Diy Chicken Nesting Boxes?

If youre working on a tight budget, building your nesting boxes from pallets could be the way to go. This tutorial shows you how to use pallets to create the perfect nesting boxes.

Youll need to hunt for the nesting box plans and ideas which will best fit your set-up. Plastic storage bins make a great way to have nesting boxes on a tight budget.

Fill it with hay, and your chickens will make it their new favorite laying spot in no time. Why toss those containers to the landfill when they make perfect nesting boxes? When we first began keeping chickens, we used these milk crates as our nesting boxes.

The only thing worth mentioning is its important to make sure you place something under the milk crates to ensure your eggs wont fall through the slats. Do you want traditional style nesting boxes, but youre working on a tight budget? This tutorial walks you through how to build your own DIY nesting boxes for hardly any money at all.

These nesting boxes are easy to create, are a great way to repurpose an old piece of furniture, and they look nice too. Everyone may not be able to understand this post because its written in a different language, but dont let this deter you from checking out this idea. The plans are done on a computer which makes them easy to print off, read, and follow to give you the greatest opportunity for a successful build.

Be aware youll want the lids to be on lock down because if not, a raccoon or snake can easily find their way into your boxes and take your eggs. Wine barrels can be rather expensive, but if you have one on hand which you arent using, consider putting it to use in your hen house. From there, the chickens crawl right inside and lay their delicious eggs in a fashionable nesting box.

You can sometimes find large plastic bowls on sale at your local big box store towards the end of summer. If you would like to give your chickens as much space as possible in their coop, hanging their nesting boxes on the wall is the way to go. Instead of placing the dresser on the floor, they hang it on the wall and give the hens a ladder to climb when they wish to lay.

Youll cut the tires in half and let your chickens get inside them to lay their eggs.

What can I use for chicken nesting boxes?

Wood shavings, straw or sawdust are economical choices. Replace bedding every few weeks to keep the nest sanitary and attractive. Encourage chickens to use nesting boxes by placing plastic eggs or golf balls in the nests to simulate recently laid eggs.

How do you make a cheap chicken nesting box?

Plastic storage bins make a great way to have nesting boxes on a tight budget. You can purchase the storage bins at the dollar store. From there, use scrap wood or brackets to secure the bins to the coop. Fill it with hay, and your chickens will make it their new favorite laying spot in no time.

How many nesting boxes do I need for 6 chickens?

A good rule of thumb is to provide one nesting box per 4-6 hens.

In this article we cover everything you need to know about nesting boxes. How many your hens need, what size they need to be and much more. We also review some pre-made boxes and also give you 13 simple DIY nesting box plans to build your own.

They can sit and lay their egg in private and when done, simply hop off the nest and carry on with important things like foraging or dust bathing. In the wild a hen will find a quiet, secluded spot and make a nest.

Although it may look adorable to have two girls laying in the same box, it can be hard on the eggs as they frequently get broken. The benefits of plastic are that it is lightweight, washable and lasts for a long time. If you are using wooden boxes then remember that they are much heavier than plastic and may need some extra supports to safely hold them in place.

Pre-made nest boxes will have holes pre-drilled that lets you easily screw them to the wall. They need to be in the quietest and darkest area of the coop and placed between 18-24 inches from the ground. Do not place them under roosting perches as they will be covered in poop on a daily basis.

Whether you line the boxes up like soldiers or stagger them in height and location is a personal choice. Hens like to be fairly social when nesting, so lining them up is perfect for the ladies to have a chat while laying that egg. Installing them should not take you too long once you have your boxes, tools and hardware gathered together.

Curtains will help with the privacy, quiet and dark that hens prefer to lay in. Your curtains should fit over the front of the box and be made of a lightweight fabric that is easy for the girls to push aside. I am challenged when it comes to sewing so I prefer to use the empty feed sacks for my curtains.

It can take a bit of time to train your hens to use the nesting boxes. Once they start this behavior you can help to guide them by placing fake eggs (or golf balls) in the nest boxes. If you manage to find her in the act of laying elsewhere, try picking her up and putting her in a nest box.

The biggest issue you will find is getting the hens to use them for laying (read our training advice above). You can use cardboard doors to close the nests and then re-open the boxes in the morning ready for the hens to start laying. Finally, you will find that sometimes hens will completely ignore a nesting box .

