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Author Topic: Nest boxes.  (Read 3970 times)

Andt

  • Joined Sep 2010
Nest boxes.
« on: January 14, 2012, 10:31:11 pm »
I currently have 2 small coops for my birds purchased online, as I am not happy with the amount of space for them to move around in the coop during these long winter nights I am soon to be getting an 8'*6' shed for them.

All the coops I have seen incorporate sectioned nest boxes, I am thinking about fitting externally 1 large communal nest box as out of 9 next boxes currently available my birds seem to only use 3. From your experiences what have you found to be best single or communal, would you recommend an internal or external nest box?

I am also planning to house 2 runner ducks in this shed as well.
Voss Electric Fence

Izzy

  • Joined May 2009
  • Stirlingshire
Re: Nest boxes.
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2012, 01:32:16 pm »
Why do your birds need space to be moving 'round inside the coop during these long winter nights. Surely they are roosting? Do you provide lighting?

If you provide a large space for them it will be harder for them to keep themselves warm.

Personally I think external nestboxes are only necessary if the person collecting eggs has mobility problems. They usually end up slightly damp and draughty and the hens prefer to lay in a dark, dry, draught-proof spot. In my experience this ends up being on the floor furthest from the pophole.


Andt

  • Joined Sep 2010
Re: Nest boxes.
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2012, 02:30:46 pm »
Thanks for your comments Izzy, the reasoning behind a larger shed is that as the birds are going in earlier and being let out later, there is very little room for the birds to move around or stretch their wings should they want to, also there is also no way to provide lighting. Also if I am late getting over to put them in they tend to congregate in one coop (approx. 4'*4') which with 15 birds is a heck of a cramped coop.

My coops and run are situated on an allotment plot close to my home, this means that due to the dark mornings the birds are not let out until after 9am after my OH has taken our daughter to school. We cannot let them out before this due a problem fox that has taken several birds for neighboring plots recently.

jaykay

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Cumbria/N Yorks border
Re: Nest boxes.
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2012, 02:58:00 pm »
I have nest boxes build on as extentions, so outwith the main outline of the house but accessed from inside. I have partitioned them having noticed that when they were one big one, the hens used to find other, cosier places to lay. When I partitioned them, they started using the nest boxes, though as you say, some sections far more than others. Who knows what (if anything  :D) goes on in a hen's head  :)

Miss Piggy

  • Joined Mar 2011
  • Cardigan Bay, Ceredigion
Re: Nest boxes.
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2012, 03:11:32 pm »
Ditto, mine are like jaykays apart from the fact they are not partitioned off. Just an entrance pop hole sized that they enter from inside the coop. The nest box is communal being  about 10 foot long. 18 hens use the same one. I have seperate partitioned nest boxes they could use but they all choose to use the communal one. Bit like a railway station when they are all laying but thats what they prefer. They appear to sit in shifts having 2-3 sittings. We are lucky and always passing the coop so able to collect the eggs at least 2-3 times in the morning.  :wave:

Dizzycow

  • Joined Dec 2010
  • Fife
  • .
Re: Nest boxes.
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2012, 03:17:51 pm »
Mine all use one nest, despite their being plenty of space. I've saved some hen sized cardboard boxes to divide up the large nesting space, hopefully they will look attractive to the ladies and they'll use them. I went in to do this this morning and there was one irate hen laying, and two in a queue. Ridiculous creatures.

chrismahon

  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: Nest boxes.
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2012, 09:20:23 pm »
Have found that one communal nest box results in one hen wanting it all. If you divide the boxes they all need to be fully partitioned and exactly the same size and the front should have a curtain of some sort. Ours are external to avoid grovelling around in the coop and taking up floor space. Yes they do prefer one or two, darkest and furthest from door, but we have had all of them occupied by hybrids early morning -the curtaining seems to help a lot.

Need to make sure the lid seals well where it joins the main coop. This is a major failing on most coops I have seen. The water then drives against the wall and runs down the gap making it damp inside, so the hens won't want to lay there. I fit a wooden sill to the wall above with a drip groove cut underneath and include a strip of EPDM rubber to drape over the top of the lid. This works perfectly.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2012, 01:07:31 pm by chrismahon »

jaykay

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Cumbria/N Yorks border
Re: Nest boxes.
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2012, 09:31:14 pm »
Quote
You open mine from the outside to get the the eggs but they are open to the coop on the inside. Have never used curtains......

Like this one from P&T Poultry, though we made our own Chicken coop with nest box
« Last Edit: January 16, 2012, 09:37:34 pm by jaykay »

Miss Piggy

  • Joined Mar 2011
  • Cardigan Bay, Ceredigion
Re: Nest boxes.
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2012, 10:58:10 pm »
Thats how mine works jaykay, lift up lid externally for egg retrieval. Hens enter from within the coop..  Electric fence around the coop up to the nestbox which is excluded from the netting so means very easy access for us. Works really well, wouldn't change it.  :thumbsup:

manian

  • Joined Sep 2010
Re: Nest boxes.
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2012, 06:25:23 pm »
i just use 5 gallon drum with hole cut in
we now have them on the floor
very easy to clean and birds love them

Dizzycow

  • Joined Dec 2010
  • Fife
  • .
Re: Nest boxes.
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2012, 06:40:29 pm »
That's fabulous, Manian!

 

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