How to build external nest boxes for your chicken coop

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Instructions to add external nesting boxes to your chicken coopWhether you’re building The Garden Coop, The Garden Ark, The Basic Coop, or pretty much any other chicken coop, the instructions that follow will show you in detail how to add external nesting boxes to your coop.

First, a little background. I designed The Garden Coop, The Garden Ark, and The Basic Coop to make efficient use of space, be easy to build, and to have everything under one roof — including the nesting boxes. Personally, I prefer the simplicity of having the boxes in the henhouse, and it has worked well for us and many others for years.

So if you’re new to chicken keeping or coop building, please do not feel as though you have to add exterior nest boxes to your coop.

That said, there’s something about external nesting boxes that just captures the fancy of backyard chicken keepers. . . .

Why build external nesting boxes?

Looks. Some folks really, really like the look of outboard nest boxes. They can make your coop look more functional by directing more attention to the egg-laying enterprise. They can also add visual interest, introducing new angles to the coop design and giving you another area to paint or decorate as you like.

Extra room. This is the reason that compelled us to add exterior boxes to our coop as we grew our flock from 8 to 10. It’s also the reason I hear most often from other chicken keepers. It’s not that you’re adding that much extra space (3.82 square feet to be exact), but it may be just enough to do the trick.

A few caveats before getting started

Assess your skill level. If you’ve used our coop plans to build your backyard chicken coop, this project should be no sweat. Some of the angled cuts involved make it slightly more challenging than what’s in our coop plans (but only slightly).

Time. If you’re building these boxes along with your coop, they will add time to your overall coop project. Figure an extra couple of days to account for the additional construction and painting.

Measurements. Take your own measurements. Do not rely solely on what I give you here. While these measurements *should* work in any Garden Coop built according to plan, they are still a retrofit to a do-it-yourself coop. The more important part to take away from this tutorial is the process (especially if you’re looking to add something similar, but sized differently, to The Garden Ark, The Basic Coop, or another coop design).

Metric units appear in green.

Safety. Read our disclaimer. Follow all manufacturers’ instructions when using tools, materials, or equipment. Protect your eyes, ears, and limbs. Build safe, and have fun!

Materials List

  • 1 sheet 4′ x 8′ (2400 x 1200 mm) exterior plywood or OSB (oriented strand board). I used 3/4″ (19 mm) thickness. Anything 1/2″ (12 mm) or thicker should work, or thinner only if you’re adjusting the overall size smaller.
  • 1 piece of one-by-two lumber. You’ll need about 6 feet (1800 mm) total.
  • Exterior screws, assorted sizes. I used 3″, 2.5″, 1.25″, and 1″ (75, 65, 30, and 25 mm).
  • Couple of hinges
  • Latch or two
  • Primer and exterior paint. Or stain and wood sealer.
  • Roofing felt and roofing material of your choice. Or you could just paint the top really well.
  • Caulk, optional
  • Any recycled materials you want to incorporate, like doors, hardware, roofing

Tools List

  • Circular saw and two sawhorses, or table saw
  • Power driver with assorted drill and driver bits
  • Two clamps, with at least a 2″ (50 mm) capacity
  • Tape measurer
  • Handsaw (helpful with a few finish cuts)
  • Speed square
  • Pencil
  • Paintbrush

Instructions

If this is a retrofit, remove the old siding from the side of the henhouse that you want to attach the external nest boxes to. Remove the short center stud from the side of the henhouse (or figure out a way to cut/work around it). Remove the henhouse floor and set it aside to reattach later. If this is a new build, omit the short stud in the center of the left wall called for in The Garden Coop plan. (Note: photos will appear below the corresponding text.)

Recycled cedar fence boards for chicken coop siding

 

Add 2 two-by-four studs spaced 42 1/4″ (1073 mm) apart, or at the width you want your nesting boxes to be. Toe-screw (drive screw at 45-degree angle) these in at the top and bottom, both sides. Make sure they’re flush to the edge on both the inside and outside. And make sure they’re square (perpendicular to the outer edge of the coop, not twisted).

