If you’re new to raising chickens, you might be wondering where to place your nesting boxes. When my husband and I first started keeping chickens, we used milk crates for our nesting boxes, elevating them a few inches off the ground. However, when we built an additional coop, my husband suggested putting the nesting boxes on the floor, and I couldn’t remember why we had elevated them in the first place.
That’s when I decided to do some research and found that there are a few reasons why it’s not recommended to place your nesting boxes directly on the floor. In this article, I’ll share what I learned and why we ultimately decided to keep our nesting boxes elevated. So, if you’re considering placing your nesting boxes on the ground, keep reading to learn more.
Pros of Floor-Level Nesting Boxes
One of the main advantages of floor-level nesting boxes is convenience. Placing the nesting boxes on the ground makes it easier for chickens to access them. You can simply open the coop door and collect the eggs without having to climb up to reach the nesting boxes.
Another advantage of floor-level nesting boxes is that they are easier to clean. With nesting boxes elevated off the ground, it can be difficult to reach every nook and cranny to remove dirt and debris. By placing the boxes on the ground, you can easily sweep out any debris and hose down the boxes for a thorough cleaning.
Cons of Floor-Level Nesting Boxes
While floor-level nesting boxes may seem like a convenient choice, there are some downsides to consider as well. One major concern is the potential for egg damage. When nesting boxes are placed on the ground, eggs are more likely to be trampled or accidentally broken by the chickens. This can be particularly problematic if you have a large flock that is prone to crowding together in small spaces.
Another issue with floor-level nesting boxes is that they may not provide enough privacy for the hens. When boxes are elevated off the ground, they create a secluded and quiet space for hens to lay their eggs. When nesting boxes are on the ground, hens may be more hesitant to use them if they feel exposed or vulnerable. This can lead to eggs being laid in less desirable locations, such as in corners or outside of the coop.
Why Elevated Nesting Boxes are Preferred
Despite the convenience of floor-level nesting boxes, many chicken owners prefer to use elevated nesting boxes for several reasons. One of the main advantages of elevated nesting boxes is that they provide more privacy and security for the hens. Chickens are naturally cautious creatures and prefer to lay their eggs in a quiet and secluded spot. Elevated nesting boxes create a safe and private space for hens to lay their eggs, which can lead to a higher rate of egg production.
Another benefit of elevated nesting boxes is that they help to protect eggs from damage. By keeping the nesting boxes off the ground, you reduce the risk of eggs being trampled or broken by the chickens. This is especially important if you have a large flock, as the risk of crowding and egg damage is higher.
In addition to these benefits, elevated nesting boxes can also help to improve the overall cleanliness of the coop. By keeping the nesting boxes off the ground, you reduce the risk of dirt, debris, and parasites accumulating in the boxes. This can help to keep your flock healthier and more comfortable.
While there are certainly advantages to both floor-level and elevated nesting boxes, many chicken owners prefer the latter for their hens. By providing a safe and private space for your flock to lay their eggs, you can help to ensure a higher rate of egg production and reduce the risk of egg damage. However, if you choose to use floor-level nesting boxes, be sure to monitor your flock closely to ensure they are not trampling or breaking the eggs. With proper care and attention, your chickens can thrive in any type of nesting box setup.