As more and more people turn to sustainable living the demand for chickens continue to rise! The Chicken Coop Designs and sales have also increased!
One of the most basic needs are Chicken Coop Nesting boxes! Every coop or house needs a nesting box for the hens!
In each coop one nesting box will accommodate 3 – 4 of those worthy ladies! This will allow them to pay their way or as my granny used to say, “earn their keep”!
Without nesting boxes the possibility of egg breakage increases!
A good nest will hold your eggs together and in one place. It also helps keep them up and above the chicken waste on the floor area. No nest will keep them completely clean. Washing them after you gather them is not recommended as this affects the shell and shelf life of the egg.
The best thing about a chicken nest, it can be made from a variety of products!
Plastic Office Trays (The “U” shaped ones with legs)
Large Galvanized Ells (Turned upside down)
Cat Litter Box with a top (Remove flap if there is one) (This also makes a great portable nesting box if you have a portable Chicken Tractor)
Old Plastic Milk Crates
Large Tin Cans
Old Wine Barrel cut in half
To see most of the materials above in use, check out this post on Nesting Boxes.
Whatever you use, you will need to have a piece of something across the front of the nest to retain the hay so it isn’t dragged out as the hens move back and forth from the nest. Some of these items will already have a front like the Cat Litter Box.
Many of the items above can be used to make stacked nesting boxes such as the milk crates, plastic buckets and lumber. This style of nesting box saves a lot of space compared to putting them side by side.
A nesting box needs to be around 14” square and 14” to 17” inches tall with a 4 inch lip on the front to hold the nesting material in.
A lot of folks are using metal for the nest and this is ok as long as you make sure the edges and corners are folded.
A metal nest with sharp corners or edges can damage your hen’s feet. You don’t want your ladies hurt as this can affect your egg count. Not to mention, no one would want one of these pets hurt unnecessarily. That is one reason for a good manufactured one with that in mind!
I would recommend rounding the front edge of the entrance of any nest you build. This makes it more comfortable for your hens.
Just like the roosting poles need rounded. Lots of folks use 2×4 lumber but this needs the edges removed so it does not cut into the chicken’s feet while roosting.
These three materials are among the most popular with chicken folks. Now, you can use carpet, paper, etc. There are no rules here. Just remember the chickens will try to rearrange the nest before they lay.
Don’t forget the lip of you will loose a lot of your bedding! The chickens will drag it out as they leave the nest and as they kick around to adjust the nest!
Whatever material you choose, just be sure to get you some nesting material that will be soft for your hen and eggs.
There are Chicken Coops and Houses our Affiliates provide with nest already built in and you can see them in the pictures below.
We do receive a small commission from these sales but it in no way affects your cost.
We also offer books with instruction on how to build your own chicken coops with and without nest attached. Many coops have the nesting box on the outside for your convenience!
Smaller mobile coops and chicken tractors are also much easier to manage in a small environment such as in the city or restricted rural areas! The Mobile Chicken Tractors can also have nest built in them also.
A good guide for raising chickens can be found in the article on How To Take Care of Chickens on our blog.
Whether you want to build your own coop nest or purchase one, you now have options! You can find how to build your own nest in the link under the Chicken Nest Material above or you can purchase a variety of nest from our trusted affiliate!
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