Chickens don’t need nesting boxes because they’ll lay their eggs anywhere they feel secure. In the wild, hens find quiet and secluded places to nest and lay eggs. Nesting boxes benefit humans more than hens as they keep the coop orderly and help with finding the eggs.
Of course, your hens will reap some benefits from having nesting boxes in the coop. For one thing, the hens and their eggs will be safer in the confines of the coop where predators cannot get to them. Your hens will also enjoy having a comfortable place to nest and lay their eggs without worrying about predatory animals like foxes and raccoons.
While you can buy nesting boxes at local farm supply stores and online, it’s more economical to build the boxes yourself. And you don’t have to be a carpenter to build a nesting box because it’s a relatively simple thing to do. So don’t worry if you think you’re all thumbs when it comes to building something!
We’ve put together this list of DIY chicken nesting box plans you can make today! But before we get into the specific plans, you need to know how many nesting boxes you should make.
Have One Nesting Box for Every Three to Four Hens
If you were to ask a slick nesting box salesperson how many nesting boxes you need for your chickens, you’d probably be told one for every bird. That’s simply not true. If you have 12 hens you do not need 12 individual nesting boxes.
Many different opinions are floating around out there concerning how many nesting boxes hens need. A good rule of thumb to follow is to have one nesting box for every three to four hens. This means that you should have three or four nesting boxes for your 12 hens.
Something worth mentioning here is that all the hens in a flock may choose a single nesting box for laying their eggs. If this happens, you can let things be because obviously, the hens have decided among themselves which box they prefer. A preferred nesting box is often the one the hens feel is the safest which may be a box in a darkened corner or one that’s concealed.
Now let’s move on to the fun part! Below are 10 DIY chicken nesting box plans you can make today!
The 10 Simple DIY Chicken Nesting Box Plans:
1. Pallet Nesting Box
If you have a wooden pallet lying around, put it to good use and make a nesting box for your hens. This plan involves some muscle power and patience because you have to take the pallet apart with a hammer and do some cutting and screwing. The great thing about this plan is that it won’t cost you much at all and it will provide your hens with a very sturdy place to lay their eggs.
2. Basic Wooden Nesting Box for Several Hens
If you’re the handy type and have a table saw at home plus a few basic tools, you can make this wooden nesting box for several of your hens. This nesting box is fun to build and it will look nice once you’ve covered it in paint.
3. Dish Bin Nesting Boxes
You can pick up a few plastic dish bins at a dollar store to make these simple nesting boxes for your chickens. You’ll also need some wood to build a simple and basic wooden structure to hold the bins. This plan is flexible because you can make a single nesting box, a double, or one that accommodates several hens. You can either leave the wooden structure as it is or paint it to add a splash of color to your chicken’s coop.
4. 5 Gallon Bucket Nesting Box
If you have a 5-gallon food-grade bucket stored away somewhere, pull it out and make this simple nesting box. It doesn’t require any special skill to make and any hen would be happy to use it for laying her eggs. If the bucket you use has something in it, be sure to empty it completely and give the interior a good scrubbing.
5. Dresser Drawer Nesting Boxes
Repurpose an old dresser by using the drawers to make nesting boxes for your chickens. This plan is such a great idea and it’s super simple to do. You only have to find an old dresser, remove the drawers, and mount them on any sturdy wall inside your coop. Your hens will love having their own spots to lay their eggs and the nesting boxes won’t take up any valuable floor space. Slap on a layer of colorful paint and your chickens will be laying their eggs in style!
6. Wooden Half-Barrel Nesting Box
You can make a single chicken nesting box using a wooden half-barrel for wine. It will only take you a few minutes to make this cute nesting box. This particular box can be moved from place to place inside your coop if need be and can also be used outdoors if you have free-range hens.
7. Plastic Milk Crate Nesting Box
Put that plastic milk crate to good use and turn it into a simple nesting box. This plan is super easy to do and only requires a few basic materials. The nice thing about plastic milk crates is that they’re very sturdy and can take a beating. There’s no skill required with this plan so pull up your sleeves and get to work!
8. Frugal Farmer’s Plastic Nesting Boxes
Perfect for the budget-minded, these nesting boxes are cheap to make using ordinary plastic bins. This plan uses inexpensive stackable organizing bins that snap easily together. Your hens will be tickled pink to see this set-up in their coop. You’ll be pleased too because there are no materials or tools to gather to complete this dead-easy plan.
9. Roll-Away Nest Box
If you have problems with broken eggs, this roll-away nest box is a good solution. The eggs your chickens lay in this box won’t fall on the floor and break. There’s fake grass on the bottom partition that separates the nest section from the egg section. Genius indeed!
10. Repurposed Mailbox Nesting Box
Instead of tossing your old mailbox in the trash, give it new life by turning it into a nesting box for your chickens. This plan is very easy as it only involves cutting the back off the mailbox and giving it a fresh coat of paint. Your eggs will be delivered via first-class mail when you have this nest box in your coop!
Building your own chicken nesting boxes for your hens doesn’t need to cost a lot or be hard to do. There are all kinds of plans out there that will walk you through the entire process. Hopefully, you’ve found an idea above that gives you some inspiration!
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