New studs provide support for external nest boxes

 

Measure and cut two side pieces from your plywood. 14″ (355 mm) wide, 18″ (457 mm) high on the tall end, and 12″ (305 mm) high on the short end. Attach side pieces to the studs, flush to the back, driving screws through the plywood into the studs.

Plywood nest box sides attach to the new studs on the outer henhouse wall

 

Measure and cut floor piece. 40 3/4″ (1035 mm) wide, 14″ deep (355 mm). Attach it between the side pieces, driving screws from the side. It should fit flush to the front, back, and bottom.

The floor to your hens' nest box fits between the sides.

 

Measure and cut two side supports from your one-by-two lumber, each 11″ (280 mm) long. Attach to inner front edge of side pieces. These supports will be useful in later steps and will help block light coming into the finished nesting boxes when the door is closed.

The side supports will help you attach the door to the nesting box.

 

Measure and cut the door, 8 3/8″ (213 mm) high, 42 1/4″ (1073 mm) wide. Clamp it to the side supports. It should sit flush to the edges and bottom of the box.

Clamp the door piece to the side supports of the hen box.

Secure the door piece to the side supports before attaching to the nesting box with hinges.

 

Attach hinges to the bottom of the door section. While pressing the door section flush to the bottom of the box, attach the other side of the hinges to the bottom of the box.

Attach the door to the nesting box with hinges underneath.

 

Measure and cut the top front piece, 3 1/8″ (80 mm) high, 42 1/4″ (1073 mm) wide. If you can angle the foot plate on your circular saw, set it at about 30 degrees so that the top cut will match the angle of the side pieces and roof. Line up the bottom edge of the top front piece so that there’s an even gap of about 1/8″ to 1/4″ between the closed door and the top piece. Attach the top front piece to the sides.

Attach the top front piece to the nesting box sides, aligning it with a slight gap above the door.

 

Measure and cut the roof piece, 45 1/4″ (1150 mm) wide, 17 1/2″ (445 mm) deep. Measure the dimensions of your studs, and cut out notches from the upper corners of the roof so that the piece will fit around the studs. Attach the roof piece to the side pieces.

Attach the roof section to the nesting box sides, notching it in the corners to fit around the studs.

 

Measure and cut the nesting box dividers, 14″ (355 mm) wide, 17 1/4″ (438 mm) high on the tall end, and 11 1/4″ (286 mm) high on the short end. Space them where you want them, making sure they fit between the floor and the roof and sit flush with the edge of the floor (on the henhouse side). Use a square to get everything straight, trace with a pencil on the floor and roof where the dividers will go, then remove them.

For each divider, pre-drill a couple holes between the pencil marks all the way through the floor and again through the roof. Reinsert the dividers, then attach them from above and below, driving through the holes you just made. (Note, the positioning of the hen house floor support on my Garden Coop differs from what’s in the plans, so yours may be in a different place.)

Install the nest box dividers from inside the chicken coop.

 

Measure and cut the three door stops from your one-by-two, 12 1/4″ (311 mm) for the left and right stops, 13 1/4″ (337 mm) for the center stop. Attach them from inside the henhouse so that they overlap the outer door opening by 1/2″ (13 mm) or so. These stops will help keep light and drafts out of the boxes. TIP: If your plywood door has a slight inward bow to it, and it runs into the stops before closing flush, loosen the stops a bit until you get good closure.

Attach door stops inside each nest box cavity to seal the gap above the door.

 

Prime and paint or stain/seal the wood. Do a couple coats of glossy white on the inside of the boxes for the best protection. Or consider using linoleum (see post on using a durable flooring material in your hen house). If you’re not going to add any additional roofing material, add a third coat of paint/sealer to the nesting box roof. TIP: If you like, you can caulk any gaps before you paint. I used a clear silicone caulk and did this step later, after reattaching the siding.

