Have you ever walked excitedly into your chicken nesting boxes because you’re finally harvesting the eggs to discover that they broke most of them?
It can be an extremely frustrating experience when you do all the hard work of raising the chickens.
That’s why investing in a durable nesting box that keeps the egg safe is important.
There’s a gazillion of DIY nesting boxes for chicken out there.
But if you don’t have the ability and time to create one for your chicken, you came to the right place.
In this article, we’re sharing with you :
- The different types of nesting boxes you can choose from
- Helpful tips on how to find the right chicken nesting box size and location
- And Our top picks for the best chicken nesting box
So, if you are searching for the best chicken nesting box options, you’ll surely love this in-depth review we curated for you.
Let’s first talk about the types of chicken nesting boxes you can choose from and their advantages.
Types of Chicken Nesting Boxes
Generally, there are four chicken nesting boxes you can choose from. They include the following:
1. Wooden Chicken Nesting Boxes
Conventional wooden nest boxes are everywhere.
They’re easy to DIY, and there are lots of wood options you can use, but there are also ready-made wooden nest boxes in the market.
However, if you’re going to purchase online, you need to ensure it has top-quality materials.
The downside of wood is you can’t place it outside since it will eventually rot when exposed to sunlight and rain.
2. Plastic Chicken Nesting Boxes
Since plastic nest boxes are generally cheaper, they’re more suitable for beginners with small flocks of chicken.
They’re usually sold individually, so you have the freedom to put them outside your coop or other locations like outbuildings or a nearby tree.
Due to their plastic construction, they’re prone to rusting or rotting, and they’re easy to clean.
3. Metal Chicken Nesting Boxes
Compared to the previous chicken nest box materials, metals are sturdier, more durable, and easy to clean.
Additionally, they’re lightweight compared to wood and can endure wear and tear brought by hens.
You can buy conventional nest boxes individually, but metal ones usually come in multiple compartments, making them suitable for poultry farms.
4. Roll-away Nest Boxes
You can also find roll-away nest boxes in the market, either made of plastic or metal.
They feature a slanted floor that enables eggs to roll away from under the hen into the front or back of the box.
This design makes egg collection easier for you and prevents accidental breakage caused by trampling and pecking.
As a result, you can have more good quality eggs, and they usually keep the eggs clean.
Now that you’ve got an idea of what chicken nest box type and material would suit your bird’s needs, let’s consider how to find the right size before purchasing one.
How to Choose the Right Chicken Nesting Box Size?
The standard nest box should be a 12-inch cube, 12 inches tall, broad, and deep for regular hens like Leghorns, Sussex, Plymouth Rocks, and hybrid layers.
As for more giant chickens like Jersey, Giants will require a nest measuring 14 inches wide, 12 inches deep, and 12 inches tall.
On the other hand, bantam hens will do with a smaller box measuring 10 inches, 12 inches wide, and 10 inches tall.
Chickens tend to kick their bedding material out when they have too much space.
That’s why those box dimensions were just right for the hens to fit snugly. It can prevent them from bunking up together when laying eggs.
Top 7 Picks for Best Chicken Nesting Boxes
Now we’re unveiling our top picks for the best chicken nesting boxes out there in the market.
To help you decide on what nesting box to choose for your ladies, we dug deeper into their features, as well as their pros and cons.
1. Miller 2 Pack of Large Wall Mount Egg Nesting Box
- Washable, heavy duty covered nesting box
- Made to wall mount to studs 16" on center
- Can also be mounted to plywood or alike
- Large size will fit all breeds of chickens
- Lowest price on Amazon Period
Topping the list is the heavy-duty Miller nesting box which was designed with safety and durability in mind.
It’s an impact-resistant box that would make a comfortable and safe home for your ladies as they lay their eggs.
Therefore, you can be sure that it can endure the wear and tear brought by broody hens.
We like this nesting box because it doesn’t rot, rust or corrode, because of its polyethylene construction.
It’s washable and long-lasting, and its design makes it easy to mount to walls like plywood, and it’s easy to take off for cleaning.
Installation is easy, and it only takes over half an hour to mount into a wall.
We love the fact that it somes with ventilation holes too that provide fresh air for the chicken.
There’s also a perch in front where the hen can land before entering.
And the sloped roof design prevents the hen from roosting on top, making us feel at ease.
That’s why we highly recommend this chicken nesting box, especially for larger breeds.
The downside with this box, though, is it’s too large for small chickens, and they might buckle up together and squeeze in it.
But overall, it’s an excellent chicken box, and we’re confident that it can make your ladies happy.
Dimension: 20 x 17 x 15 inches
Weight: 10 pounds
2. Best Nest Box Rollaway Community Nest Box
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Another favorite nest box is this community-style box with a roll-away egg tray that encourages eggs to roll forward into under the lid.
This feature helps prevent the chicken from eating or squishing the eggs and protects them from getting broken.
