Kim loves her chickens. You know that, I know that, everyone in a 20 mile radius knows that. She loves them for their personalities, and for their interesting social structures and psychologies. But most of all (I suspect) she loves them because they give her an opportunity to build things.
In the two years we've had a flock at Mucky Boots, Kim has built internal walls inside the coop, built new nest boxes, built a chicken tractor and then a chicken yurt, built chicken doors and chicken fences, and built Chicken Alley as a way of getting the chickens from coop to orchard without trashing my vegetable garden along the way. She has built moveable roosts and fixed roosts, gates and brooder boxes, and then when we transformed the tool shed into Coop #2 she got to do much of the above all over again. As Kim often says, one of the great things about chickens is that if you build them something, they use it. (For a brief but thrilling history of chicken building at Mucky Boots, go here.)
There were some technical problems to consider, like how to keep the overhanging roof of the boxes from getting in the way of the drop-down doors, how to best protect the boxes from the elements, and how to organize the construction and box swap with minimal disruption to the poor hens just trying to lay an egg. But this weekend the old boxes came out and the new ones went on, and don't they just look lovely.
It is a five-part nest box, with three comfy spots for hens in Coop #2-A and two for those in Coop #2-B. This photo shows the internal dividers, and the holes Kim cut in wall of the coop. The box itself was built with scrap lumber (my honey is a thrifty one), with only the door hardware purchased.
All the egg collector needs to do is walk around to the back of the coop, unlatch the door and drop it down, and voila, there are the eggs, right at eye level just waiting to be collected.
Here is the view from the inside (Coop #2, Enclosure B)...
...and the finished product, complete with roof.