You can paint your boxes or stain and seal them to match the look of your chicken coop.

 

Additional roofing. This is optional. Cover the nest box roof with roofing felt and attach a piece to the henhouse wall to overlap the nesting box roof at the top. You will attach siding over this. (I reused some pretty old fence boards as siding, so I opted to cover the entire wall with roofing felt for moisture protection.) Then attach cedar shakes, shingles, roll asphalt — or, as I did, a remnant of the same SunTuf polycarbonate roofing I used on The Garden Coop.

Roofing felt will help you create a waterproof barrier from the henhouse wall over the seam of the external boxes.

 

Put the siding (back) on your henhouse, trimming it around the nesting boxes.

Attach your siding to the wall of your henhouse, cutting it around your nesting boxes.

 

Add latches. Preferably something predator proof. You may need a couple. In our case, because the door had a slight bow, the tension created by the latch at one end was more than enough to keep it secure.

Add a latch or two to your external box to secure your chickens from predators.

 

Replace the hen house floor. On The Garden Coop, you’ll have to notch the floor differently than is indicated in the plans to fit it around the nesting boxes and the newly placed studs. To provide support for the floor on the outer wall side, you need to attach a one-by-two or two-by-two to the existing horizontal two-by-four.

Attaching a one-by-two to the outer horizontal two-by-four creates a lip to support your henhouse floor.

 

Finally, you might want to wall in the outer wall of the henhouse from the inside with thin plywood or OSB. And fashion a front lip about 4″ high to the nesting boxes to keep the bedding and eggs tucked inside. If you haven’t already, seal up any small gaps with caulk.

Inner wall to the henhouse provides the finishing touch.

 

And one final final tip. To keep the bedding in your nest boxes from falling out as you open the door, cut a two-by-four (or ideally a two-by-three) to the widths of each nesting box opening. Then simply place these stops in there to hold the bedding in place — no need to attach. When it’s time to clean out your nesting box, just lift the blocks out to brush out the bedding. In the picture below, you can see the stops in the far two boxes. I removed the one from the nearest box to show you how well it holds the bedding in place.

Make a removable stop to hold bedding in chickens'  nest box.

External nest boxes complete!

Now you’ve got an extra few square feet of space in your henhouse and three comfy nooks for your hens to choose from at laying time.

Finished picture of external nest boxes on a chicken coop.

I hope you’ve found this tutorial helpful. If you want a do-it-yourself coop to go with your fancy external boxes, check out our chicken coop plans, available in either U.S. standard/imperial units and metric units.

I should also mention that, unlike with our coop plans, we do not offer email support for this free nesting box design. But if you have any questions, comments, success stories, or tips to share, please leave a comment below, and we’ll do our best to respond.

Finally, subscribe to Coop Thoughts. We’ll email you the latest posts as they happen. It’s free, ad-free, and you can unsubscribe at any time. Click here to add your name to the list.


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77 Responses to “How to build external nest boxes for your chicken coop”

  1. Laura W says:

    Wonderfully clear plans for external nest boxes!!! I have so very little skill, but pulled it off with not too much trouble. The directions are fabulous. Hubby was skeptical at first and impressed when I finished.

    My first nest box was a big success with my full-sized hens and I will be building a second nest box today for my flock of bantams. Thank you so very much for sharing :-)

  2. Zach Barnhart says:

    What a great, crystal clear presentation! It completely demystified the process for me. Thanks!

  3. tom says:

    I am a novice at gardening and sustainability. This year I want to try meat birds as well as layers. I want to limit my work and create a truck style coop so that I can move it around when I have my meat birds and also come winter my layers have a permanent home, that I will keep in my garage.

    Is this too much to want?
    Can these types of birds live together?

    Is a good rule of thumb 1 1/2 sq feet per bird as far as figuring out there sleep/nesting area?