If you have it placed in the busiest area of the coop with no privacy and lots of light then the hens are not going to use it. Hens are smart creatures and will try to minimize threats to their offspring (eggs) by laying in places they consider secure and well camouflaged. Nests are a touch small for larger breeds like Jersey Giants.

It is made of high density plastic so it will last a long time. The ingenuity of the Dakota nest design makes it a prime choice for backyard chicken coops. What makes this box special are the holes which allow for easy egg pickup.

This plan features two nesting boxes combined into one unit, so it will fit six hens. This nesting box has a unique A-framed design and because it is so tall it can accommodate larger breeds as well. If you are looking for a large nesting box that can be fixed to a coop then the Beverly design could be for you.

This plan is very similar to the Tabitha, except it includes an additional stack of three nesting boxes. Overall this plan is suitable for smaller coops that need the nests to be stacked on top of each other. Once your hens are ladies trained you do not need to search the yard for those tasty eggs.

New flock owners are always on the hunt for creative chicken nesting box ideas, so we asked our Backyard Poultry readers to share their suggestions, pictures, and advice! Take a look at these fun and original nesting boxes, upcycled from items around the house and farm or purchased on the cheap. Who knew you could get so much life out of Home Depot buckets, milk crates, kitty litter containers, and even mailboxes! Plus, dont miss these tips on the best bedding for chickens to make sure your bedding options are safe and comfortable.

BELOW: I use a nesting trough so no one fights over the same box if theres a favorite spot then they have the option of laying next to the current user if they cant wait their turn. BELOW: I got this from a young couple that makes and sells them for extra cash.

I am still looking for license plates to cover the rest of the top and sides, and curtains are next on my list. BELOW: We modified wooden crates, that are lined with a thick plastic mat and straw. In our coop and outside hut we actually use a square shoe organizer cubby we bought at Menards.

We have a single nest box that opens on the outside, and it is really wide, so three or more hens can use it at once, but no dividers. We found the hens would use the same ones anyway and didnt want to waste hubbies time build a bunch if they just choose favorites and share anyway. BELOW: We built a custom three-tier box to fit a vintage window.

I have wooden boxes built into a stall in the barn that are difficult to clean. Now when an egg breaks it doesnt stick to the wood and make a mess. Just lay them on their sides and prop up the front with a block of wood or a brick, works great!

Lots of room, though you wouldnt believe it and very easy to scrub clean! Boxes built onto the side of the coop that I can access easily. BELOW: We recycle and work was gonna throw this soda rack out!

Lawnmower catcher with wood shavings from hubbys toy making. I built my chickens nest boxes, but they preferred laying in discarded sinks and old toilets that were dumped on the ranch I was cleaning up. Plastic cat litter buckets on their side with the larger part of the cover removed, leaving the smaller part to be a stopper so the shavings dont get kicked out as much.

BELOW: Theyre numbered because the fronts are removable for cleaning, and were made for each box (not interchangeable). BELOW: 5-gallon bucks with holes drilled in the bottom so when I clean them the water can drain out. I mounted them in the front wall of my coop so I can just open the mailbox door and reach right inside!

If you do yard sales, old night stands can make a nest box, dressers too.

Pallet Nest Box

If you’re working on a tight budget, building your nesting boxes from pallets could be the way to go. This tutorial shows you how to use pallets to create the perfect nesting boxes.But the best part of building nesting boxes from pallets is they look good. Doing something on a budget doesn’t mean they have to look like it. These nesting boxes fit in this category.

Metal Wash Bin

Do you have an old washbin hanging around your property? Maybe you used it to plant flowers.If you’re done planting flowers in it and need a nesting box for your chickens, the old washbin could be what you need. Fill it with hay, and you have the perfect nesting box for little money.

Plastic Storage Bins

Plastic storage bins make a great way to have nesting boxes on a tight budget. You can purchase the storage bins at the dollar store.From there, use scrap wood or brackets to secure the bins to the coop. Fill it with hay, and your chickens will make it their new favorite laying spot in no time.

Kitty Litter Nesting Boxes

Do you have indoor cats? If this is the case, you also have plenty of empty litter containers. Why toss those containers to the landfill when they make perfect nesting boxes?You need to make a place for the containers to rest on their side. Next, fill them with straw. Before you know it, you’ll have plenty of nesting boxes for little money.

Upright Milk Crates

When we first began keeping chickens, we used these milk crates as our nesting boxes. They worked pretty well considering they are made cheap or for free.The only thing worth mentioning is it’s important to make sure you place something under the milk crates to ensure your eggs won’t fall through the slats.

