Best DIY Chicken Nesting Boxes Ideas To Create

Chicken Nesting Boxes are essential for your poultry business or hobby. Although a hen can lay their eggs anywhere, it naturally seeks a comfortable, cozy, and private egg-laying location. 

Birds in the wild tend to build their nests to shelter their eggs. As you provide nesting boxes for your chickens, you also give the most natural environment for your animals. It will also prevent stress on the hens as they seek the best location for egg-laying. 

Also, peeing into the boxes and seeing that the hens have laid their eggs each morning gives joy to every poultry owner. This joy is irreplaceable primarily if you have invested time, money, and effort in your chickens. 

Thus, this article will discuss how to create a nesting box in your backyard and some of the best materials to use. Meanwhile, if you want to avoid building one, we will introduce some products you can buy ready-made today.

Best Materials to Use for Chicken Nesting Boxes

Creating a nesting box can be simple or complicated, depending on the materials you wish to use, budget, and creativity. 

The best materials that you can use are those that are easy to sterilize and clean. Some of these are plastic and metal materials. Both can be scrubbed, bleached, and sanitized quickly to prevent the accumulation of dirt and the spread of foul smell in your boxes. 

Chicken owners widely use plastic and metal since they don't absorb the feces or cleaning products you use. Meanwhile, wooden chicken boxes are easy to install, readily available anywhere, and eco-friendly. However, cleaning it can be extra challenging.

Best DIY Chicken Nesting Boxes Ideas To Create

Alternative Materials

There are materials available in your backyard that you can use as the chicken nesting box. Nests need not be expensive; you can even build one for your animals. Furthermore, you don't need expert carpentry skills to make these nests; you can also start from scratch. Here are some materials you can use to make chicken nesting boxes:

Cat Litter Nesting Box
Clean your old cat litter boxes and convert them into a chicken nesting box. Put some wood shavings and other linings on it, and you can now let your hens lay their eggs peacefully.
Dishpan Nesting Boxes
You can also try an old dishpan to make it a nesting box for your hens. Just cut the front, and you can now put it on the frame. You can do a broader version using small litter boxes and other storage containers.
Milk Crates
Take your old milk crate and attach rigid cardboard to it to make a lip. You can also put screws on the wood to connect it to the coop.
Old Plastic Buckets
In making nesting boxes using plastic buckets, you will need the following materials:
  • 2' x 4' plywood boards
  • 5-gallon old plastic buckets
  • Bike tubing
  • Knife
  • Screw or nails
  • Straw or wood shavings
  • Wire
First, clean your old plastic buckets thoroughly. Then, using a knife, cut it out to two-thirds of the lid. Next, attach an old bike tubing on the cover to protect the delicate feet of the hens from the sharp edges of the sheet that you cut. Attach the bucket to the boards and coop to keep it sturdy. Lastly, put some straw or wood shavings inside the nesting boxes.
Old Tire
Please don't throw your old tires yet; you can still use them for your poultry business. Cut the tires in half and make it a nesting box. Put straw, hay, or wood shavings on it.
Plastic Bowls
 Use old plastic bowls in your kitchen and convert them into a nesting box. Use those with different colors to make them more attractive to the hens. Put some straw on it and place it on a dark section of the chicken house.
Scrap Wood
You can also convert your old bookshelf, toy storage, furniture, wine crate, and other scrap wood into a nesting box. Just be creative and make a masterpiece with care.
Wine barrels, Whiskey Barrels, or Drums
It is good to make your nesting boxes portable so you can cope with the egg-laying habits of the hens. You can make a nesting box using a barrel in ten minutes. The materials to use are as follows:
  1. Cordless drill
  2. Wire
  3. Wooden barrel cut in half
  4. Wooden Slab
First, take a slab of wood and make small holes in it. Then, make sure you also make the exact size of holes in the barrel. Finally, join the two using a wire. You can paint the slab with something colorful to make it appealing to the chickens.

Easy DIY Chicken Nesting Boxes You Can Try

Compiled a few DIY below to use as examples for you as you construct nest boxes. Here are five handmade chicken nesting boxes that are simple, affordable, and useful.