We can’t get over the fact that it can accommodate up to 10 hens due to its extensive design.
This egg-saving nest box also keeps the eggs clean, so you won’t need to exert much effort in cleaning and washing them.
Since it’s made of galvanized metal, its quality is reliable.
Like the previously mentioned box, this item is also easy to clean and does not provide a home for bacteria.
Since this nesting box has some vinyl flaps, hens can have a sense of privacy. They can lay happily in it without fearing anything.
Installation is relatively easy too. You need to hand tighten all the bolts then tighten them with a wrench.
However, you may need assistance from others since it’s a bit heavy, and you might struggle to install it all by yourself.
The only problem we’ve seen is its depth. It could’ve been more comfortable for the hens if it was a little deeper so they could turn around quickly.
However, if your hen will get accustomed to it, it won’t be an issue anymore.
It’s more costly, though, but we believe the quality and functionality outweigh the cost.
Dimension: 48.25 x 21 x 21 inches
Weight: 40 pounds
Provides vast space
Protects the eggs and keeps them clean
Potentially prone to rusting
3. PENTAGADES Laying Chicken Nesting Boxes
- HAPPY CHICKENS- The curtain and raised floor placement provide the intimate and private place the chicken needs to lay eggs. Side vents offer ventilation for added comfort.
- SAFE EGGS- The lower cover tray, being tilted, allows the eggs to roll; are kept clean of excrement and are protected. Being covered by a lid, it prevents the chickens from pecking or stepping on the eggs.
- EASY CLEANING- All components of the nest are washable and the lower plastic drawer is easy to remove and handle.
- QUICK INSTALLATION- The nest is provided with everything necessary for its simple assembly. With detailed step-by-step instructions.
- HOME POULTRY FARM- Ideal to start a sustainable, ecological and homemade farm. You will get your own organic patio eggs.
This nesting box works similarly with the previously mentioned community nest, but it differs in design.
Aside from its aesthetically appealing color combination, it offered privacy for the chicken nesting box with its curtain and raised floor placement.
It has three compartments that are comfortable enough for the hens.
We find it easy to use, too, since each part is washable.
It also comes with side vents that provide ventilation and better airflow. So, hens can become comfortable while laying eggs.
Since it combines galvanized plates and plastic, it should be sturdy like the previously mentioned products.
Sadly, some trays are flimsy, and they tend to fall out.
It can be an issue because it can discourage hens from laying in it since the chicken’s weight may also cause it to fall.
You’ll also have to place the wood ship at the end of the laying tray under its cover to caution the egg and prevent it from getting broken.
But, overall, it’s a good nesting box, and they ensured that the instructions are detailed enough to make the installation earlier.
It’s a bit smaller but also less expensive compared to the previous item.
Dimension: 20 x 31.2 x 16.5 inches
Weight: 19.91 pounds
Makes way for easier egg collection
Protects the eggs
Some are flimsy and tend to fall out
4. Harris Farms Plastic Nesting Box for Chickens
- Harris Farms Plastic Nesting Box
- Overall dimensions of 18"x 17"x 12". The mounting holes located on the back are 15 1/2 inches apart
- Durable and easy to clean, made of high-density polyethylene
- Features a raised front panel to prevent scratching-out of nesting
- Side ventilation cut-outs to promote fresh air flow
This nesting box also had a good reputation due to its reliable quality.
It works and looks similar to the Miller nesting box.
Due to its plastic construction doesn’t rust, rot, or corrode too, and cleaning it is a breeze.
We like that it has hug side ventilation cut-outs that promote better airflow. However, this can potentially be an issue during winter since cold air can enter freely.
But if you have the right preparation for winters and your chickens are hardy, it won’t be a huge problem.
It also has a raised front panel that prevents scratching from nesting and a perch or roosting area where the chicken can land before entering the box.
Some perches may knock-off, though, and it’s a bit pricey, but it’s worth considering since other customers have good words about them, and they seem durable.
Dimension: 16.7 x 16.5 x 12.4 inches
Weight: 2.75 pounds
Cleaning and installation is a breeze
Not one to rusting, rotting, and corrosion
Spacious and appealing
Some perches knock off
5. Homestead Essentials 2 Compartment Roll Out Nesting Box
- PROTECT YOUR EGGS: This rollaway metal nesting box has a unique design which encourages your precious eggs to roll forward underneath the secure lid where they will remain intact until you are ready to collect.
- DESIGNED TO LAST: The side and roof are made with galvanized steel with ventilation holes on the outside panels, this creates a durable and stable structure when assembled. The trays are made with plastic that won't rust, rot or corrode and are easy to clean.
- HAPPY HENS: Each box provides a private nesting area for your hens with plenty of room for comfort.
- QUICK ASSEMBLY: All of the nuts and bolts required for assembly is included along with instructional guides on how to put your new nesting box together. Mounting hardware not included as this may vary depending on where you plan to mount your new nesting box.
