There are so many people who have chicken coops in their backyards and sheds. Rearing chickens has become quite a hobby these days. And since it’s a hobby, many also make chicken coops themselves instead of buying those sold commercially.
Homemade chicken coops are just like commercial ones, but you should be careful about the nesting boxes for chickens. You can call the chicken coop a building for chickens and the nesting boxes their own apartments. So, it’s as much important to take care of the chickens as it is to maintain the entire coop.
Standard nesting boxes look like shelves where hens can rest. There are also open nesting boxes that are just cartons/ plastic containers used as nesting boxes. Commercial egg retailers use roll-away nesting boxes. Standard nesting boxes for chickens are most suitable for coops at home.
If you just started rearing chickens, you will face challenges in maintaining the boxes. Nesting boxes for chickens requiring restoring and cleaning, and all this during the right time in the day. So, not only do nesting boxes contain eggs, but they also have the hens’ bedding and a lot of their poop. You will need to devote some time for the cleaning of the nesting boxes.
Visit the coop at least once in a day, and if possible, make several small trips during the day. The best times to clean the nesting boxes for chickens are in the morning or in the afternoon. In the morning, you can clean the box right after they are done roosting; and in the afternoon, the hens will have laid eggs which you can collect, while also cleaning the box.
The eggs usually are covered in poop, so you might want to wear gloves and pick up the eggs along with the hay itself. The bedding, generally made of hay should be replaced every month; clean the boxes with water but leave it dry; you can also dust the coop and boxes with mite powder. If the bedding is not clean, the chickens will not roost or lay eggs in the boxes, and maybe outside the coop itself.
The height of the nesting boxes should vary according to the breeds. For the ones who can fly high, the boxes can be placed at the waist height. For those that fly low, like silkies, keep the nesting boxes one or two feet above the ground. Keeping it on the ground is not advisable. It not only becomes difficult for you to clean the boxes and collect the eggs, but it also makes it easier for predators like dogs and snakes to raid the boxes.
The chicken to nesting boxes ratio is usually 4:1, but many also decongest the boxes by keeping the ratio 1:1. It really doesn’t make much difference. Be wary so that it is not overcrowded or some hens may escape from the coop.
As for the coop, cleaning that is also very important. Once in a year, clear the coop and replace everything (except the boxes); wash the surfaces with bleach to sanitize the coop.
Nesting boxes for chickens and coops should be maintained to have happy and healthy inhabitants who will lay farm fresh eggs regularly. You should also consider reading our best egg incubator review to help you with your poultry husbandry, or go to petnailexpert.com for more tips on caring for animals.