    Thanks for your time and efforts, Great Job on explaining and pictures speak a thousand words

    Tom
    Northern Vermont

    • Tom, thanks for your comment. My personal experience is with keeping laying hens, so I don’t want to risk steering you wrong by offering advice. Hopefully, another reader will come along with something better to share. I consider 2 sq. ft. of henhouse space per bird is a minimum for backyard hens, but the more space you can offer, the better. For sleeping, you want 10-12 inches of roost per bird for them to perch on at night. The nest boxes are just for the layers to lay their eggs in, of course, and 4-5 hens can share each box. Hope this helps. Good luck with it!

  4. Ryan says:

    The absolute best plans for nesting boxes I’ve found on the web by far. Thanks so much!

  5. A Dutch Man says:

    Hello there,

    I would like to thank you for your nesting box plan, it works like a charm.
    I had a few designs in mind but this takes least wood and is very firm.

    Regards,

    A Dutch Man

  6. Boris Davies says:

    Great coup! I love the nesting box you made!

  7. Jari O'Connor says:

    Your nest box plans worked out great! We are building The Garden Coop but wanted to add the external nesting area… our skill level was being tested trying to figure out the details. We had some bad weather so we built the nest box, left the roof off, did all the painting etc. and on a good day installed it on the studs then just attached the roof. Easy as homemade pie! Thank you so much!

  8. Tony Coleman says:

    Hi I live in France, I was having trouble building an external egg box for my coop. Your plans and explanations have saved me a lot of time and money. Thank you very much, they are super.

  9. Marco says:

    Hey,
    I have 3 of my ladies ladies in a shed that I converted into a coop a few few years back. I’ve been wanting to add an an external nest box for around a year now but I dont know how high off the ground to place it. Also, when I had my first set of chickens, they got eaten by foxes but now I’ve upgraded the coop security so I was wondering if the external nest boxes could be a place for predators to enter.
    Great guide btw
    -Marco

  10. Bill says:

    Any reason the egg boxes could not go on the front of the structure, and not the side?

  11. Hicks says:

    This was exactly what we were looking for. Easy instructions for my husband to follow. Thanks they look great!

  12. Dorothy Buchanan says:

    Like your nesting boxes. In wheelchair, so how high should nest boxes be and how many for 30 hens?

    • Dorothy, I would think placing the bottom at about 36″ from the ground should make the nest boxes accessible from a wheelchair. As for how many boxes for 30 hens, I think 6 or 7 should do.

  13. Rob says:

    Thanks. Very nice. . . just what I needed.

  14. Paloma says:

    Thanks for posting this. I have been looking for plans to add exterior nest boxes as well as make our coop bigger. This is the ticket.

    Paloma

  15. Crystal B says:

    This is exactly what I was looking for. Plan to build them this weekend as we finish up our coop!

  16. Ashley says:

    That’s exactly what I needed to know. Thanks for the quick reply! I am so excited about building this coop and raising chickens!!!

  17. Ashley says:

    Question: I’m about to make The Garden Coop and am planning to build on the exterior egg boxes from the start. I’m planning to have 8-10 hens. If I add the ext. boxes to the plan, should I also include the egg boxes already built into the original plan or is that overkill? Are they necessary with that many hens? That would be 5 hen boxes (2 interior, 3 exterior). I know from your notes that the exterior boxes would add needed square footage for that many hens, but am I removing needed square footage by leaving in the extra boxes? Also, I’m planning to have the ladder leading to the front of the pen, instead of up the middle of it, so that should add floor space. Thanks for your help!

    • Ashley, three nest boxes is plenty for ten hens. Five boxes would be overkill. So I would leave out the removable boxes indicated in the plans. You also won’t need the egg door, though you could leave it or add a window or something else in that spot. Hope this helps.

