Brown hen sitting in a nesting box
Essential accessories

Nesting Boxes: The Only Guide You’ll Ever Need


Unless it’s Easter, you probably don’t want to be finding an egg in every corner while going on your morning walk.

Nesting boxes are more for humans than they are for chickens. They serve as a proper structured place for hens to lay eggs.

Chickens don’t mind laying eggs in any place, but of course, you would mind picking eggs from every corner.

I will tell you everything that you need to know about nesting boxes for chickens along with some of the best ones. And yes! I will teach you how to make them yourselves as well.

What Nesting Boxes Are?

Nesting boxes are boxes of plastics, wood or metal (rarely used). They are just the perfect size for one of your hens to go inside them and just sit. You can use any of the three materials mentioned.

You can either get these pre-made or make them yourselves. If you don’t have a lot of time on your hands, I would suggest just going for a readymade one.

Why Use a Nesting Box in the First Place?

A nesting box provides a safe and private place for your hens to lay their eggs in. In some cases, this can increase the egg-laying rate of your hens.

A proper structure means you have to spend less time roaming around finding eggs. You can save your time and spend it on things that matter.

Not only will you provide a proper space for your chickens to rest in, but you will also provide them with a place to lay their eggs in peacefully.

Ideal Ratio

You should have no more than 6 chickens in one nesting box. Even though you can fit in many more, it is not advisable to do so.

Chickens, like any other animal, prefer space. I would recommend using one nesting box for five hens.

Top 3 Nesting Boxes for Your Chickens

Let’s face it. Not everyone has the time to pick up a drill and wood and become Bob the Builder. A lot of us have other things to do as well. Plus, not everyone has the skills that one needs to make a high-quality nesting box.

So, you can buy them. I cover each and every nesting box thoroughly. Look for whatever you want in a specific box.

3 Hen Metal Nesting Box


3 hen metal nesting box
  • Sturdy and made of metal
  • includes a lid cover
  • rolls out
  • Dimensions of each box are: 10.5 “ x 10.5” x 20.5”

The best thing about this nesting box is it’s design that encourages the eggs to roll down under it’s lid and ensures that they are safe there and don’t get cracked. I am always a big fan of sturdy materials, be it any accessory. What can be better other than the galvanized steel which is used in the formation of this nesting box except the trays, which of course are to be cleaned on and off. Assembly is quite easier and gives a great look once assembled.


  • Sturdy and made of metal
  • Includes a lid cover
  • Rolls out
  • Decent dimensions
  • Egg drop


  • Only accommodates 3 hens

4,6,10 Hen Metal Nesting Box

metal nesting box for four hens
  • Sturdy and made of metal
  • good ventilation
  • Capacity for 4, 6 or 10 at one time
  • Can be assembled without using any professional tools

Galvanized steel construction makes it best to withstand wear and tear. Nest bottoms are removable that makes it easier for the person to clean the base. Assembly requires not much time and can be done without using any special tools. Ventilation holes are there to ensure proper oxygen levels inside the boxes where mommy hens don’t have any difficulty in laying. It can accommodate 4, 6 or 10 hens according to the size of your choosing.


  • Made of metal
  • Good ventilation
  • Accommodates 4, 6 or 10
  • Egg drop


  • Expensive
  • Does not roll out

Single Plastic Nesting Box

plastic nesting box for one hen
  • Budget-friendly
  • Better thermals because of plastic

Best for starters and extremely affordable in price, this plastic nesting box is my favorite. Made up of good quality plastic, this nesting box is easy to clean. Secondly, the thing which I like about this material is that it does not get as cold as metal, making it a comfortable laying place for mommy hens. It does not rust or corrode and can be fitted easily anywhere.


  • Affordable
  • Good thermals


  • Made of plastic
  • Only accommodates one
  • No egg drop

DIY Guide and Alternatives

If you’ve got a creative mind, almost anything can be made a nesting box. However, it would be best to make one from scratch.

Before you start, you have to decide on where you want to put the nesting boxes.

Do you want them to be on the floor or do you want to attach them to a wall?

If you want to put your nesting box on the floor, you’re going to have a little less work. I would suggest you put them on a floor to protect your chickens from predators.

Here are some things you would need to keep in mind:

  • The dimensions
  • Placement
  • Material
  • Proper ventilation

The Dimensions

Each box should have 10” length and depth and 12” width – if you have normal-sized chickens. If you have some large-sized chickens, you’re going to have to increase the size by an inch.

Don’t give too much space to the chickens inside the box. It is essential that the chickens fit snugly in the box – neither too tight nor too loose.


What is the best place for a nesting box? It is the most common question asked related to this topic. Make sure to keep the box in a place that is not too difficult for the chickens to get into. To the best of my knowledge and experience, I am sharing this valuable information with you that never place nesting boxes higher than your roosting bars. If you do, it will encourage your chickens to sleep inside nesting boxes which will ultimately create mess and most of the times, if you collect any eggs from that box, they will be poopy. I also recommend that try to place the nesting box in a dark area where there is much less light as compared to other areas of the coop. Chickens love to lay eggs in darker areas and like to have some privacy. This also ensures to get the peak production out of a hen besides other factors also. It is also not recommended to keep the nesting box closer to the door. This causes disturbance to the laying mommies as they don’t like it.


You have a lot of choices when making a nesting box by yourself. Aluminum and wood are both good materials. If I had to personally choose one, it would be wood.

Not only is wood cheaper than any metal (especially aluminum) is, it also is light in weight. On top of that, wood gives more of a natural feel than metals do.


This is often overlooked. Just poking some small holes in the walls of the boxes will give your chickens plenty of space to breathe.

*Add an image of a DIY Nesting Box*

The How

Here’s how you can create your own nesting box at home with wood:

  1. Cut one 10.5” x 12.5” piece of wood
  2. Cut four 10” x 10” pieces of wood
  3. Either glue them together or nail them together
  4. Cut another piece of wood for the roof (if and) as needed
  5. Enjoy!

Alternative DIY’s

If you do not want to make a complete nesting box all by yourself, don’t worry. I’ve got you covered. You can use the following things as a nesting box:

  • An empty cardboard box
  • A dustbin (by cutting it)
  • Soft drink crate
  • Milk can

What to Put Inside a Nesting Box

You can use any of the following items in your nesting box:


Even after making proper nesting boxes for your chickens, your chickens will still lay eggs here and there (rarely). Using nesting boxes decreases this a lot. Even if the hens are laying here and there or on the coop bedding, there is not a much problem unless your coop bedding is unclean and full of bacteria. Making a nesting box is pretty easy, and you can make one out of almost anything.

The tip of the day is that if you are living in the places where it is too cold, try to use the nesting boxes that are not made up of steel nest base. Steel gets very cold in winters and might cause some discomfort for your hens when laying. Even if nesting bases are made of steel, use extra nesting material to ensure that the hens do not contact directly with the steel base. If this is ensured, it’s all good. I want to covey each and every thing that I learned from my experience. This was one of it. Hope it helps to the readers. 

People worrying too much to maintain the temperature must read my post on knowing ideal temperature for chickens. it will also clear out come misconceptions out of your mind.

It doesn’t require a lot of skills, and you can make your own from scratch or from other items. But, if you don’t have time and tools, go for the readymade.

What sort of nesting box do you usually use? Do post a comment below!

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