The Owner-Builder Network

6 Creative Chicken Nesting Box Ideas

Chicken Nesting Box Ideas Main Image
Chicken Nesting Box Ideas

If you are raising chickens to have your supply of eggs, then a chicken nesting box is essential in your yard. Now while there are many stores where you can buy nesting boxes, there is a better option for you… Repurpose to make your chicken nesting box in your backyard.

It is easy to make a DIY standard chicken nesting box. But making a chicken nesting box yourself using repurposed items can lessen your expenses even more. Some of these re-purposing ideas are easier to make, too!

Nesting Box Ideas

And if those are not enough pros for you, most of the ideas below also prove to be easier to maintain than the standard chicken nesting box design.

These DIY chicken nesting box ideas work just like the common, store-bought units. They all provide private and comfortable places for your laying hens. The only difference is that they are cheaper and better!

Look at these clever re-purposing chicken nesting box ideas that your chooks will surely love! 🙂

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Metal Chicken Laying Box

Old Dresser Chicken Nesting Box

Thinking of throwing out your old dresser? Please don’t! Make them a nesting box for your chickens. This is an idea that requires virtually no effort to make.

By incorporating a layer of straw, you can create a spacious, private, and inviting area where your hens can comfortably lay their eggs. This straightforward adjustment guarantees that your chickens have sufficient room to nest and lay their eggs, all while enjoying a sense of privacy and security.

However, be careful when selecting the location for this chicken nesting box. Placing it in a secure and sheltered spot within the coop or coop-adjacent space is essential to protect the eggs and ensure your chickens feel safe and undisturbed. Create a well-thought-out nesting space that caters to both the comfort and security of your feathered friends.

Milk Crate

If you’ve got access to a good number of milk crates then you can use them to build a good chicken nesting box for all your hens, this is an easy DIY project for you.

Building a practical chicken nesting box can be remarkably straightforward. All that’s required is the construction of a basic frame designed to house the milk crates. Within these crates, a soft layer of straw can be thoughtfully placed to create a welcoming and snug environment for your chickens to lay their eggs.

This uncomplicated approach can yield excellent results, providing an accessible and comfortable chicken nesting box for your poultry. Additionally, you have the flexibility to stack these milk crates vertically if your coop layout demands it. This adaptability ensures that your chicken nesting area is not only efficient but also maximizes available space.

Gallon Buckets

Here’s one of the more common items you can find in many homes. Do you have some empty gallon buckets waiting for a new purpose? They can be easy-to-clean chicken nesting ‘boxes’!

These spacious gallon boxes are ideal for providing a secure and comfortable nesting space for your chickens.

These boxes are cool since you might not have to put in a lot of time and effort to get them ready for your bird friends. Check out the images provided for a visual tutorial on how to make the most of them. Make these gallon boxes an excellent addition to your chicken coop, ensuring a cozy and protected nesting environment for your poultry.

Kitty Litter Bucket

Don’t like the gallon buckets? How about these square containers? These square containers will help you stack.

The Kitty Litter Bucket is a device used by cat owners. Check out this half-cut plastic bucket that’s been fused back together. And get this – the upper part’s got a hole for the cat to come in! Pretty cool?

The bottom part contains litter for the cat to use. When the cat has used the litter, the owner will scoop it out of the bottom into a bag and dispose of it away from the house.

If in case you don’t have a cat, then your neighbours may have one, you can ask them if you want.

Dollar Store Plastic Bins

Here’s another easy-to-clean chicken nesting box idea. Just take them out and wash them quickly if needed. And if one breaks, you can always replace it without feeling bad for your wallet!

Consider repurposing plastic bins for a creative twist on a chicken nesting box. The key to this project is to construct a reliable platform where these bins can be securely affixed. This platform ensures stability and accessibility for your feathered friends.

3 Compartment Roll Out Nesting Box for Chickens

To transform these plastic bins into a cozy haven for your hens, the final touch is adding a generous layer of soft straws within each bin. This simple addition provides the perfect nesting material to serve its functional purpose and creates a comfortable and inviting space for your birds to lay their eggs.

Old Pallets

Did you think we forgot all about pallets? If you’ve got small excess/scrap from a previous pallet project, you might still be able to make a chicken nesting box out of them.

