1. The Chicken Boyy

    The Chicken Boyy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 17, 2008
    Charlotte, NC
    I need help with nest boxes my hens started laying about 4 days ago! I want a simple nest box. any suggestions or ideas are welcomed.

  2. RendonRoo

    RendonRoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 7, 2009
    ft. worth
    5 gal plastic buckets laid on side with half the lid cut off and throw in some straw. Make sure the bucket doesn't roll around. Depending on how many chicks you have you may need more than one. There is a thread here about a 3 hour coup and run. He has a nice pic of this. Good Luck Make sure the buckets you use didn't have harmful chemicals in it because the plastic can "soak up" the chemicals. I get pickle buckets from fast food restraunts quite often.
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2009
  3. KARL

    KARL New Egg

    Feb 17, 2009
    I used an old kitchen cabinet, took the doors off, hopefully it works
  4. mmtillman

    mmtillman Chillin' With My Peeps

    :)If you have several chickens this might help??
    I have 25 chicks coming in April and this is said to be more then enough nesting boxes for them.
    We just put this together from scrap wood we had after we built the coop. HOpe this helps! [​IMG]
    Good luck !

  5. waynesgarden

    waynesgarden Feathers of Steel

    Mar 30, 2008
    Oxford County
    You asked about nest boxes yesterday in another thread. No need to start multiple threads about the same question.

    Please don't take this the wrong way, but it seems like a lot of people are simply not prepared when it comes to their animals. Egg laying is not something that should catch anyone by surprise. It is something that one has a long, long time to prepare for.

    Being prepared is one of the responsibilities of animal ownership.


    {edited for spelling}
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2009
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Quote:The simplest is to use something you have on hand, at least on a temporary basis. There are a lot of good suggestions throughout this site. The 5 gallon buckets are a great idea and you can usually get them for free at a deli, a bakery, a restaurant, or a grocery store that has a deli or bakery. You can use a box, a cabinet, a sink, about anything you can find. If they can, the chickens will perch on the edge and flip it, so it needs to be stable.

    For full sized birds, the nest needs to be a minimum of 12 inches square. 14 or 16 inches is better, but chickens are adaptable. Some people use community nesting boxes where several hens can lay at the same time.

    The nest needs a lip across the front to keep the eggs and nesting material from being scratched out by the hens. 6 to 10 inches high is a good height.

    The top of the lip needs to be at least 12 inches from the top of the litter or floor, but more is better. If you have heavy hens you might need a perch or something for them to use to get to the nest if you make it more than 24 inches. The reason to have it up higher is to keep it cleaner. The hens will scratch the litter and poop from the floor into the nest if you don't.

    You can put an egg in the new nest to show the hens where they should lay. Fake eggs like the plastic easter eggs or wooden eggs work. If you use a real egg, mark it so you will know which is not fresh. Once they learn where to lay, you can remove the "nest" egg.

    You need a perch higher than the nesting box so they will not roost in or on the sides of the box. That keeps them from pooping in the nest as much so your eggs and the nesting material stays cleaner.

    The experts say to use one nest for every four hens. The idea is that the more hens that use the same nest the greater chance of them breaking an egg by accident while they are getting on or off the nest. However, many people will tell you that their hens will line up to wait for a popular nest while others are empty. I don't have any good answers on that. The hens are looking for a nest safe from predators, so one nest may seem more secure. They tend to like a darker, closed in nest. Maybe they see a hen using it or a "nest" egg already there and think, "If she thinks it is safe, it must be". Once they get used to using a specific nest, they will go back to that nest.

    I haven't kept chickens since I was a boy on the farm many, many. many, many years ago. Yep, more than forty. I've got my chicks ordered to arrive the end of April. Some of the above is from memory but a lot is from this site, other web sites, books, or magazines. I'm learning a lot from this site. As a note, you can check out good books or magazines from your library that really give you a lot of information.

    Once you get it set up, post a picture and let us know how it works or what you did to get it to work. We all need to keep learning. And include a shot of your chickens. People like to see them.
  7. al6517

    al6517 Real Men can Cook

    May 13, 2008
    These only took 2 sheets of plywood and a afternoon and they were done.


  8. The Chicken Boyy

    The Chicken Boyy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 17, 2008
    Charlotte, NC
    Well thanks to everyone that responded I appreciate the help. I would do my best to make my hens happy and secure while laying! [​IMG]

    (waynesgarden-I know I posted the same thing on another thread, somebody suggested to post it on this thread! Also I bought my hems I did not raise them. I didn't know the age of them, but thanks for the idea)

    (ridgerunner-man thanks you helped me a lot. Am sure I will post pics of my nests and my hens.)

    (al6517-nice picture & cool flock)
  9. The Chicken Boyy

    The Chicken Boyy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 17, 2008
    Charlotte, NC
    Well ladies and gentlemens this is what i came out with for now...





  10. chickenannie

    chickenannie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 19, 2007
    Fastest single nestbox (besides a cardboard box):
    Go to a pet store and buy a large cat litter pan with a high lid and set it on the floor of their coop. Hens love these!!!
    Fill it a few inches with straw or shavings, and I put a little step in front so they can hop up to the opening (take the plastic cat opening off). It's my new favorite chicken nest and also great for carrying chickens somewhere or if they need a hospital pen because it has a handle on top, and can be disassembled in one second and hosed down to be cleaned.

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