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Some Ideas On Chicken Nest Boxes

Well placed and well constructed chicken nest boxes are a safe and secure place for mother hen to lay her eggs.Like most birds, chickens like to lay their eggs in places that are secluded and dark and good nest boxes fit the ticket. To the owner, they're places where they can find the eggs easily and where the eggs can stay clean and intact.

Some owners build communal nests for their hens, while some prefer individual nest  boxes, as they lead to fewer eggs being broken. But if you have a lot of chickens in your flock, one compromise would be to make one nest for every four or five hens. A good sized nest for a Leghorn hen would be around 12 inches wide by 14 inches high by 12 inches deep. Heavier chickens like Orpington's might be more comfortable in a nest that's 14 inches wide by 14 inches high by 12 inches deep. Bantam hens will do well in nests that are a little smaller, about 10 inches by 12 inches by 10 inches.

  Chicken nest boxes can be constructed with a rail below the entrance that gives the hens a place to perch before they go inside the nest. The rail should be out in front of the entrance to the nest by at least eight inches to keep the nest from being fouled by the hens droppings. Also, you need to install a sill along the bottom edge of the nest to keep the eggs from rolling out. The sill should extend above the floor of the nest by about 1 1/2" so it will still stick up high enough above the nesting material to keep the eggs from rolling out.

  Here is some chicken nest box information that I have found to be very helpful, if you are interested just click on the link. This site has some great coop plans for sale and a specific section on nest boxes comes with them as well as a ton of other good information on raising chickens.

 The nests should have soft, clean bedding which should be changed regularly to make sure the eggs are clean. Regularly, of course, depends on the hens. Some hens are messier than others and some of their eggs are going to have thin shells and break no matter how conscientious the owner is.

  Pullets who are laying for the first time might have their nests put on the ground. Pullets, not knowing  any better, will lay eggs right on the ground, which of course makes them more prone to getting dirty and broken. Set a nest box on the ground and when the pullet gets used to it there, you can raise it about 18 or 20 inches, again waiting for a few days until the bird gets used to it. Continue this procedure until you get the nesting box to the location where you want it. Hens tend to foul raised nests less than they would nests on the ground.

  If there are a group of nests in a coop, the roof can be pitched in a way to discourage the hens from roosting there, or the chicken nest boxes can be built in a way that they jut outside the coop so nothing can drop into them from above. Building the nesting boxes set into the wall with the front  edge flush with the inside wall also makes it possible to gather the eggs from outside the coop with ease. When you are putting a roof on the nesting boxes which are now extending out of the outside wall simply put hinges on the top edge of it. To gather the eggs lift the bottom edge of the roof and reach in and pick up the eggs. Now your really Living the easy Life! Anything you can do to keep the chickens from being able to roost overtop of the nesting boxes will keep them from being filled with droppings. This makes cleaning much less of a chore. Your chicken nest boxes can also be put in the darkest place in the coop, which discourages the hens from doing anything else but laying eggs.

  Another interesting solution is to put bottomless nest boxes on shelves on the outside of the coop. The hens enter through entrances from the inside of the coop, and all the owner has to do is to slide the box from the shelf and let the soiled nesting box material fall out, after looking to see that there are no eggs or birds in the box of course! This idea is not very good if you tend to have four footed predators around your chicken coop as it is difficult to secure multiple nesting boxes. I have seen it done though, using a flip up door that covers all the chicken nest boxes at once.

  The best materials to use in your chicken nest boxes are clean and dry wood shavings, especially ones made of cedar. The traditional straw and hay which everyone remembers aren’t as good because they’re subject to mold, which can contaminate the eggs and sicken the embryos and the new chicks. Cedar shavings are best because something in the cedar also discourages lice and mites from hanging around.

Thanks for coming to our site. I hope this article has been useful, before you go I would like to share another source of chicken nest box information that I have found to be very helpful, if you are interested just click on the link. This site has some great coop plans for sale and a specific section on nest boxes comes with them as well as a ton of other good information on raising chickens.