Originally bred in the United Kingdom, Buff Orpington Chickens produce large eggs and have a docile temperament. This breed is hardy to winter temperatures and also does well in confined spaces. While young Buff Orpington Hens may produce up to three eggs a day, but as they reach maturity they will produce about three per week. It is recommended to own several hens for steady egg production. Buff Orpington Hens will lay eggs in a simple box with wood shavings or other soft bedding material inside. As Buff Orpington chickens are a fairly large breed, a recommended box size is 2 feet wide by 2 feet tall by 2 feet deep.
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Things you need
- Wood board, 4-feet by 6-feet by 1-inch
- Wood glue
- Tape measure
- Wood shavings
Measure and mark five 24-inch by 24-inch squares on the board and label them as roof, floor, right side, left side, and back. Measure and mark a 24-inch by 3-inch rectangle on the board and label it as the lip piece.
Cut the boards to size, following the markings you made, with a table or hand-held saw.
Screw the five 24-inch squares together to make a box with one open side. Pre-drill holes with a slightly smaller drill bit than the size of the screws you are using. This minimises the risk of splitting the wood, especially if you are using chip plywood. On each corner drill through the outside board into the inside board, draw a line of wood glue along the entire edge of the inside piece, and then insert the screws. The combination of wood glue and screws will make each corner connection more stable. Place each side piece between the roof and floor pieces. Fit the back piece into the square opening of the box once the top, bottom, and side pieces are assembled.
Attach the lip piece to the edges of the floor and side walls using the same technique of pre-drilling, applying a line of wood glue, and inserting screws.
Insert soft wood shavings or thick sawdust for bedding. Place at least two inches of bedding material on the floor of the box -- this is the minimum amount that a hen will need to feel comfortable laying eggs and to decrease the risk of eggs cracking.
Tips and warnings
- Remove eggs from the nest on a regular basis to keep the hen comfortable. A behavioural change in the hen, referred to as "broodiness", may occur if too many eggs accrue. To help train a hen to use the nest box for egg laying objects resembling eggs, such as golf balls, may be placed inside.
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