Rather than consigning these materials to oblivion, consider breathing new life into them. By transforming those pallet remnants into a thoughtfully designed chicken nesting box, you not only contribute to the sustainability of your outdoor space but also infuse it with an endearing touch of charm and functionality. 🙂

Chicken nesting boxes offer numerous advantages for both chickens and their caretakers:

1. Encourages Natural Behavior: Nesting boxes provide a designated space for hens to lay their eggs, mimicking their instinct to seek out secluded, comfortable spots for nesting.

2. Egg Protection: By providing a clean, protected environment for egg-laying, nesting boxes help safeguard eggs from damage, breakage, or contamination by dirt or feces.

3. Improved Egg Quality: Eggs laid in nesting boxes are less likely to be soiled or cracked, resulting in higher-quality eggs for consumption or sale.

4. Reduced Egg Hunting: With eggs conveniently located in nesting boxes, chickens are less likely to hide their eggs in inaccessible or undesirable locations, making egg collection easier for caretakers.

5. Prevention of Broodiness: Nesting boxes can help discourage broody behaviour in hens by providing separate, designated areas for nesting, reducing the likelihood of egg sitting and potential aggression from broody hens.

6. Health and Hygiene: Regular cleaning of nesting boxes promotes better hygiene and reduces the risk of bacterial contamination, parasites, and disease transmission among the flock.

7. Comfort and Stress Reduction: Comfortable, well-designed nesting boxes can help reduce stress and anxiety in hens, leading to healthier, more productive birds.

8. Organization and Efficiency: Nesting boxes help keep eggs organized and easily accessible, streamlining egg collection and reducing the risk of lost or damaged eggs.

9. Customization: Nesting boxes can be customized to suit the specific needs and preferences of your flock, including size, material, and placement within the coop.

10. Educational Opportunities: For backyard chicken keepers, observing hens using nesting boxes can provide valuable insights into chicken behaviour and reproductive biology, making for a rewarding and educational experience.

Here are several informative strategies for DIY chicken nesting boxes:

1. Repurposed Materials: Utilize materials you may already have on hand, such as old crates, barrels, or wooden boxes, to construct nesting boxes. Repurposing materials not only reduces costs but also adds a rustic charm to your coop.

2. Space Optimization: Consider the size and layout of your coop when designing nesting boxes. Optimize space by building nesting boxes that fit snugly against walls or in corners, maximizing floor space for your chickens to roam.

3. Easy Access: Design nesting boxes with easy access for both chickens and caretakers. Ensure that the boxes are at a height comfortable for chickens to enter and exit, and consider adding a hinged lid or removable panel for convenient egg collection.

4. Ventilation and Drainage: Incorporate ventilation holes or slats into the design of your nesting boxes to provide adequate airflow and prevent moisture buildup. Additionally, ensure proper drainage by angling the nesting box floor slightly or adding drainage holes to prevent water from accumulating.

5. Nesting Material: Provide comfortable nesting material, such as straw, hay, or wood shavings, for your chickens to create cozy nests. Consider adding a nesting pad or shallow tray filled with nesting material to each nesting box for easy cleaning and replacement.

6. Multiple Compartments: If you have a larger flock, consider building nesting boxes with multiple compartments to accommodate several hens at once. Dividers or partitions can help create separate nesting spaces, reducing competition and stress among the flock.

7. Adjustable Features: Design nesting boxes with adjustable features, such as removable dividers or sliding panels, to accommodate different flock sizes or nesting preferences. This flexibility allows you to customize the nesting boxes to suit your specific needs.

8. Durability and Maintenance: Choose sturdy materials that can withstand daily use and are easy to clean and maintain. Avoid using treated or toxic materials that could harm your chickens or contaminate eggs.

By implementing these DIY chicken nesting box strategies, you can build comfortable, functional, and customized nesting spaces for your flock while saving money and adding a personal touch to your coop.

Safety Precautions

When crafting DIY chicken nesting boxes, it’s essential to prioritize safety measures to ensure the well-being of both your feathered friends and yourself. Here are some informative safety precautions to consider:

1. Material Selection: Opt for sturdy, non-toxic materials such as untreated wood, galvanized metal, or durable plastic. Avoid using treated lumber or materials that may contain harmful chemicals, as these can pose health risks to chickens.

2. Smooth Surfaces: Sand down any rough edges or sharp corners to prevent injuries to your chickens. Smooth surfaces also make cleaning easier and reduce the risk of splinters.

3. Sturdy Construction: Ensure that your nesting boxes are securely built and stable to prevent collapses or accidents. Incorporate quality hardware such as screws or bolts, and reinforce joints as needed for added strength.

