Your Chicken House Plans Simply Must Include Nesting Boxes.
Building a chicken house without nesting boxes is like building your own house without a bedroom. Well, sort of.
You need nesting boxes for several reasons, the first being its importance to the chickens themselves. The nesting box is that safe, comfortable place for the chicken to relax that is usually away from the light and in the shade. Generally, you would build one nesting box for every three to five chickens. When a hen is ready to lay an egg, she will search for that quiet, private place – something that is soothing and safe. The nesting box fills this purpose and gives the chickens that safe, comfortable place to lay eggs.
Nesting boxes are not only beneficial to the chickens, but they are helpful for those folks who are raising chickens as well. First, it keeps your chicken house organized where the eggs are produced in one area. Without nesting boxes, chickens will find any place, and I mean any place, to lay eggs. Then you’d have a real Easter egg hunt every time you visit your chicken house.
Another benefit for the chicken raising folks, nesting boxes makes it easier to collect the eggs and to determine freshness. If eggs are collected in a specific order and time, it will be easier to determine the freshness of certain eggs because you will know when the egg arrived.
Okay, So How Do You Build A Nesting Box?
Size is important to remember when making nesting boxes. They need to be small enough for the chicken to feel safe and comfortable. However, the nesting boxes cannot be so small that you are not able to clean them. A good sized nesting box is about one-foot square, but you can check with your local feed store or veterinarian for the breed of chickens that you are raising.
For the design of the nesting box, it can be a three-sided box with the front left open for the chickens to enter and exit. Also, the bottoms of the nesting boxes are usually tilted toward the back of the box to prevent any eggs from escaping out the front.
For the nesting material itself, you can use pine shavings or straw if it is soft enough. Again, ask your local feed store or veterinarian for other nesting materials. Although chickens generally do not relieve themselves in their nesting boxes, the nesting material should still be changed frequently to minimize pests and disease.
Some consideration should also be given to the placement of the nesting boxes within the chicken house. The general consensus is that nesting boxes should be installed near the side or rear of the chicken house. Most folks install them off the floor for easier collection, and in one or two rows, depending on how many chickens they have in their flock. Installing the nesting boxes in this location leaves the front area clear for the chickens to roam about and enter and exit the chicken house. Whichever you choose, once installed the chickens will get trained to go and lay eggs in the same area, which makes egg collection easier.
As we said in beginning, if you’re going to build a chicken house you need to build some nesting boxes. They are absolutely needed for those folks who want to raise chickens. You may find various designs and materials, but they all serve the same purpose. They provide that safe, comfortable place for the chickens to lay eggs, and they keep your chicken house organized for easy egg collection and cleaning.