Chicken Nest Boxes and Egg Baskets

President Grant's house is an important U.S. historical site for the backyard / small-farm chicken raising community.

Today - I want to show you a couple of things I thought were interesting there...

Most importantly -

The technologies have not changed a whole lot. Here is a picture of the egg baskets they used back then:

chicken egg baskets

Today, you can still find the same baskets, usually coated with a plastic coating so they're softer on the eggs but still able to dunk in water to clean the eggs. Today pricing starts at around $27 for a 6-inch high, by 8-inch wide - 3 dozen egg capacity sized basket.

Additionally, here's some shots of the raised nest boxes. There used to be several rows of the hens nesting boxes, but for now they just have the 3 nests remaining.

chicken nest boxes

more chicken nestboxes

This is the same basic design and size that is still recommended today :

  • About 1 cubic foot - (12-inches wide, by 12-inches tall, by 12-inches deep)
  • Raised off the ground about 24 inches
  • Front ledge piece to hold in the bedding material, and also provide a little more protection for the hen.

And I wanted to note a few things about this set-up, just in case you might be wondering:

  1. If your nesting boxes are at 24 inches high, it is recommended that your roosts always be higher than that. Chickens almost always roost in the highest spot they can find - they feel safer there. So if your roosts are at the same height, or below your nesting boxes - your chickens will roost in (and soil or dirty up) your nest boxes.
  2. There is no hidden latch or outside access to the nest boxes. You have to walk inside of the coop to gather the eggs. Many chicken house designers today swear by having outside, quick, and easy access to the nest boxes. You might keep that in mind when you are building your coop.

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