1. 5-gallon Nesting Boxes


Image from Pinterest

The perfect nesting box is a bucket. To stop the eggs from rolling out, it is advisable to put a bar across the bottom.

2. Nesting Wheel Rims

Image from Pinterest

This is a clever way to recycle old wheels. Anything that will accommodate a big pile of straw bedding can create a comfy nest box for chickens. However, some hens prefer a covered nest box for added privacy.

3. Nesting Boxes Made of Wood

Image from Pinterest

These personalized chicken nesting boxes only require a small amount of wood and a few simple tools. If you want to store wooden nesting boxes outside, it might be best to cover them with sheet metal because wood tends to distort or rot when exposed to the outdoors.

4. Nesting Boxes Made of Milkcrates

Image from Pinterest

You can quickly construct chicken nesting boxes out of milk crates if you don't like to saw or hammer. You can either place them on the floor of the chicken coop covered in bedding, like in the picture above, or you can creatively hang them.

5. A-Frame Nesting Boxes

Image from Pinterest

Simple chicken nesting boxes are possible. A few pieces of leftover wood can be used to construct this simple design. Rot is the only obvious problem with a design like the one below. Please carefully add legs or place bricks underneath a nesting box you create if you want to keep the dampness off the bottom.

Get Your Chickens to Lay Eggs in Nesting Boxes

Even though your hens may instinctively find their new nesting boxes and lay eggs without any issues, there always seems to be one or two that require a little encouragement. Fortunately, you have a few options you can explore to get your chickens to use the nesting boxes you have given.

Best DIY Chicken Nesting Boxes Ideas To Create

1. Ensure that nothing scares them away.

Make sure nothing around is making them uneasy about your nesting boxes and check the positioning of your nesting boxes. This can be fixed by hanging a cloth or cover over the opening. 

2. Having the Right Amount of Nesting Boxes Is Important

A couple of your chickens may try to lay their eggs somewhere else if you have a few nesting boxes.

3. Put a golf ball or fake egg in your nesting box. 

By placing a nest egg (a fake egg) in your nesting boxes, you are signaling to your hens that it is safe for them to lay their eggs there as well. Some birds need to know that others have been using the nesting boxes to deposit their eggs. It boosts their confidence and encourages them a little.

4. Keep them inside the coop until midday.

Most chickens lay their eggs in the morning, so coop isolation may encourage them to use the nesting boxes you've given rather than the run.

5. Regularly clean your boxes.

Cleaning your boxes frequently can encourage chickens to continue laying their eggs in the exact location because they want to feel secure and at home when they are doing so.

Limits Per Nesting Boxes and Linings

Experts recommend poultry owners have one nesting space for at least five chickens. The idea is to provide enough space for the hens to lay their eggs properly. 

Meanwhile, the linings of the boxes can be wood shavings, shredded newspapers, or sawdust. Some owners use grass clippings; you can do it, too, if you don't treat your lawn with chemicals. 

Some poultry shops today offer rubber mats that fit in the bottom of the nesting box, and you can opt for these products. It is easy to clean, and it can last a long time. 

Hay and straw can be moldy and can cause adverse effects on the health of the chickens. Thus, always clean them for about 4 to 6 weeks if you wish to use these materials.

Keeping Predators Out of the Nesting Boxes

Best DIY Chicken Nesting Boxes Ideas To Create

Experts recommend that the nests be inside the chicken house for easy access to egg gathering and periodic cleaning. Chickens must not lay their eggs outside on the ground because predators can detect and eat them. 

Some hens will have less interest in soiling nests inside the chicken house, especially if the nests are on the darkest part of the building, which is far from the outside activity. A piece of burlap at the front of the nest can be a sound barrier. 

Do not let your chickens do anything else, but only lay their eggs in the nests by shooting them out when you see them loitering.

