Every backyard chicken enthusiast knows the importance of a good nesting box. In this article, we’ll explore DIY chicken nesting box ideas that are cost-effective, customizable, and fun to make.
Understanding Chicken Nesting Boxes
A chicken nesting box is a crucial part of any coop. It’s where your hens will lay their eggs. These boxes provide a safe, comfortable, and private spot for your chickens, ensuring they lay eggs in a designated area rather than randomly around the coop.
While the boxes are perfectly suited for egg-laying, they are not to be used for just hanging out because, as we all know, chickens tend to poop a lot no matter where they are. A dirty nesting box is a perfect disease breeding ground and we don’t want that.
The Benefits of DIY Chicken Nesting Boxes
One significant advantage of DIY chicken nesting boxes is their cost-effectiveness. Pre-made nesting boxes can be expensive, and the costs can quickly add up, especially for larger flocks. Building your own allows you to control costs, and you can even repurpose existing materials.
To this end, you can start putting away scraps of plywood. wooden crates, short 2×4’s and so on in a storage area earmarked for chicken-related projects like nesting boxes.
With a DIY approach, you can tailor each box to the specific needs of your chickens and the space available in your coop. Whether you’re catering for a small or large flock, your DIY chicken nesting boxes can be customized to an ideal size and layout.
Wherever your creativity leads you, make sure that your chickens agree that yours is a good idea because if you don’t you can have this happen to you…
These eggs were pulled out from under my chicken coop because the girls preferred the dark privacy of the “basement” to the brighter nesting boxes I provided. You can see the speed jack in the background that I used to jack up the coop. All I had to do to remedy the situation was block access to the basement with chicken wire.
Maintenance and Control
By building your own chicken nesting boxes, you’ll have complete control over the materials used, which means you can ensure they are safe, sturdy, and easy to clean. Plus, when you’re the builder, making modifications or repairs becomes much simpler.
Materials Needed for DIY Chicken Nesting Boxes
Common materials include wood (for the structure), straw or shavings (for bedding), and screws or nails (for assembly). Ensure your materials are safe and non-toxic for your flock. Most of these can be sourced from your local hardware store or online.
Step-by-Step Guide to Building a DIY Chicken Nesting Box
Planning the Design
First, determine how many boxes you’ll need. A good rule of thumb is one box for every three to four hens. Consider accessibility for both the chickens and yourself (for cleaning and egg collecting).
Another option I will try in my second coop is a single-compartment community nesting box for a new batch of 12 Sex Link hens to lay in. It will be a foot high, four feet wide, and 18 inches deep.
Assembling the Materials
Once you have your design and materials, prepare everything for assembly. Remember, safety first! Use gloves and eye protection, especially when cutting wood or handling screws or nails.
Follow your design plans carefully during assembly. Secure all sides of the box, make sure the entrance is wide enough for your hens, and fill the interior with a comfortable layer of bedding.
Preplanning is very helpful. You can go at your nesting box construction willy-nilly but it’s easier and the boxes go together with less frustration if you think about them before you start cutting.
Trust me… everything doesn’t have to be perfect. I threw these together on the tailgate of my trusty old 2500 and they turned out just fine.
Positioning the Nesting Boxes
Choose a quiet and darker corner of your coop for your nesting boxes, which can help your hens feel secure. The boxes should be positioned off the ground but lower than the highest roosting pole.
Additional DIY Nesting Box Ideas
If you’re feeling creative, there are many ways to make unique nesting boxes. From converting old furniture or crates to building multi-story “chicken condos”, the possibilities are endless. For more ideas, check out this guide for inspiration.
Tips for Maintaining DIY Chicken Nesting Boxes
Regularly cleaning your chicken nesting boxes is vital to keep them hygienic and attractive to your hens. Monitor for signs of wear and tear, and don’t hesitate to repair or replace elements when needed.
DIY chicken nesting box ideas are an excellent way to ensure your backyard chickens are happy, healthy, and productive. Remember, a comfortable chicken is a laying chicken. So, don your DIY hat, grab your tools, and create the perfect haven for your hens.
As always, thanks for reading. Please leave a comment if you are moved to do so. Good luck with your DIY nesting box project. Have fun with it. You’ll do fine.