Chickens, ducks, geese, and turkeys do not come in one standard size. Neither should their nest boxes.
The differences in sizes between different types of poultry are easily recognizable. No one looks at a turkey and goes, that is one large chicken.
However, within poultry of the same type, there are distinctions in body sizes from breed to breed. When getting nest boxes for a mixed breed flock, keep in mind that the big chickens will not fit in nest boxes meant for small chickens.
Different Sizes of Poultry Birds.
Chickens come in two major sizes – bantams and large fowl (standard sizes). Bantams are miniature variants of the large fowl. Bantams weigh between 1 lb to 2.5 lbs. In the large fowls, there is a variation in sizes, where some weigh as low as 4 lbs and others go as high as 12 lbs.
Turkeys and Geese come in three sizes – light, medium, and heavy.
Ducks have 3 sizes namely, heavy, medium, and bantam.
With the different sizes of poultry birds, there is no way one standard size of nest box can fit all. We need to size the next boxes according to the size of the bird, among other factors.
Nest Box Size for Chickens.
As discussed above chickens come in different sizes. There is no “one size fits all” for chicken nest boxes. It is up to the poultry keeper to determine the size to use based on their flock. Next boxes for chickens should be comfortable and not tight.
So, what is the ideal nest size for chickens? The recommended smallest size of a nest box for chickens should be 10 inches by 10 inches by 10 inches.
Commercial poultry farms have nest boxes that are 11 inches cubed to 12 inches cubed. 12 inches by 12 inches by 12 inches should be appropriate for bigger chicken breeds such as Brahmas, Jersey Giants, and Orpingtons.
When getting the right size of the nest box for your chickens, the rule of thumb is that it should be big enough to fit only one chicken and not multiple chickens. Multiple chickens in one nest box will lead to broken eggs and poor hatches.
Nest Box Size for Ducks.
Ducks are larger in size than chickens. They also come in different sizes, where there are bantam ducks and standard size ducks. The standard size ducks also differ in size.
The size of a nest box for ducks should be big enough to fit one duck comfortably. The recommended sizes for duck nest boxes range from 12 by 12 by 12 inches to 18 by 18 by 18 inches. You will be able to determine the right size for your flock based on the breed size.
As with chicken nest boxes, duck nest boxes should be big enough to fit one duck and not multiple ducks. This is to avoid a situation where you have many broken eggs and a poor hatch rate if multiple ducks are incubating in one nest.
When making nest boxes for your ducks, start with a few and see if your ducks will use them. This is because most ducks will not use the next boxes but will make their own nests on the floor using straw.
Nest Box Size for Geese.
Geese have larger bodies than chickens and ducks. This means their next boxes need to be larger than for ducks and chickens.
The next boxes for geese need to be big enough to fit one goose only. This recommended size is 18 inches by 18 inches by 18 inches. However, it is up to the poultry keeper to determine what size of nest boxes are suitable for their flock.
Just like ducks, geese might never use the nest boxes and might prefer to make their own on the floor using straw.
Nest Box Size for Turkeys.
Most Turkeys will be comfortable in a nest box that is 1.5 feet by 1.5 feet by 1.5 feet.
Just like ducks and geese, Turkeys are choosy when it comes to where to lay their eggs. You might find that some will happily lay their eggs in a nest box while others will make their own nest on the floor.