Nesting boxes made from removable dish bins?

gtaus

Crowing
Mar 29, 2019
2,215
7,074
487
Northern Minnesota
My Coop
My Coop
I am building my first nest boxes for the coop. The 3 nest boxes will be internal to the coop, but I have an access door on the outside wall that allows access to the back of the nest boxes to collect the eggs.

The nest box design I am thinking about building is based on using plastic dish pan/bins from the Dollar Tree. The bins would be set on rails and the bin itself would be removable. I have read some old threads on this concept and have watched a few YouTube videos about this concept.

Advantages: Removable bins, easy to clean and/or replace, broody hen can be moved with bin and eggs all at once, plastic dish bins are only $1 each.

Disadvantages: ??? Nobody mentions any disadvantages of this concept.

If anyone has some disadvantages to using these plastic dish bins for nesting boxes, please let me know. Or, if any has some built next boxes with this concept and it works just fine, I would like to know that too. Thanks.
 

thisoldcoop

In the Brooder
Aug 12, 2018
16
26
47
Ont., Canada
Based the whole new design of my chicken coop on using $2.00 plastic bins. Husband designed the wooden structure to hold them. It will hold six bins but I currently just have four in them (the chickens are only using three!). They are fabulous! I use wood shavings, so if the chickens make a mess in the bin, I just dump the shavings and use the hose to rinse out the bin. I just toss in a couple of handfuls of shavings, and back in business! I don't have access from the back wall, I just walk into the coop and collect eggs that way.
 

Celticdragonfly

Crowing
May 17, 2018
1,054
4,301
317
Saginaw, TX
If they fit and hold up to it, that sounds like a very clever idea to me. My pullets aren't laying yet, so I don't know how much of a mess you tend to get in nest boxes. We just have the commercial nest pads in there, and they go in occasionally and poop some so we've replaced the pads.
 

Aunt Angus

Free Ranging
Jul 16, 2018
4,498
11,482
712
Nevada County, CA
I've seen great nesting boxes made this way! I used file crates until I decided to male external boxes to free up room in my coop.

I did read about a person who used the plastic bins and didn't secure them well, so the chickens would tip them over if they jumped on them a certain way. But your rail system sounds like it will prevent that from happening.

Be sure to post pics when you're done!!! Sounds like it's going to be awesome!
 

thisoldcoop

In the Brooder
Aug 12, 2018
16
26
47
Ont., Canada
IMG_2708.JPG
 

gtaus

Crowing
Mar 29, 2019
2,215
7,074
487
Northern Minnesota
My Coop
My Coop
Based the whole new design of my chicken coop on using $2.00 plastic bins. Husband designed the wooden structure to hold them. It will hold six bins but I currently just have four in them (the chickens are only using three!). They are fabulous! I use wood shavings, so if the chickens make a mess in the bin, I just dump the shavings and use the hose to rinse out the bin. I just toss in a couple of handfuls of shavings, and back in business! I don't have access from the back wall, I just walk into the coop and collect eggs that way.

Glad to hear that it works for you. I'm really leaning towards the plastic bin nest box design.
 

gtaus

Crowing
Mar 29, 2019
2,215
7,074
487
Northern Minnesota
My Coop
My Coop
My pullets aren't laying yet, so I don't know how much of a mess you tend to get in nest boxes.

My chicks are only 9 weeks old, so I have yet to experience if they will mess up the next boxes, or not. But I would imagine it doesn't make a difference if the nest box was wood, metal, or plastic as far as the hens messing up the nest box. At least with the plastic bin design, it would be very easy to remove the bin and clean it out. Also, if I find the girls are sleeping and messing in the nest box, I'll probably put up a barrier at night to prevent overnight sleeping.
 

gtaus

Crowing
Mar 29, 2019
2,215
7,074
487
Northern Minnesota
My Coop
My Coop
I used file crates until I decided to male external boxes to free up room in my coop.

I live in northern Minnesota. I have been told by many locals that I should have the nest boxes internal to the coop because our winters are too long, too cold, and the external boxes just don't work so good for our area. The access door on the external wall allows me to access the eggs inside, but in the winter, I can staple plastic over the outside door to make it airtight. I can still access the eggs from inside the coop.

Having said that, I have framed my chicken coop walls where I could easily build the external nest boxes if I find I need more room in the coop.
 

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