes. He then added a lip on the fronts of the boxes.

These nests are thus enclosed on all sides but the fronts. Hens have happily laid lots of eggs and also hatched and raised chicks in them. I like them. And it was a frugal use of an old bookcase.
 

CrealCritter

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Here's mine. It's perfect as far as I'm concerned.View attachment 7547

I like these if they had a removable floor and faced the outside with doors they would be the cats meow.

Mine are 11" wide and like 14" deep built into the rafters and accessable from the outside. They worked great for my first flock of RIR but my buff orpengtons rarely use them. My BO's lay on the floor in all 4 corners. They are sneaky about it too... They cover the eggs with sawdust, I have on the floor to try and hide their eggs. So my nest boxes are just a waste of space now that I switched to buff orpengtons.

Maybe my 11x14 boxes are to small for BO's? Or maybe my girls are just lazy and don't want to fly up into the rafters to lay their eggs? IDK... But the remain unused :(

Here's what mine look like.
Built into the rafters on the lower side.
400 (1).jpeg


Different angle you can see all six boxes. As you can see RIR liked them all 6 boxes are full of RIR hens.
400.jpeg


Three doors accessable from the outside. My wife really loved outside the coop egg collecting, it was easy for her.
700.jpeg
 
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Beekissed

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I'm going to have to start thinking about nest boxes soon… I love the bookcase idea! I'll keep my eyes open for one that I can upcycle like that. Otherwise I'll see what I stumble across…

You know what would be really neat? If a person could incorporate the dresser idea wherein they cut holes in the back of the dresser for the hen's entrances, but place the dresser into the wall of the coop in such a manner than one needs only pull out a drawer to gather eggs from the outside of the coop.
 

BarredBuff

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My DH made my nestboxes out of an old bookcase. It was a small bookcase, two shelves. He put dividers on each shelf with plywood. This created a set of 4 nest boxes. He then added a lip on the fronts of the boxes.

These nests are thus enclosed on all sides but the fronts. Hens have happily laid lots of eggs and also hatched and raised chicks in them. I like them. And it was a frugal use of an old bookcase.

I'm getting ready to get rid of my old bookshelf! That would be perfect!
 

Beekissed

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Would be a nice repurpose. :D But for most the drawers are not tall enough....then, there's all the "stuff" to get in the slider area to plug it up.


I love the idea tho :clap

I agree...not tall enough, but maybe combining two drawers to make them both deep enough for bedding and the hen? Then the bedding should stay in the drawers instead of the in the drawer tracks, though one would no doubt have to clean those out on occasion anyway.
 

Beekissed

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I am in the process of renovating and repairing my main chicken coop. It is about 10 years old, and it needs some repairs made. My back wall is rotting out due the consistently wet weather we get. I failed to paint early on and I am paying the price for it now. However, it is minor and can be easily fixed.Then I will paint the coop.

My main renovation question is about my nest boxes. They are attached to this back wall and will be removed in the process. I have never liked how they worked. The boxes are in a row, and open from all sides except the side attached to the wall.


What do your nest boxes look like? What do you like about them? What do you dislike about them?

I love the outside access to my nest boxes...it's priceless for a few reasons. Egg removal and also broody removal. If they are facing the door, I can remove them from the front, if they are facing the front, I can remove them from the door...without getting my hand pecked off.

I have a slanted top on one nest box but wanted to use the top of the other two for a work surface but wish somehow I could have fashioned it with a top I could then lift to a slant so the chickens could not get up there. Every year the juveniles want to roost up there and I have to do elaborate things to keep them off. Having a hoop coop, building anything to lift like that has to accommodate the curvature of the walls and it gets difficult. You won't have that problem, so you are free to modify as you see fit, BB, but a slanted top to the boxes is vital, IMO.

Last few years I had to really open up the sides of my nest boxes due to the excessive heat we are having now. I need to make some modifications there too.

So, what I don't like is not having all slanted tops, though I love my work surface. And that the nest boxes do not have more airflow for summer months. Everything else I love...I love the depth and total size of them, I love how they function otherwise and I love that they are all made from reclaimed wood/scrap wood.

I love that I can sit a basket down on the outside access door if need be, as the flaps are supported from just dropping open.

My advice...make them deep in all ways so you can place plenty of bedding and it doesn't get kicked out easily and the chickens aren't crowded as they climb in and out, so you can lessen damage to eggs. Chickens also like it a little private, so a dark nest box is something they seem to prefer...I think that privacy helps keep eggs laid in the coop instead of outdoors.
 

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