Storage Tote Nesting Boxes

I enjoy a video tutorial from time to time to help walk me through different processes. This video is great for showing you how to create these nesting boxes.Plus, it shows how the boxes are meant to function. If you’re looking for an inexpensive and straightforward nesting box, you should check this idea out.

Gallon Bucket Nesting Boxes

If you’re a painter or someone who does drywall, you might come in contact with leftover buckets. Don’t let the buckets add to the clutter in landfills.Instead, use them to give your chickens nesting boxes. It’s simple to create and very inexpensive too.

DIY Bookshelf Nesting Box

Do you have an old bookshelf hanging around and aren’t sure what to do with it? If you need nesting boxes, your bookshelf found a purpose.These nesting boxes are easy to create, are a great way to repurpose an old piece of furniture, and they look nice too.

Diamond Shape Nesting Boxes

Everyone may not be able to understand this post because it’s written in a different language, but don’t let this deter you from checking out this idea. Even if you can’t understand the article, the idea is simple enough so you can create it regardless.You use milk crates and hang them at an angle where they look like diamonds. You place the crates together to form a larger diamond. They hang on the coop wall and appear to be both functional and appealing to the eye.

Linn Acres Farm Nesting Box Plans

These plans are phenomenal. They’re for nesting boxes which hang on the walls of the coop. The boxes take up less room than some designs which place the boxes on the floor as a standalone unit.However, these nesting boxes come with easy to read instructions. The plans are done on a computer which makes them easy to print off, read, and follow to give you the greatest opportunity for a successful build.

The Dresser Nesting Box

This is a unique way to use a piece of furniture which is no longer in use. You pull out some of the drawers of an old dresser and paint the dresser any color you like.From there, you turn two of the drawers into the nesting boxes. You’ll need to fill them full of straw and consider adding a divider or two to get more boxes.

External Nesting Boxes

I’ll be the first to admit; external nesting boxes are nice to have. You don’t have to go inside the coop to get an egg.Be aware you’ll want the lids to be on lock down because if not, a raccoon or snake can easily find their way into your boxes and take your eggs.

Wooden Barrel Nesting Box

Wine barrels can be rather expensive, but if you have one on hand which you aren’t using, consider putting it to use in your hen house.Turn the barrel on its side and fill it with straw. From there, the chickens crawl right inside and lay their delicious eggs in a fashionable nesting box.

Large Plastic Bowls

You can sometimes find large plastic bowls on sale at your local big box store towards the end of summer. If you hit a deal, buy a few.Next, fill them with straw or shavings and place them in your hen house. It’s an inexpensive way to give your hens the perfect location to lay eggs.

Covered Litterbox Nesting Boxes

Do you have an old litterbox your cats no longer use? Clean it out thoroughly and place it in your chicken coop.It doesn’t matter if the litterbox is covered. Hens like the privacy while they’re laying their eggs. It will provide the perfect location for your chickens to lay.

DIY Plywood Nesting Box

If you’re someone who prefers to build using plans, you should check this idea out. The plans are simple to follow.Also, they’re very well drawn out. The nesting boxes are built using plywood which makes them inexpensive too.

Tumbleweeds-and-Thyme Nesting Box Plans

This is another design of nesting boxes which are built to hang on a wall. If you would like to give your chickens as much space as possible in their coop, hanging their nesting boxes on the wall is the way to go.The particular design at hand is a great way to give ample laying space without taking up large amounts of floor space. It looks nice and appears to be simple to build.

Dishpan Nesting Boxes

Who knew dishpans could make such amazing nesting boxes? You can place a single dishpan, which has been braced to the wall, for your hens to lay in.Or you can do like this design, and place two dish pans on top of each other. This gives your hens more privacy as they lay.

Hanging Dresser Nesting Boxes

I’ve shared how you could take an old dresser and turn it into a nesting box for multiple hens. However, this idea takes things one step further.Instead of placing the dresser on the floor, they hang it on the wall and give the hens a ladder to climb when they wish to lay. This takes up no floor space and still functions well.

How many nesting boxes do chickens need?

A good rule to follow is one box for every three to four hens.Personally I prefer to have the ratio slightly higher (especially if you have more than a dozen or so chickens). Regardless of how many nests you have they will always squabble over their favorite box. Although most of the nesting boxes should be placed in the coop, you can have a couple placed around the inside of the barn.This makes sure that there are enough boxes for everyone in a variety of quiet spots.

