I need to build a chicken nester

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

I need to build a chicken nester, does anyone have easy plans? I checked Google and the Countryside archives but nothing came up under my searches.

Thanks for the help. You guys are great.

Stacy Rohan--in Windsor, NY where we're covered in ice.

-- Stacy Rohan (KincoraFarm@aol.com), January 30, 2001


Sorry about the ice . We have nothing yet in St Lawrence county but its coming .Cornwall Canada has it too .School is closed , we are a bit gun shy after the big one !I am affraid of loosing power and a big tree up front .Wish all is well .As for your ? Any type of box that is big enough for your chickens to fit in will do .Some have used milk crates with a front put on .Any companies around that may have small shipping boxes ? Otherwise simply plywood boxes .I wouldd put a couple of drain holes in the bottom just in case .If you need sizes i can look them up .

-- Patty {NY State} (fodfarms@slic.com), January 30, 2001.

Stacy, I have small and large chickens. You can use 2 & 1/2 or 5 gallon plastic buckets,like food grade buckets.Take the lid off and cut it in half cross-ways put it back on and you have a front to the nest. Put a little hay in there and it is very comfey looking.Also very easy to clean. My brother-in-law gives these to me often. Cut a couple of boards to set them in and you could have a row of nests. Can't remember where I first saw this. Maybe in Countryside magazine.I do think the bigger 5 gallon type are easier to use and re-use. Cause you have enough room to use screws or even bolts to hold them to the boards.And then take them back out to disassemble or clean. Or if possible you can just take the front off ,clean out the hay and spray the things out.Makeing the front a little high still allows the chickens to get in while keeping the babies from falling out so easy. Good luck with the nest project.

-- Bonnie (josabo1@juno.com), January 30, 2001.

I had wriiten a post about making them .It should be somewhere in the archives.

-- Patty {NY State} (fodfarms@slic.com), January 30, 2001.

I always build mine. I first fasten a 2x4 about a foot and a half off the floor. Then make a platform off of the 2x4 with legs on the front so that you basically have a shelf that is about 16-18 inches deep. Then I fasten another 2x4 about a foot above the platform and basically do the same thing...create another platform but with nest dividers installed. I then put a narrowish board across the front of the nests to create a lip that will help hold the straw in the nests...helps keep the eggs in too. If your chickens have trouble getting up into the nests put a bar in front of it for them to jump up onto. Since you are so far north you may want to build it a bit higher off the ground so you can use deep liter.

-- Amanda in MO (aseley@townsqr.com), January 30, 2001.

Go for a drive. Look for any old hen coops, or anything that looks like it used to house chickens. If you see one that is not in use, pull in and ask if there are any nest boxes in the building and if they are willing to sell for say one or two dollars.

My nest boxes where built by a former neighbors brothers back in the early part of the century.(former, as she has passed on) Native timber with the saw marks on them.

There are tons of old chicken equipment sitting in buildings, going to no good, while many people buy new, or build their own. There is still a double row set of galvinized nest boxes sitting at my grandmothers place, and I have a couple of ceramic waterers, and four feeders that I got from her when I started doing the chicken thing. My roosts are probably 80 years old, and since they where made from native timber, they will outlive me by a long shot.

There is an overabundance of old equipment just sitting there under our noses, and we don't realize it because the old chicken coop hasn't been used for years and years. I bet if you walk up to most of them, and peek inside, there is still straw and a couple of old egg shells from the last batch.

-- Wayne (plefor@hotpop.com), January 30, 2001.

Have you ever notice that no matter how many nests you have, they will all fight for the same one? I used plywood for mine. My chickens didn't like the plastic buckets.

-- Dee (gdgtur@goes.com), January 30, 2001.

Anybody know how to build one where the egg rolls out of reach of the hen so she can't break it? I really need plans for that kind.

-- Eve (owenall@lwol.com), January 31, 2001.

Jeez, I must really be lazy! I use the large covered cat litter boxes. I toss in grass hay and the hens rearrange it to their liking. The boxes are lined up on the ground on one side of each pen. The gals lay all year 'round with no additional heat/lights.

From South Central Texas where today was warm enough to have the sweat pour. I love it!!

-- ~Rogo (rogo2020@yahoo.com), January 31, 2001.

We use the old ones out of a chicken house. We got them free with the place. The best one we ever had was a double sink! I had it up on cinder blocks and the drain holes were great! Filled it full of straw. It was very easy to clean, easier than the metal ones that have several boxes connected!!

-- Nan (davidl41@ipa.net), January 31, 2001.

I have some fancy metal nests. There are 12 nests. I don't know why they make more than one because the hens all lay in one nest with 11 nice vacancies all around. I used to have several bales of hay next to the cage with a nail key on top of the hay. The hens all layed in the nail keg. When I used most of the hay and had the keg on one layer, the hens all moved over to one metal nest. You have to kind of fasten the keg downso that it won't roll around. I think the hens like the nail kegs because they are deep and they can get back in the back. Hope this helps. Eagle.

-- eagle (eagle@alpha1.net), February 04, 2001.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