Q:

How do you design a nesting box for laying hens?

A:

Quick Answer

Chicken nesting boxes should ideally have 12-by-12-inch boxes, which will be roomy enough for the hens to stand in and still make them feel secure. The size of the flock should determine the number of nesting boxes in the design, with experts recommending a ratio of two to four hens per box. Other elements in the basic construction include a lifted design, roost step or bar to aid the hens in entering the boxes and a sloped top to prevent the chickens from roosting on top of the boxes.

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Full Answer

The following shows one method of designing chicken nesting boxes.

  1. Determine the number of nests
  2. As mentioned earlier, the ideal number of nesting boxes should be one box for two to four hens.

  3. Start the construction
  4. Start putting together the nesting box. Raise the nesting boxes off the ground at a comfortable height for the chickens to enter, but not too high to discourage the chickens from sleeping in them. The boxes should have a lipped edge to hold the nesting material better and add a pitch to the roof to keep the chickens from sleeping on top.

  5. Find a good location
  6. The boxes should be placed in the part of the coop with the least traffic to keep disturbances at a minimum while the hens are laying their eggs.

  7. Use ample nesting material
  8. Line the boxes with enough bedding to keep the hens comfortable and to protect the eggs. Wood shavings, straw or sawdust are the more economical choices for nesting box bedding.

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