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Friday, November 3, 2017

Review the Best Rollaway Chicken Nesting Boxes

Over a decade ago we were the first to introduce Amish made all metal rollaway nesting boxes to the general market. Our initial offerings which are still our most popular were 2, 4, and 8 compartment nest boxes with a rollout egg tray that protects fresh laid eggs from being messed, stepped on or pecked at as some chickens will eat the eggs 

With the cost of feed and overhead losing, just a few eggs a day can really add up.

As we made our Amish product tours a few years later we discovered another Amish company making a slightly different type of rollaway nesting box without dividers. These were being built as open concept community nesting box patterned after commercial operations.

The Community Nesting Boxes as they are called basically have the same design as our divided boxes but use a traditional laying mat which, resembles a section of Astroturf, to allow the eggs to drop and roll forward into a compartment. Instead of the dividers, they use curtains on the front to resemble separate entries into nest boxes. 

The open community concept accommodates more chickens, about twice as many as our divided boxes. So, we added the Community Nesting Boxes and introduced them to the Internet as well.

Since then several other companies have begun selling the Community Nest Boxes on the internet as well.

Sales of both styles have been strong with repeat customers coming back for more of the same models. As people would call and ask which is the best we would say it’s a Ford-Chevy discussion depending on which one you were used to as we have customers on both sides raving about them.  Then we would share the benefits of both and let them make their own decisions.

The one thing that kept sticking in our mind was the need for the laying mat.  Our original nesting boxes use a PVC coated wire mesh that allows the manure to pass through to a slide in drop pan underneath.

A laying mat basically is sharing the same surface with the egg to roll over and to collect the manure.  Extra laying mats are good to have on hand to switch clean out for dirty. Other than that, the Community Nesting Boxes offers a bit larger collection tray that can be switched to either a front or back collection based on your coop size and needs.

The Community Nest Boxes also have a solid back which means they can be set out in the middle of a coop floor up on blocks or screwed to a wall. But, we really like our traditional nest boxes with the open backs because they use wall cleats to hang on a wall so that they can be easily lifted off and taken outside to be power washed and disinfected from front and back.

So, we went back to our original supplier and learned they too have been looking for a way to build a better rollaway nesting box. We believe they have succeeded with the Colony Rollway Nesting Boxes and we are the first again to introduce them to Internet sales.

The Colony Rollaway Nest Boxes are available in the same 2, 4 and 8 compartments outside designs except for no dividers to offer the open community concept and added curtains to mimic the nest box entrances.  They are also now available as a front or rear collection box.

Best of all they don’t require the messy laying mats and still offer the quick removal hanging cleats to quickly take them outside and power wash them.

Even better the price point is lower for even a bit thicker galvanized metal used on the horizontal parts such as the tops and cross members that can easily be damaged by kids stepping up on them.

We believe the Colony Rollaway Nesting Boxes just might the best of the best of all rollaway nesting boxes. Especially, when you have the option to purchase the double layer 48” nesting box for much less than having to buy two of the 48” rollaway nest boxes. 

You can buy one Colony Double Layer and benefit with two 48” nesting boxes stacked together in one that will handle 80 or more hens.

Reversing the Colony Nesting Boxes to the outside of the coop for rear collection takes up zero space inside the coop. Simply cut a hole in the side and hang the Colony Nest Box on the outside.  

All the access to the eggs, manure tray and even reaching through to lift the roost bar to block entry can be accomplished from outside the coop. Manure cleanout is the easiest of all nesting boxes, especially on the outside rear collection.  You can roll a wheelbarrow right up to the box and pull out the manure tray just under the egg collection tray and dump without ever having to reach in or disturb the layers.

At Cottage Craft Works We have the largest selection of all metal rollaway nest boxes.

Cottage Craft Works is a unique emporium of old-fashioned made in America products for the farm, home, and garden.

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