Molly and I made a chicken coop last week with laying boxes designed after those on her father’s farm. As far as we can tell, they’re a Gunnar Danielsson original design. The laying box depends on chickens’ instinctual egg rotation. Every time a chicken stands up off of an egg, it kicks the egg a little, rotating it. In Gunnar’s boxes the floor is sloped just enough so an egg starts rolling when the chicken kicks it, and ends up underneath a hinged drawer.
Molly drew out the design and I did tests and built it while she was out of town. It’s 70″ long, accommodating five 14″ laying boxes for large Buff Orphingtons. Five laying boxes should be enough for 20 hens total. First I determined a proper angle of between 10-12 degrees for the floor, then built the box. The laying boxes are still missing curtains, but Katie will sew them up. We built it all into a coop that will have a deep mulch floor, per plans in the Integral Urban House Book. Soon the coop will have swinging perches too.