How big to make the boxes? I have heard everything from using an old square plastic milk crate - to using scrap lumber. Then I hear once a year you need to pull everything out and wash it. Which makes me think the plastic might be better.
I have heavy breeds. The laying boxes are 14x14x14 with a 4" lip in the front to keep the straw in. I also have a "privacy" curtains across the front. The boxes have holes cut in the back with a 6" hole saw and doors on the back so I don't have to go into the coop to collect the eggs. It is kinda funny when I open the door and there is a hen in there that isn't quite finished laying her egg. She will give me that ol' stink eye.
I have 21 chickens so I...well my hubby..built me some community boxes, because they love being together. He built two community boxes: 18 inches wide, 18 inches tall and 6 feet long each, he placed them one above the other about 12 inches from the ground, with a slanted top so they can't roost on top of it. we filled the inside with straw. We had Originally planned on nesting boxes instead of community, our original boxes were going to be 6 on top and 6 on bottom, slanted top again and 12 inches from the ground and each box is about 14 inches by 14 inches and 18 inches tall with again a 4 inch lip so the eggs can't be pushed out. I then painted my community boxes a beige colour with barn red accents. Now I just got to wait until they start laying as they are only 7 weeks old.
be sure not to put them under the roost or they will poop all over it!!
I use plastic covered kitty litter boxes and the girls love them! They are easy for cleaning being that they have a handle on top to lift and move around. The entry holes seem to be just the perfect size for them to get in and out and just the right amount of space....
I don't have a pic of it, but I found an old office cabinant I found for CHEAP, the kind used to organize papers, like a book case only with removable slats, and converted that to a nest box. I got six twelve by eighteen inch boxed out of it with some spaces in the middle of each row that are too small for the chickens to get into but make great little cubbies for me to stash stuff. It isn't pretty, but it works great and the girls love it. I have also used planters with hay in the bottoms,and my hens adopted an old bulk food bin that I was trying to use as a garbage can for the coop since it was already there. LOL, I think if it looks remotely like a nest, they are pretty game to try it.