Ensure that the nesting boxes are appropriately sized for your chickens and spaced apart adequately to prevent overcrowding. Provide enough room for hens to enter, turn around, and lay their eggs comfortably.

4. Proper Ventilation: Incorporate ventilation holes or slats into the design of your nesting boxes to ensure adequate airflow. Proper ventilation helps regulate temperature and humidity levels, promoting a comfortable environment for your chickens.

It prevents the buildup of heat and moisture that can lead to discomfort and health issues for your chickens. Adequate airflow promotes a more comfortable environment for nesting and egg-laying.

Periodically inspect the ventilation openings to ensure they are free from debris or blockages that could impede airflow. Clean the openings as needed to maintain optimal ventilation and air quality within the nesting boxes.

5. Avoid Overcrowding: Provide enough nesting boxes to accommodate your flock comfortably, typically one box for every 3-4 hens. Overcrowding can lead to stress, aggression, and potential injuries among your chickens.

Monitor your chickens regularly to assess their behaviour and nesting habits. If you notice signs of overcrowding, such as hens waiting in line to access the nesting boxes or fighting over nesting space, consider adding more boxes to alleviate the pressure.

7. Regular Maintenance: Perform routine inspections of your nesting boxes to check for signs of wear and tear, loose hardware, or damage. Address any issues promptly to maintain a safe environment for your chickens.

8. Safe Placement: Install your nesting boxes in a secure location within your coop or run, away from potential hazards such as extreme weather conditions. Ensure that the boxes are easily accessible for egg collection but protected from drafts and direct sunlight.

9. Monitor Temperature: During hot weather, monitor the temperature inside your nesting boxes to prevent overheating. Consider adding shade or insulation to keep your chickens comfortable.

By following these safety precautions, you can create DIY chicken nesting boxes that provide a safe and comfortable nesting environment for your flock.

Innovative Nesting Box Ideas for Happy Hens!

Unleash your inner DIY enthusiast and elevate your chicken coop with these six imaginative chicken nesting box ideas. From a repurposed dresser to the ingenious use of a milk crate, these clever solutions provide both comfort and functionality for your feathered friends.

Whether you’re seeking simplicity or a touch of rustic charm, there is a chicken nesting box idea here to suit your coop’s unique needs. Transform your coop into a haven where your hens can safely lay their eggs, all while adding a dash of creativity to your poultry paradise.

Looking to build a chicken coop but don’t want to spend a fortune? Check out our free chicken coop plans here

If you liked this, you will also like viewing these chicken coop ideas…

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What materials do you need to build a chicken nesting box?

Typically, you’ll need wood for the structure, hardware cloth for ventilation, hinges, latches, and roofing materials like shingles or metal sheets.

2. How big should my chicken nesting box be?

The size of your chicken box depends on the number of chickens you plan to keep. A general guideline is to allow at least 2-4 square feet of space per chicken inside the coop and 8-10 square feet per chicken in the outdoor run area.

3. What features should I include in my chicken box?

Some essential features include roosting bars, nesting boxes, proper ventilation, easy access for cleaning, and predator-proofing measures such as sturdy locks and buried wire mesh.

4. What kind of roofing material is best for a chicken box?

    Metal roofing, asphalt shingles, or even heavy-duty plastic roofing are popular choices. Ensure it provides adequate protection from rain and predators.

    5. How do you keep your chicken box completely safe?

    Incorporate hardware cloth with small openings (around 1/2 inch) to cover all openings, bury it at least 12 inches deep around the perimeter to prevent digging predators, and ensure doors and latches are secure.

    6. How often should I clean the chicken box?

      Regular cleaning is essential to maintain a healthy environment for your chickens. Depending on the number of chickens and the size of the coop, cleaning every 1-2 weeks is typically recommended.

      7. Can you incorporate recycled materials to build a chicken box?

      Yes, you can repurpose materials like old pallets or lumber, but ensure they’re safe and free from any chemicals that could harm your chickens. Avoid treated wood or materials that may contain lead or other toxins.

      8. Do you need to insulate my chicken box?

      Insulation can help regulate temperature, especially in colder climates, but it’s not always necessary. If you do choose to insulate, use safe materials like rigid foam board, and ensure proper ventilation is still maintained.

      9. How do you prevent my chickens from escaping?

      Ensure the chicken box is securely constructed with no gaps or openings large enough for chickens to squeeze through. Also, regularly inspect for wear and tear that could create escape routes.


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