Monday, 13 May 2013

Altering A Chicken Coop

Last year I made a large chicken coop for some laying hens. It's been great but there is a problem with it.

They won't lay in the nest box. In fact they tend to perch by the nest box and then use it to poo into. Not great if you want clean eggs.
I decided last weekend to alter it. I think the problem was that there wasn't much difference in height between the perches and the nest box. I decided that the best course of action was to drop the nest box lower. Of course this didn't turn out to be as easy as I thought it would be!

The chickens didn't like my first idea for where the nest box should go...
I had to remove the side cladding from the nest box to get at the screws to take the thing off. most of those little bits of cladding then split so I had to find some more wood (their ramp got a little bit shorter if I'm honest). 

Proof in the pudding...
 I also divided up their nest box into four compartments as I'd been  meaning to do this for ages as I think the chickens prefer it and it helps keep their nest clean.

Spot the difference?
So if your building a chicken coop make sure the nest box is well below the perch (Mine was 4 inches lower before and this wasn't enough). The first night after I made the alterations all seven chickens were on the perches and there was four eggs in the nest box clean as anything. Job done.


  1. You got it kev... Chickens not only like to lay in the gloom but they need privacy

  2. Some folks hang a "partial" curtain of burlap or such over the opening intom the nests to give more privacy. That CAN make broodiness more likely I've heard, though. Glad you got your problem solved.

  3. Looks like you've solved it.

    Chickens know what they like :-)

    Our nesting boxes are much lower and on the opposite side of the house to the perches, it's always worked really well.

    At the moment I have the problem that three of the girls are simultaneously broody and ALL want the same nest box, it makes for cramped conditions but they don't mind until one moves then they all kick off complaining loudly until everyone moves around and gets comfy again!!

  4. Good job! I'm currently altering my chicken coop also!


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