Nesting box suggestions

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by harwintonCTchicks, Feb 11, 2011.

  1. harwintonCTchicks

    harwintonCTchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 13, 2011
    Northville, MI
    Hi Everyone,

    I'm planning ahead for my new coop this spring. This will be my first time keeping chickens and I'm wondering if anyone has any budget friendly suggestions for nesting boxes.

    My coop will be within a large shed and I want something that is accessible and easy to clean but also well liked by the hens.

    Does anyone have experience with milk crates? What type of nesting material is best?

    Thanks for your input!

  2. gmendoza

    gmendoza Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 23, 2010
    Rock Hill,SC
    Milk crates are good,just put a stop in front of it so they dont kick out the nesting material. Also stray,hay,pine shavings/needles work well.

    To your discresion. [​IMG]
  3. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2009
    Take a a lidded plastic bin at least 1' by 1' by 1' and cut out one end of it, leaving a lip of about 2" at the bottom to hold the bedding in. Voila! I found lidded boxes with an opening already in the front, but unfortunately the model has been discontinued. I wish I'd bought more than two when they were available.

    Plastic makes the best nestbox in my opinion because it's easy to clean and there are no crevices to harbor mites. I love having nestboxes that I can move around, too. In the summer, when the risk of mites is highest, once a week I take my nestboxes over to the composter, dump out the bedding, hose them off and let them dry in the sun. Then I dust the bottom of each box with poutry dust, put in fresh bedding, and replace.

    If you have broodies to manage, moveable nestboxes are great, too. You can move the broody right in the box without disturbing her to a separate place where she won't be bothered by the rest of the flock and can brood and raise her chicks in peace.

    RAREROO Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 22, 2009
    Alapaha, Ga
    Quote:I agree, the plastic storage bins are the best in my opinion. Cut a hole in the side big enough for them to go in, one bin can comfortably hold to hens as most of mine like to lay in the same box and when I used smaller wooden nest boxes they would cram themselves in together. And also they are light weight, super easy to clean, and if you have a broody you can move her with the box and put a new box in.
  5. Rockerchic

    Rockerchic Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 23, 2010
    Hi HarwintonCT,
    I use a large plastic shoe box for my nest box. It's the size you would use for ankle boots, not huge but larger than a regular shoebox. This is large enough for a regular large chicken, like an Americaunan, and I have even seen her sharing the box with her friend, a large PBR. I fill it about 2/3 with straw, and let the girls shape the straw to suite themselves.I love that it is very lightweight, and a breeze to clean up, since I just cary it to the faucet and give it a good wash out every once in a while. I did not cut the front of the box down at all, since they enter from the side where I have a shelf for the bird to stand on, which also keeps the box from moving very far. I have also seen one gal here use a kitty litter pan as a nest box, perfect since it already has a lowered front. You might also want to consider using disposable baking pans, or just be creative and look aroung. Maybe even the disposable lid from baked goods? Let us know what you decide to use, and good luck.
  6. wsdareme

    wsdareme Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 9, 2010
    Yelm, WA
    Here's what we used to make our nest boxes:


    It's an old pressed board cupboard that we laid on its side, added vertical dividers, and used plastic dishwashing tubs from Wally World with the fronts cut down. We need to add one more board to the front of the top and bottom rows because the girls have a heyday kicking the bedding out of the nests. The plastic tubs are super easy to clean. What's really funny is seeing which ones they prefer to lay in. The top ones are not very popular unless the bottom ones are full. The bottom left and bottom third-from-left are the most popular.
  7. Sinfonian

    Sinfonian Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 24, 2011
    Seattle area
    For my portable ark, I intend on using an old cat carrier. A tad challenging to collect, but as I understand it, hens don't ALWAYS lay in the morning due to their 25 hour laying schedule, so they won't always have access to the coop and nesting boxes.

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