Guide to Making a Roll-Away Nesting Box for Your Chicken Coop.
I’m always looking for ways to make caring for my chickens easier and more efficient. One thing that has made a big difference in my coop is using roll-away nesting boxes.
In this article, I’ll share everything I know about roll-away nesting boxes, including how they work, their benefits, and how to make one for your own coop.
What is a Roll-Away Nesting Box?
A roll-away nesting box is a type of nesting box that has a sloped bottom or tilted floor that allows eggs to roll out of the box and into a collection tray. This means that the eggs are kept clean and are easy to collect, as they are not mixed with dirt, bedding, or other debris that can be found in traditional nesting boxes.
Roll-away nesting boxes are a popular choice for chicken keepers who want to streamline their egg collection process and maintain a clean and healthy coop environment.
Benefits of Roll-Away Nesting Boxes
There are several benefits to using roll-away nesting boxes in your chicken coop. Here are some of the most notable:
One of the biggest benefits of roll-away nesting boxes is that they help to keep your eggs clean. With traditional nesting boxes, eggs can easily become soiled with dirt, feathers, or droppings from other chickens. This can make it difficult to collect and sell eggs or use them in the kitchen. Roll-away nesting boxes eliminate this problem by keeping the eggs separate from the bedding and other debris in the coop.
Roll-away nesting boxes make it easy to collect eggs, as they roll out of the box and into a collection tray. This means that you don’t have to reach into the nesting box to retrieve the eggs, which can be difficult if your chickens are protective of their eggs. Instead, you can simply slide out the collection tray and remove the eggs.
Prevents Egg Eating
Another benefit of roll-away nesting boxes is that they can help to prevent egg eating. When chickens have access to their eggs, they may accidentally break them, and then eat the contents. This can become a bad habit that’s difficult to break. Roll-away nesting boxes keep the eggs out of reach, which can help to break this cycle.
Roll-away nesting boxes can be a great option for chicken keepers who are short on space. Because the eggs roll out of the box and into a collection tray, you don’t need to have a lot of room for multiple nesting boxes.
Making a Roll-Away Nesting Box
Now that you know the benefits of using a roll-away nesting box, you may be wondering how to make one for your own coop. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you get started:
Step 1: Gather Your Materials
To make a roll-away nesting box, you’ll need the following materials:
- A plastic or metal collection tray
- A piece of wood or other suitable material for the nesting box
- 1/2 inch hardware cloth
- Staple gun
- Metal roofing or similar material for the roof
Step 2: Build the Box
To proceed with the second step, you will need to construct the nesting box using the materials of your choice. It is important to ensure that the box is spacious enough to provide your chickens with ample room to move around comfortably. Additionally, the nesting box should have a sloped or tilted floor to facilitate easy egg collection by allowing the eggs to roll out of the box and into the collection tray.
Moreover, it is essential to include a hinged roof in the design of the nesting box. This will enable you to access the eggs easily for collection or cleaning purposes. The roof should be designed in such a way that it can be securely fastened to prevent any predators from gaining access to the nesting box.
When constructing the nesting box, it is important to pay attention to detail to ensure that the final product is sturdy and durable. This will help to ensure that the nesting box can withstand the elements and serve its purpose effectively.
The angle of a roll-away nesting box is an important feature that allows the eggs to roll out of the box and into the collection tray. The ideal angle for a roll-away nesting box is between 30 and 45 degrees, as this is steep enough to allow the eggs to roll out easily, but not so steep that they will break. The angle can be achieved by sloping the bottom of the nesting box or by tilting the entire box. It’s important to get the angle right, as too steep or too shallow of an angle can result in eggs getting stuck or broken. Additionally, the angle should be consistent throughout the nesting box to ensure that all eggs roll out smoothly.
Step 3: Add the Collection Tray
Next, attach the collection tray to the bottom of the nesting box using screws. Be sure to position it so that it will catch the eggs as they roll out of the box.
Step 4: Install
Once the collection tray is in place, it’s time to install the roll-away nesting box in your coop. Choose a spot that’s easy for your chickens to access, but also protected from the elements. You may want to elevate the box slightly to prevent water from entering the collection tray.
Step 5: Line the Box
To keep your chickens comfortable and encourage egg laying, you’ll need to line the nesting box with bedding material. Choose a material that’s soft and absorbent, such as pine shavings or straw. Make sure that the bedding is not too thick, as this can interfere with the eggs rolling out of the box.
Step 6: Add the Hardware Cloth
To prevent your chickens from scratching out the bedding material and interfering with the collection tray, you’ll need to add a layer of 1/2 inch hardware cloth over the bedding. Secure the hardware cloth in place with a staple gun.
Maintaining Your Roll-Away Nesting Box
Once your roll-away nesting box is installed, you’ll need to maintain it to ensure that it continues to function properly. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
Clean the Collection Tray
Regularly clean the collection tray to prevent the buildup of debris or bacteria. You can use a mild detergent and water to clean the tray, and be sure to dry it thoroughly before replacing it.
Monitor Egg Production
Keep an eye on your chicken’s egg production to ensure that they are using the roll-away nesting box. If you notice that they are not using it, you may need to make adjustments to the box or the location.
Check for Damage
Regularly inspect the nesting box for damage, such as cracks or holes that could allow predators or pests to enter. Repair any damage as soon as possible to keep your chickens safe.
Roll-away nesting boxes are a great option for chicken keepers who want to make egg collection easier and maintain a clean and healthy coop environment. With a little bit of planning and effort, you can make your own roll-away nesting box and enjoy the benefits that it provides. Be sure to maintain your nesting box properly to ensure that it continues to function well for years to come. Happy chicken keeping!