So here is what I made today. A real "box" nest box installed where the hay rack used to be. The flock live in an old horse stable barn with 3 stalls a tack room and 4 open sided stalls under the roof. Nothing too fancy. The horses turned their noses up at it. Oh darn, more room for chickens.
So start with a plain, clean cardboard box and cut 2 big square holes to let the hens in and some air vents for our 100+ degree days.
...oh ya... and always have turkey supervision when using a machete.
Check to see if it is structurally sound
place it inside the feed rack door
Nail up some old, rusty shelf brackets that have been laying around since the original owner that you knew you would find a use for.
Drive some more nails through the box to hold it to the wall as you know there will be a scuffle when the hens all want to use the same box at once no matter how many free boxes there are. "Aren't you done yet, I really gotta go"
Add shavings, some marker eggs, and a banty to the box to try it out. Be sure to feed your super model, chick starter is always a bonus.
Close it up so the ladies can do their business in private.
Wow! New box was a big hit! I saw at least 4 hens exploring it right away and one of the shy ones even laid an egg in it in less than an hour after it was done.
Cost: 8 nails, 12 " tape, reused calcium box, found shelf brackets... um...free
Watching the kids enjoy the new penthouse...Priceless