Where should I put the nesting boxes?

This will mainly depend on the size of your chickens.Each nesting box should only accommodate one hen. Although it may look adorable to have two girls laying in the same box, it can be hard on the eggs as they frequently get broken.

Which material is best?

Your nesting boxes should be either wood or plastic. Both of these materials are durable and washable.The benefits of plastic are that it is lightweight, washable and lasts for a long time. On the other hand wood can look nicer and is very sturdy.

How To Install Nesting Boxes

Most nesting boxes will attach to the wall of your coop.You will need to make sure that the framework of your coop can support the number of boxes you will place.If you are using wooden boxes then remember that they are much heavier than plastic and may need some extra supports to safely hold them in place.Pre-made nest boxes will have holes pre-drilled that lets you easily screw them to the wall.You will need to decide where you are going to place your boxes.They need to be in the quietest and darkest area of the coop and placed between 18-24 inches from the ground. Do not place them under roosting perches as they will be covered in poop on a daily basis.If you have birds that do not fly well (such as Silkies) you can place the boxes on the floor for them.Whether you line the boxes up like soldiers or stagger them in height and location is a personal choice. Hens like to be fairly social when nesting, so lining them up is perfect for the ladies toInstalling them should not take you too long once you have your boxes, tools and hardware gathered together. Your hens will want to help!

How To Decorate Your Nesting Box

Some folks love to decorate their nesting boxes, while other people not so much.The chickens?They do not care much one way or the other, but there are some decorations that are beneficial to your hens.First of all you can use curtains.Curtains will help with the privacy, quiet and dark that hens prefer to lay in. Your curtains should fit over the front of the box and be made of a lightweight fabric that is easy for the girls to push aside.I am challenged when it comes to sewing so I prefer to use the empty feed sacks for my curtains.You can replace these curtains when they get dirty or damaged.Next you can also use herbs (pennyroyal, mint, lavender and chamomile).If you want to add some color you can add some marigold flowers. They are great insect deterrents and hens like to eat them too.

Training Hens to Lay In Nesting Boxes

It can take a bit of time to train your hens to use the nesting boxes.You need to start training your hens when they are at point of lay (usually around 16-20 weeks old). Once your pullets are thinking about laying eggs you should be able to tell from their behavior.They may be restless, anxious and distracted wandering from place to place looking forYou can expect a few hiccups along the way but once they get the idea they are usually more than happy to use the box.Another trick to getting them to use the box is to sprinkle some scratch or cracked corn in the box for a couple of days.Just make sure to keep the boxes clean and the bedding fresh.They will be reluctant to use them if there is any poop or dirt in it.Of course you will always have an independent hen that will lay wherever she wants to.If you manage to find her in the act of laying elsewhere, try picking her up and putting her in a nest box. Some folks have good success with this method although it might take a few times before she takes the hint.

Common Problems With Nesting Boxes

You should expect to come across many problems with your nesting boxes.The biggest issue you will find is getting the hens to use them for laying (read our training advice above).Another common issue isYou can use cardboardNext up is sharing nesting boxes – this is a common habit which should be discouraged. Hens are sociable creatures and enjoy the company of their sisters. They may look cute sitting together but you will likely end up with broken or at least dirty eggs. Chickens nesting together should be picked up and placed in another nesting box.Now onto broody hens. These chickens will choose a nesting box and sit, and sit and sit. This can be frustrating to the other chickens who may try to move her out, but if she is determined she will start screaming at them to go away and will be dishing out pecks to anyone who tries to move her. If you do not want chicks then you will need to hoist her out of the nest and break her from her broodiness.Finally, you will find thatIf you have it placed in the busiest area of the coop with no privacy and lots of light then the hens are not going to use it. Hens are smart creatures and will try to minimize threats to their offspring (eggs) by laying in places they consider secure and well camouflaged.

DIY Chicken Nesting Box Plans

Rite Farm Chicken Nesting BoxThese nesting boxes are very simple, effective and are suitable for most chickens.The Rite Farm Chicken Nesting Box comes in a pack of 6 nests. Each nest is made of durable molded plastic and measures 18″x12″x12″. These nests are very sturdy and have an egg gathering hole if you want to gather eggs from outside the coop. Each nest can either be placed on the floor or fixed to a coop wall. If you are looking for affordable nests that are easy to install then this is a good option for you.

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