Dual-purpose Chickens 11 – Anti-pecking layer boxes

What to do when you have chicken(s) pecking eggs?  I’ve tried several things with minimal success including adding extra calcium to their diet, ceramic eggs in the box, and separating who I guessed the culprit(s) were. All of these had minimal success and required more resources.

 

Then I found these boxes. 

I really liked these boxes and there are many different DIY types/variations of the roll away nesting box.  The basic principal is that the egg rolls to an area that’s hard or impossible for the chickens to peck.  I looked at various DIY types and liked the paint tray version the best.  It’s easy to make, would fit into my existing boxes with minimal remodeling, and are easy to remove and spray out when they get dirty.

Making them wasn’t too hard.  I bought the largest paint try that would fit into my existing boxes.  Besides fitting, the 10.75×15.5 tray seems to be a good size in general.  I bought a strip of outdoor grass carpet, created a pattern with the first piece of carpet, and used it as my template for cutting the rest.  It may be overkill, but I used outdoor carpet glue to adhere the carpet to the tray.  I wanted something that would withstand a strong spray of water for cleaning.

 

Top left and clockwise: Old box with drop down lid, Finished box with lift lid, Added 2×4 and blocker boards with paint tray example, Side view added 2×4 with tray example.

The refit of the boxes on the A-frame worked out good.  The previous door to collect eggs worked fine, but I would have preferred to have a lid that lifted instead of a door that flops down.

The existing boxes were too short to fit the tray, but it was easy to add length to the outside which also created the protected area for the eggs.  A 2×4 length worked great and I cut the old door and used to fill in the new wall sections of the new enclosure.

I added the green blocker boards inside the boxes where at the start/end of the deep part of the try.  This is to prevent the chickens from being able to reach the eggs that roll down and collect in the bottom of the tray.

The refit also gave me the lifting lid I wanted.  In the pictures, I used a 1×6 I had laying around for the lid, but I intend on using a 1×8 to cover it better and give me an area to lock it down.

 

We’ve used these boxes for over 8 months and it’s great to see eggs under the lid.   They are peck free and much cleaner.  Our current layers are fickle and tend to lay in the corner of the coop instead of the boxes; however, we do get frequent eggs in the boxes too.  Our new ISA Brown flock is laying consistently in their temporary boxes.  I look forward to them using the roll away boxes.

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