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#99094 - 09/20/11 07:53 AM Nest box
Pauline_Pritch Offline
New Egg

Registered: 09/20/11
Posts: 1
Loc: Ireland
Hello, this is my first time on this site and am new to chicken keeping. We have just constructed a new henhouse and was wondering is it OK for the nestbox to be on the floor or should it be raised? It was raised in the old one. Also, what kind of ventilation should we have in a 3ft square house? Any tips would be very welcome. Ceiliog

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#99097 - 09/20/11 11:16 AM Re: Nest box [Re: Pauline_Pritch]
CJR Online   content
Coop Master

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8483
Loc: Montana
3 SQFT house--is that right, barely room for a pair of bantams? I think there is an error.

Heavy hens can have a box on the floor, IF you have floor space. Best is to have it up at a height easy to reach with a landing roost in front for entry. Mine are on a shelf, are cardboard boxes from the grocery store, size for my birds. and closed woth a hole cut in the side, just their size--and barley straw for a noice deep nest. Hens like to use the same nest boxes, so you don't need many. Might have to tack the box to the wall, if it is tipped by the birds. When a hen sets or it just gets dirty, just dump the box and replace with a new clean one--no mites to carry over!

For your roosting area, a shelf is again a good thing, with a roost above, to catch nighttime droppings, which are considerable. Keeps the floor cleaner and easy to scrape clean every few weeks, for no smell. Roost ladders are difficult to clean, can't get under them and wastes floor space.

Ventilation can be screened windows, and/or ceiling grills at the ends of the henhouse that can be closed in coldest weather. Do you have an entry area to store feed and supplies in the henhouse? If wired off from the part where the birds live, the door can be left open on nice days for added ventilation, maybe even sunshine. Fun to design a house for the hens that is comfortable for them, feeders and waterers easy to fill and clean, and room for active birds. Good luck, CJR

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#99106 - 09/20/11 09:08 PM Re: Nest box [Re: CJR]
IPF Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 04/08/08
Posts: 466
Loc: Canada
3 ft square is 9 square feet. Still small, but not THAT small.

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#99108 - 09/21/11 12:00 AM Re: Nest box [Re: IPF]
Uno Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 08/26/05
Posts: 1280
Loc: Canada
I have a row of nest boxes about 12 inches off the floor and another set immeidately above that. First and second story nest boxes. I do not like having to bend way over and peer into the bottom boxes to find eggs. If I could start over, I would have all nest boxes on one level, maybe around knee height or slightly higher.

But mine does have a roof over it that is sloped so the birds can't sit up there and poop on everything. This was a good design and I would recommend it.

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