The best NEST BOXes for chickens
by Jennifer Behm – Chicken farmer| Last Updated – 27 January 2021
Chicken laying boxes
Hens will always seek out dark, quiet and secluded places to lay their eggs. By providing a suitable nest box within the coop, you can provide your hens with their ideal laying environment and space where you know their eggs will be clean and protected and easy for you to find!
Many traditional wooden hen houses have the nest box protruding at the side and access via a top locking lid, so you can open it and collect eggs with minimal disturbance to the hen-house as a whole. If you use this traditional layout always ensure that the nest box is kept locked or the lid is very heavy, as this is an unprotected outside area, it is easy for foxes to gain access to the house this way.
How many nest boxes do you need per chicken?
A nest box should be just a little larger than a crouching bird, around 12 inches square and about 9 inches high. Giving more height to a nest box is counterproductive, as the hen will try to sleep there and scratch around, potentially damaging the eggs. They will also foul the nest box more, meaning more work for you.
What do you put in a chicken nesting box?
Nest boxes should be lined with soft dry litter, (which should be changed regularly) and raised from the ground, but ideally never higher than the perches. You just need to ensure that the bedding is sufficient and that it is comfortable for the chicken. Up to three hens will share one nesting box happily, but if you have three hens, two nest boxes will be better. Greater consideration should of course be given to the comfort of the box if the hen is to raise chicks rather than just use the box as a laying area.
Chicken nesting box reviews
10 holes in 2 tiers; 50-60 hen capacity
Duncan's Poultry 4 Hole
|Standard Chicken Nest||
Harris Farms 2 Hole for chickens
|Nesting Box for Chickens||
Plastic Nest Box with Perch
|Plastic Nesting Box||
nesting boxes for chicken
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Wood chicken box
We figured it’d probably be best to go ahead and do a quick review on the nesting box that we’re using today. Some advantages and maybe some disadvantages to using this type of nesting box, we’ve used several different types of boxes. And for the most part, they were basic, so essentially a wooden box that had straw underneath that allowed the chickens to come up into and lay one after another lay eggs in a pile. And then once a day or twice a day, we would come and collect the eggs.
So now here in desert, it’s very, very dry. So we rarely have an issue with eggs getting dirty. But when you have them all sitting inside of a box, anybody who’s raised chickens nose, every once in a while you get one or two that likes to go in the box, and they go right on top of all the eggs. So they have a tendency to get a little bit dirty. And of course, when it rains, that is even more so. So that would be the first issue with a standard size standard box.
The second thing would actually be the chickens themselves eating the eggs. So obviously, you get one or two rogue chickens that is hungry for eggs, and they’ll chow down on those eggs that are in that pile. So those are the two major disadvantages.
Of course advantages very inexpensive, they’re very easy to make, you can make them out of scrap wood, and they’re very easy to move around. So if you have a box, you can easily move it from one place to the next. But in the end, they there are some challenges. So when we moved on to the new property, we took all of our hands with us, we have 13 laying hens, and we wanted to try out a new box.
Metal nesting boxes
After doing some research we found kind of settled on this one here. This is the homestead of the Metal nesting box. We really wanted something that helped to roll the eggs away from the chickens as they were laying also wanted something that was easy to clean and easy to collect as far as the eggs, and there are a few different options out there.
Now we actually just added this one, when we bought these, we bought the three box. And that’s actually been in use since October of last year. So about seven months, we just installed this one today, because we’re adding about 20 more laying hens to our flock here over the next couple of months biggest advantage. And what does work really well would be the eggs dropping down into this little bottom of the tray and staying away from the chickens and keeping them clean. So that does it’s very effective.
Now when we first brought our chickens in, we were a little nervous as to whether or not they would utilize these nesting boxes. So what we did is we took some straw, really thin layer of straw, just spread the straw in here. And when they first came in, the only thing they saw was a new coop new run and these weird things. So obviously, they’re curious, they went in and kind of peeked around a little bit right away. And then it didn’t take them long. Within a week, they were laying in these boxes, and it was working fantastic.
And even today, for the most part, all of the chickens lay in these boxes, with the exception of those bottom of the pecking order of chickens, we’ve got one in fact, she’s in here. Now, that’s top of the pecking order and she will literally drag some of them out of the nesting boxes. But that’s not unusual. She’s done that before. So definitely not a function or dysfunction of the box itself. That works just fine. So very easy for you to actually get the eggs. So they do pile up in here they work it works wonderfully.
We usually have multiple eggs in each one of these boxes with the 13 hens that we have. So very easy to get to. The second thing is very easy to clean, all you need to do is basically just pull these out. So it’s a there’s like a little lip in the back here. So basically you just pull on this, the whole thing comes out. So it’s very easy to pull out and clean. Now it is made out of plastic. So durability wise, I’m not sure how long these are going to last.
Plastic chicken nesting boxes
Obviously here, we’re really rough on plastic. So we’ll be a pretty good judge of that. But very easy to take them out and clean them when you do clean them and easy to put right back in and just kind of snaps into place once you get into the right spot. So very, very easy to put back.
Either way cost so cost would probably be the biggest disadvantage. It, it is a lot more expensive than building a wooden box on Amazon today. And obviously, the doubles and the triples are much more expensive.
One other thing. So they do talk a little bit about your chickens not been able to get into the eggs and pack them. And there’s a girl who’s in here right now with me who’s a menace to our eggs. And she knows it. She’s our top of the pecking order girl and she likes to look for eggs. So now what we noticed really quick is she figured out there’s holes at the bottom of these of these trays to allow dirt, poop, that kind of stuff water to get out from underneath here. Right away, she went from the bottom and started pegging it eggs underneath. So we taped them up so that she couldn’t get to the bottom. And as soon as we did that, she started poking her head down from the front where the eggs go in. And she finds the eggs that way.
So if you have a chicken that is really into eating eggs, she’s still going to figure out a way to get down to those eggs. I really do like these nesting boxes. I think that for us, we’re going to really put these to the test as far as the plastic is concerned because in my opinion, it seems like that’s probably the only real major disadvantage is the fact that the plastic is going to break down over time.
And here in Texas, our weather is extremely rough on plastic. So we’ll kind of see how these Hold up. Overall though, think it’s a good product as long as you’re willing to fork out the cash for it.
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