We learned nesting boxes are essential to any coop. They give the bird a comfortable, private and safe place to lay an egg. Honestly, most chickens will lay an egg anywhere, but do you really want to have an Easter egg hunt every single day?
Chicken nesting boxes are the way to go!
The boxes don’t have to be fancy or even hand built. We built ours, but we have seen nesting boxes made from crates, tubs, 5-gallon buckets, and even tires! As long as it has enough space to make your chickens comfortable just about any spot will do.
Our chicken nesting boxes we made from wood. Curtis made cubbies with the openings being 12 x 12. We wanted our birds to have plenty of room. This also doesn’t limit your breed options. Some birds are larger than others and a 12 x 12 chicken nesting box ensures no matter what breeds you select, the bird will fit in the box!
Our cubbies contained three boxes. Curtis then put legs on them, painted them and now they stand in the coop. He then made a second set of cubbies, these a bit different. They contain two boxes and are more rectangle in nature instead of square. He put legs and paint on these as well. We also hung curtains up so the birds have some privacy, and they absolutely love them! But how many boxes do you need?
Chicken nesting boxes go further than you might think!
As a beginner, you might think you need a nesting box for every chicken. That’s what we thought when we first started keeping birds. What we soon learned was that chickens will share a nesting box. It’s not uncommon for us to walk out to the coop and find three birds in one box! Even though there’s a pecking order when it comes time to lay eggs, it’s like they all forget about where they rank and they just climb in and encourage each other to earn their keep!
If you don’t know, we have 35 hens. You might expect to walk out to our coop and see 35 chicken nesting boxes. But we actually have only FIVE! That’s right. Because the birds share and some birds lay early morning, while others lay early afternoon there is plenty of room for you what your chickens need.
Whether you decide on using crates, 5-gallon buckets, or build your own remember that when it comes to nesting boxes, they go a long way.
~Until Next Time,
Question: What do you use for chicken nesting boxes and how many do you have?