Sustainable Living Center Oregon
With chickens there is a constant problem getting dirty eggs and sometimes eggs being broken and eaten. Cleaning the eggs can take a significant amount of time, and it a can be nasty, smelly job.
What is needed is a nest if which the egg roll-away after the chicken laid the egg.
Our Roll Away Egg Bucket allows eggs to roll away from hens’ reach; thus reducing egg eating and keeping eggs clean. It allows one to collect the eggs at the time that is convenient for you as oppose according to hen schedule.
A 6-gallon plastic bucket is used sidewise. A 6-gallon bucket is used instead a 5-gallon to leave more room for the eggs to stored so they do not have to be removed daily. It also gives larger chickens more room to maneuver inside the buckets, but even the largest hens seem to have no problems getting in and turning around. We have found that any breed of chicken will use these types of nesting boxes – even the very large Buff Orrington variety!
The nest bucket is mounted side wise through the outside wall of coop or cube. No one has to entry the coop to gather the eggs.
The Roll-a-Away Nest Bucket used a weather proof Gamma Lid to access the eggs.
The Gamma lid does not require locks, bolts or lid removers to open. The lid is removed with a gentle turn of the wrist, but predators cannot do it.
2/3 of the top part of the BOTTOM of the bucket is cut away, leaving 1/3 intact.
Take the small scrap of wood and screw it to the end of the bucket where the chicken will enter. This makes it easier for the chicken to grab on as she jumps in.
There is a small wall that separate the egg laying area from the final roll away egg’s resting place until they are finally collected outside the coop. It has rubber fingers to slow the eggs as it rolls away from the chicken.
A rubber bumper needs to mounted in the back of the slope to protect the eggs from cracking.
The actual egg comes out clean during the laying process but it’s the poop it touches after, which makes the egg dirty. Also, eggs can get dirty from dirt or mud especially in wet weather when the chickens come in to lay with muddy feet and inadvertently soil the nest or step on the eggs.
Mind you, most chickens will try to keep the eggs clean and often they will lay in the cleanest nesting box they can find. Hens will likely clean the nest (as best they can) before laying and sometimes even move eggs to a better spot within the box.
However, there’s only so much a chicken can do sanitary wise, so it’s up to us to ensure the nesting boxes and materials within are kept as clean as reasonably possible. This means daily trips to the coop or preferably several quick trips a day. If only one trip a day is practical for you then a trip in the afternoon will ensure most of the egg laying has been complete so eggs aren’t sitting in the nest overnight.
Plastic nest pads or fake grass can be used. They are set at an angle so the egg rolls toward the back of the bucket towards the Gamma lid, which is outside of the roosting area.
Nest pads are designed with a slotted base to allow for air circulation, but also to allow droppings to go through. They are odor and bacteria resistant creating a cleaner environment.
If nest pads are used there will be no more filling nests with shavings and other nest materials. The droppings fall through the pads. Washing and disinfecting pads is made easy because these are all plastic, and water can go through the pad, giving you a far more sanitary operation. The nesting pads are designed to be artificial bedding for your nesting boxes, and resist mites.
Our roll away nesting box is design to roll the eggs opposite way the chickens entry the box
Roosting in the nesting boxes is a act of life and completely normal behavior for chickens. Keep the nesting/laying boxes lower than the perches because chickens like to roost on the highest spot – then they won’t roost in the boxes.
We have a solution.