  18. Robert says:

    Hi, I have built the nesting box, but I just realised that I didn’t put some 19 x 38 mm down the sides of the flip-down hatch. I guess that you put that on yours to stop any drafts. I DID put it where the flip door closes at the top of the flip door, but not on the sides. I made mine from 12 mm plywood. 19 mm would have been better, but 12 mm was what I already had. My flip door does close nice and snug — no gaps — so I hope it will be okay this winter. I hope that all makes sense. Thanks.

    • Robert, thanks for your notes and tips. I have the two one-by-two (19 x 38 mm) side supports near the edge of the opening, though they are attached to the box part and not to the door itself. Then there are the one-by-two door stops at the top of each box. Though it’s not a perfect seal, these do fairly well to limit drafts and light into the boxes.

  19. Shelly says:

    I have bought the plans for The Garden Coop and am planning on adding the outside nesting box. Is the enclosed run plenty big to handle 10 hens?

    • Shelly, we have 9 in ours, and they do just fine. But I would recommend giving them regular access to a larger outside run if you can. If not, you might want to consider building The Garden Coop to be larger. There are a few ways to go about this. Please email me if you’d like more details.

  20. Sam Dixie says:

    Thanks, in that case I will go with your figures.

  21. Sam Dixie says:

    I am converting a large doghouse to a hen house and I like and will use your plans. I read somewhere that you can ensure that your hens do not become egg eaters if they do not have room to stand in the nesting boxes. With that in mind how much would you recomend cutting down on the heights.

    • I’m not sure, Sam. It already looks rather cozy in there as is — my hens seem to have just enough room to stand up to get in and out of the box. Maybe someone who has tried this approach can chime in with a better response about how much to lower the height.

  22. barry moore says:

    I’m building my first chicken coop, and I will be using your model for my external nesting boxes. I went to other websites, but your explanations, pics are right on…. thanks.

  23. joan says:

    We are getting the materials for building your coop. We have instead of the 1/2 inch hardware cloth. 1/2 x 1 inch hardware cloth. Will this work to keep out rodents? We do not have snakes, but rats live in the city. Thank you.

    • Joan, thanks for posting. I also replied to your similar comment here. Basically, 1/2″ x 1/2″ is the largest opening I’d recommend if you want to deter rats. Of course, I welcome other comments from anyone who has had success with the size Joan is talking about!

  24. Nick says:

    Have the Garden Ark plans and am cutting wood, etc. Like to add the external box, but not sure where to place it. Replace the egg door on the side or put on the back? Just not sure if I place on the back what I would use the egg door for.

    • Nick, I haven’t seen anyone put the external boxes on the side of The Garden Ark. I think it could look cool, but if you plan on moving the ark around much, it might be a little unwieldy. If you add the external boxes to the back, the side egg door is no longer essential, though you might consider keeping it in the design anyway. It’s a nice quick way to access the henhouse (say, if you put a small feeder in there) or to reach in to open and close the sliding door between the henhouse and run (if you do this). Or you could convert it to a window.

  25. BILLY says:

    Do you recomend wheat straw over wood shaving for your nesting boxes

    • Billy, I’ve used both straw and pine shavings. I don’t have a recommendation, but I personally prefer the shavings. They seem to fit in there neatly and provide good cushion for the eggs.

  26. Billy says:

    I plan on adding these nesting to my hen house. How high should I put the boxes of the ground? Thanks for any info.

    • Billy, both of my coop designs are integrated, so the henhouse is positioned above a part of the run. With this type of design the henhouse and nest boxes would sit at least 18 inches (460 mm) off the ground, allowing space for your chickens to graze beneath it. If you have a stand-alone coop, you still want it raised at least high enough that rodents and other predators won’t make a home beneath it. I’d say a foot or so (300 mm) would be good.

  27. Eric G. says:

    Just wanted to drop a thank-you note for these plans. We finished the nest box this weekend, and it turned out great. Here’s a link with some pictures. I plan on sending you a full review of the plans and summary of our customizations when we’re finished (chicks arrive this week, so the pressure’s on :)

  28. Steph says:

    Hi! I found these plans while looking for my very 1st wood working project. My husband built our chicken coop a few years ago from scrap and I really wanted to add an exterior nesting box, but I have no carpentry experience. The plans here are easy enough for a beginner. It took me all day, but I finished the building part and I am very happy and impressed with myself and the results! The step by step pictures really helped. Thanks so much for posting these plans!
    ~Steph and the birds.