General Guidelines for Making Chicken Nesting Boxes

 Hens are comfortable when the size of the nesting boxes can accommodate their body size. Indeed, the nest should be too large rather than too small. Here are some of the general guidelines for making it:

  1. For standard-breed chicken, the nest size should be 1' deep, 1' wide, and 1' tall. For bantams, it should be 10" high, 12" wide, and 10" deep. Meanwhile, for larger breeds like Jersey Black Giants and New Hampshire, the nest must be 12" wide, 14" high, and 12" deep.
  2. It must be 3-4 feet off the ground to prevent predators from getting the eggs.
  3. Put a burlap on the front entrance to protect the hens, give them privacy, and make their surroundings darker.
  4. The nest's opening must be 1' high so hens can enter quickly.
  5. The roof must be steep, with a 45-degree angle. With this, the chickens won't sit on the top and soil the nest at night.
  6. A wooden lip should measure about 4" high across the bottom front to keep litter in place.

Some poultry owners provide ladders to the nests. However, predators can use this ladder to access the eggs. What you can do instead is to let hens fly in and out on perches that you install in the entrance. 

You can also buy pre-made Chicken Nest Boxes on Amazon for your convenience. Here are our recommendations.

Best Rollaway Chicken Nest Box (Medium - 24")

The Best Nest Box Rollaway Chicken Nest Box is a must-try community box for your chickens. The product is made from galvanized metal, and it is made in America. It has nest pads that measure 1" x 1" on the wire mesh, enabling better air circulation. 

You can convert it to either a rear or front rollaway. Meanwhile, the bottom egg tray is mountable on either the box's back or front side and is reversible at any time. It also has an egg guard positioned in the laying area to prevent the chicken from damaging the eggs in the tray.

Moreover, the product can stand freely due to its robust construction. It includes eye rings if you wish to mount them on the wall. 

Unlike other boxes, this product has vinyl flaps which make the interior darker and makes the hens feel more hidden and secure. It also has no dividers, so the chickens will not crowd. Finally, the product is easy to assemble, requiring a wrench and a screw.

Check the Price on Amazon here.

Brower 410B Poultry 10-Hole Nest

This product is available in various sizes, which are 4-hole, 6-hole, 8-hole, and 10-hole products. The 10-hole nest has a capacity of 50 to 60 hens and two tiers. This nesting box is removable and easy to assemble. 

Plus, the exposed edges can be folded to prevent injury to the owners. It is made from galvanized steel and has ventilation holes to make air circulation easy. The bottom is removable for easy cleaning and replacement of the litter. It would help if you had a wrench and a screwdriver to assemble the product. 

As to the specifications, the nest opening has a measurement of 12" x 12" x 7.25," and its overall length is 60". Meanwhile, the height at the front and back is 27.62".

Check the Price on Amazon here.

Miller Manufacturing 163620 Single Chicken Nesting Box

You can purchase the Miller Manufacturing single box for a wall-mount chicken nesting box. This product is made of high-density polyethylene and is resistant to impact. 

Plastic like this product will not corrode, rust, or rot. Its roof is sloped so that you can prevent roosting. You can mount it on the wall using a screw. This product also has a perch to give hens a place to land before they enter the nest. It also includes built-in holes to have fresh air.

Check the price on Amazon here.

Precision Pet 7029288 Triple Nesting Box

If you are looking for a nesting box made of wood, you can try the product of Precision Pet. It is available in three nesting boxes, and it prevents the sharing of chicken nests. Also, it is made of plywood with an overall dimension of 35.25" x 12.5" x 12.5," and it is easy to assemble.

Check the price on Amazon here.

Rite Farm Products 6-Pack Poly Egg Nesting Box

If you want a washable nesting box, try the Rite Farm 6-pack poly egg nesting box.

It has an oval opening on the back for a quick gathering of eggs from the rear side of the coop. 

Also, this nesting box is made of high-density polyethylene. It is resistant to impact, rust-free, and corrosion-free. Unlike metal boxes, this product will not hold heat or cold, suitable for all kinds of weather. It also has a hole in the base's rear for easy cleaning. 

You can mount these boxes on the wall using screws or bolts and buy them at any local store. The product measures 12" x 12" and has a space on the side so you can mount it vertically.

Check the price on Amazon here.


Overall, chicken nesting boxes are an essential part of the growth of your chickens. With this, you can provide a safe place for your hens so they can lay their eggs in peace and without stress. 

You can make the chicken nesting boxes out of inexpensive materials or scraps in your background. Just be creative and make one with extreme care. However, if you want to avoid exerting effort in making one, you could buy a ready-made nesting box on the market today, such as the five products mentioned above.

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