There is nothing I dislike more than collecting dirty eggs covered in chicken turds. And coming from someone who raises chickens, I realize how ridiculous that sounds. I guess you could say it’s a pet peeve…an annoyance, more than anything.
But the wonderful thing about Fabien is that when I come to him with my most ridiculously annoying pet peeves, he figures out a way to fix them. And he did: roll away nesting boxes!
I have to admit that YouTube was partly the inspiration. We found some excellent videos explaining how to craft the boxes, whether to be incorporated into a brand new coop or retrofitted for an existing one.
As our chicken coop has seen better days, Fabien wanted to build boxes that could be easily moved from one coop to another, and not built directly into the coop we currently have.
To make one roll away nesting box, we used:
- a sturdy metal paint roller tray
- grass carpet to line the tray
- heavy duty spray adhesive to attach the carpet to the tray
- 2 hinges
- scrap wood
Living on a farm, we have quite a selection of scrap wood which Fabien salvaged to make the boxes. He built them around the paint roller trays to allow for space at the highest part of the tray for the hen to lay. When she stands back up, the egg rolls to the bottom of the tray (cushioned by the grass carpet) and remains protected under the hinged section.
We (especially me) had very high hopes for these nesting boxes, and they have completely lived up to our expectations! The hens immediately started laying in them, and the eggs have rolled away clean, every time.
Another nice thing about the trays is that they are easily removed from the boxes and can be hosed down when they need to be cleaned. That saves us from shoveling out straw, too!
All in all, these boxes were a complete success. The design is very basic, the supplies very easy to find, and the best part is: no more dirty, turdy eggs to collect!
And while I realize that the “how to” section of this post is a bit lacking, we figured that since the boxes we built are quite specific to our coop, they are perhaps better served as inspiration than anything. If in doubt, check out YouTube…the resources there are endless!