  29. Tamera says:

    Hi John, I was wondering if you could give us some measurements for making just two outboarded nest boxes, and modify them for use with The Garden Ark. We bought the plans a couple of weeks ago, and have been diligently gathering supplies. =) But we really love the idea of using external nest boxes and would like to place them on the “back” end of The Garden Ark.
    ~Tamera & Dan

    • Tamera, I haven’t built exterior boxes for The Garden Ark yet, so I don’t have all the dimensions for that, but the process will be exactly the same. You might want to shorten the side pieces and divider by about 1.5 to 2 inches (on both the high and low ends) for a better fit. This will still allow enough height in the boxes for your hens. Keep the depth of the side pieces at 14 inches.

      You can attach the side pieces directly to the existing frame of the ark, or you can bring them in some. To do that, add a couple of 2×2 studs, about 1.5 inches in from either side of the existing frame (just clearing the brackets at the top). That will give you an outer dimension for the exterior boxes (width) of 28 inches, which is perfect for two boxes.

      I would keep the door the same height, so if you do shorten the box sides, you’ll want to take that same amount off the top front piece (the part that’s cut 3 1/8″ tall above). The roof piece should be the same depth as above, just adjust the width and the notching (since you’re inserting around 2x2s).

      Best to measure the rest of the pieces as you go, but this should give you a framework for most of it. Let me know how it goes!

  30. Glenn Blackshear says:

    Just wanted to say thank you! Building my first coop and run 5×10. I like the exterior nesting box design and have added it to the coop. Really nice pictures and details allowed me to replicate very easily.

  31. Ryan says:

    I have been looking into designing some coops with nest boxes and I like the design of yours but I think I would latch the roof to open, also Flex Seal which is a fairly new product may be the best thing to use for covering the roof on a small surface area as its 10-14 dollars a can and covers a decent area, more so than one nesting box attachment.

  32. Miina says:

    We just bought plans for The Garden Coop and are very excited to build this coop! Very straightforward. Thank you for the addition of the external nesting box plans. I imagine we will modify the original design and add these. Thank you!

    Jodie Majerus, you mention that you modified the design and added a “grate and tray” for cleaning the roosting area. Can you please share photos or design? We might be interested in this as well.

  33. Barb says:

    AWESOME… This has been extremely helpful!! Thank you so much for taking the time to take great pictures and provide us with detailed directions.

  34. Jodie Majerus says:

    Hey there John:

    We bought plans and built our coop about 2 yrs ago. I’m proud of how it turned out…so thanks :-) I should send pics b/c my husband came up with a great “grate and tray” combination for cleaning the bottom of the existing roosting area.

    We currently have 3 hens but are looking to get more; if we added two external boxes, how many more hens could it feasibly hold? We let them out every morning to free range on about a 3/4 acre fenced yard, so the coop is really just for sleeping and laying eggs. What think you?

    • Jodie, glad your coop has worked out for you! If you’re talking about The Garden Coop, up to 8 or 10 hens in that space should be fine. We have nine in ours now, and they’re all happy and well adjusted. If you’re talking about the smaller design, The Garden Ark, that space is intended for 3 hens. What limits you from adding more in TGA isn’t the number of laying boxes, but the smaller size of the roosts, henhouse, and run.

      As for how many nest boxes you need, a good general rule is 1 box for every 4 hens. That’s been my experience as well. Our first flock of 8 did great sharing a couple of nest boxes, mainly laying in just one of them. Our current flock of 9 even could have managed with two, but since I built the external laying boxes shown above, they have three to choose from. Often, they’ll still all lay in one box, though which box that is changes from day to day.

      BTW, I should mention for anyone new to chickens that hens don’t actually sleep in their nest boxes (usually). They use them as a place to lay their eggs and sit on them until hatched. I forgot to bring that up in the original post, but it’s worth knowing!

  35. T. Orr says:

    Thank you! I need to add an external box so I can do some internal mods to my henhouse to make it easier to clean… These are instructions I can follow! Thanks for the excellent information!

  36. Tom Weisbrod says:

    The dimensions and step-by-step pictures were excellent. I have built houses for people but never built a nesting box for chickens and was troubled until I viewed your documentation. Thanks for your effort.

  37. jj says:

    Thanks for answering my question so promptly. Do you think I would even need the original center 2×4 stud if i follow the plans above and add a 2×4 stud to either side of the nesting box?

    • JJ, as long as your siding pieces are long enough to attach to the 2x4s behind them, you don’t need the additional center stud. It’s there simply to provide another attachment point for siding, so you can do without it.

  38. JJ says:

    Did you update The Garden Coop plans and omit the center vertical stud on the henhouse left side? I don’t see it in the pictures. Can you clarify please?

    • JJ, that center vertical stud is still in The Garden Coop plans, though it was not in my original build, which is what I’m modifying in the pictures above. I will add a mention in the post to remove that center stud before adding the external boxes. If you can’t remove the stud easily (which could be the case depending on how you attached it when you built the coop frame) — or if you need to keep the stud for attaching your siding — then you’ll need to do cut part of it away or cut your pieces to work around it. Thanks for calling attention to this.

  39. Diana says:

    I really like the fact that external nest boxes give you more space in your coop. Nice instructions and love all the pictures.

  40. Joe St. Angelo says:

    I love your portable design. Its great so it can be moved around easily. That gives the chicken new grass to forage in and allows the manure to decay often so cleaning the ground area is simpler.

  41. Joe says:

    This is exactly what I needed! I’ve been looking for help so I didn’t have to start from scratch in designing my external nesting boxes. This gave me the information I needed and the step-by-step instructions with pictures are a fantastic touch. Thanks for making my life that much easier!

  42. David Dempster says:

    Is there any structural reason why the external nest box construction couldn’t accommodate 4 nest boxes? It seems that there’s enough room along the left wall to allow for building 4 nest boxes.

    • David, you should be able to get four in, and can’t think of a structural problem that would cause. You might want to divide the door in two, though, so it’s not such a long piece to open.

  43. Marjorie Rutherford says:

    What exactly is a chicken ladder that is used for chickens?

  44. Monica says:

    I needed to learn how to install an exterior nest box for the coop I am building. Thank you so much for the instructions and pictures, they are just what I needed. Bravos to you!!

  45. Karen G. says:

    Hi, We just bought the garden ark plans and want to add the external nesting boxes (for more room as we have more chickens). I noticed that the plans for the ark have only 2×2′s and the plans for the external nesting boxes use 2×4′s. Should I be building the ark out of 2×4 or the nesting boxes of 2×2? I’m wanting to purchase materials but am unclear. Any help you can provide would be great. Thank you. ~Karen

  46. Travis Pynn says:

    I love this mod. We thought about doing this as well. We were a little rushed so we didn’t, but this is a great option. Thanks for the wonderful pictures as well as the amazing plans. Money VERY well spent.

    Thanks, Travis, Tara & the 7 girls :)

  47. John Cunningham says:

    Hello,

    In this sentence at the very beginning of the Instructions where you say, “If this is a new build omit the short horizontal stud…” did you mean to say “vertical stud”? I’m having a hard time reconciling the instructions w/the pictures and w/the our Garden Coop Plans. Thanks for any clarification.

    We bought the Garden Coop plans last weekend and have been plugging away ever since…the external nest box plans came out just in time…thanks very much!

  48. You’re right, John. I’ve corrected it. Thanks for pointing it out and good luck with your coop.

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