- BACKYARD HOMESTEADER: These rollout nesting boxes for chickens are a must-have for all poultry hobby farmers looking to start or maintain their sustainable, ecological and homegrown farm.
Here’s another roll-away chicken nesting box that can be an alternative when the previous products aren’t available.
The side and roof are made out of stainless steel, and they’re green in color, while the laying tray has a black finish.
It has ventilation holes on the exterior panels, resulting in robust and stable construction and better airflow.
The trays are composed of easy-to-clean plastic that won’t rust, rot, or corrode like the products above.
It’s a must-have for all poultry hobby farmers who want their products to be neat and free from dirt.
Stubborn hens who hesitate to use this box may recognize that it’s for laying eggs if you’re going to put bedding and fake eggs in it.
Unfortunately, some screws don’t work and fall off, and some trays stay in place.
These parts are essential for the nesting box’s stability, but since not all items have this problem, and most of them work correctly, it’s still worth considering.
We found the metal parts hazardous too because it’s sharp and might cut you.
So, you have to be careful when mounting it to the wall.
Dimension: 22.5 x 20 x 21
Convenient roll-away feature
Easy to clean and maintain
Doesn’t rust, rot or corrode
Sharp metal parts are hazardous
Some screws don’t work as they should
6.Rural365 Single Chicken Nesting Box
- [Give Your Hens Privacy to Lay]: The Rural365 Curtained Chicken Nest Box 4-Pack offers a comfortable, dark, and sheltered area for poultry to lay eggs
- [Use Your Bedding]: We recommend filling the hen boxes with wood shavings (excluding sawdust) or buckwheat husks to prevent eggs from breaking or damaging and provide comfort inside the plastic nest boxes; Floor sits 3.75 inches (9.5 cm) deeper than front door to ensure minimum bedding litter from escaping; Bedding recommend, not required
- [Perfect Size]: 1 box per 5 hens (used one at a time) – package contains 4 hen laying box nests; 12 x 10 x 16 inch (30.5 x 25.4 x 40.6 cm) inside dimensions of hen nesting box with curved top to prevent roosting on top of the poultry nesting box while 9.4 x 2 inch (23.9 x 5.1 cm) front perch with textured grip for appropriate roosting; 9.75 x 7.5 inch (24.8 x 19.1 cm) curtain
- [Built to Last]: High-quality impact-resistant & UV-resistant; Polypropylene plastic construction for maximum strength and UV resistance; 5.2 x 5.4 inch (13.2 x 13.7 cm) side vents for airflow
- [Easy Setup]: Instructions included, screws required (for optional mounting); Chicken coop nesting box backside has 4 slotted screw holes for optionally mounting 1.5 to 3 feet (0.5-1 m) above ground inside chicken coop near waterer and feeder
This nesting box has that modern vibe because of its distinctive design.
It comes with curtains that accentuate the black finish of the box and make it comfortable to lay eggs at for hens.
And it works similarly with the Miller and Harris nesting box.
It’s impact and UV-resistant and polyethylene, so its quality is reliable.
Upkeeping and installation of this chicken nesting box are hassle-free too.
Don’t forget to lay some beddings, though, since it’s essential to protect the eggs.
Sadly, that some perches went missing when others received them, so you need to double-check if yours are complete and if there are broken vents.
It might take time for the hens to recognize their new home, though, but it can be a great and sturdy option.
Dimension: 18.9 x 15.6 x 14.5 inches
Weight: 11 Pounds
Impact and UV-resistant
Distinctive, appealing design
Effortless cleaning and installation
Some perches are missing
Others have broken vents
7. Little Giant Galvanized Nesting Box with Plastic Basket
- HIGHLY DURABLE - These heavy duty nesting boxes are made of sturdy galvanized steel and durable plastic to prevent against rust and the weather.
- PERFECT FOR NESTING - Amply sized, the hen-friendly design of this box features a front guard that prevents birds from scratching bedding out of the nest.
- PROTECTS EGGS - To protect eggs, the plastic bottom of this nesting container is ventilated and angled slightly so eggs won't roll out of the nest.
- EASY TO ASSEMBLE - This nest box ships unassembled to save space and shipping costs.
- IDEAL SIZE - The chicken egg box measures 10.4 in. long x 19.7 in. wide x 17.7 in. high when assembled.
The last chicken nesting box that made it into our list is this heavy-duty metal with a plastic basket.
It comes in three-compartment options – some are single while others have double and others have triple compartments.
The combination of a black roof, metal body, and red perches is also aesthetically pleasing.
Eggs are in a safe place with this box because it also works as a roll-away nest box and prevents the hen from breaking its eggs.
Only two of the panels or dividers have ventilation vents, though. It should’ve been better if all panels have vents.
The edges are also sharp, so you have to be careful when mounting it, and you always need to ensure that your hen is safe from time to time.
Dimension: 33 x 14.5 x 15 inches
Weight: 15.09 Pounds
Easy upkeeping and installation
Does not rust, rot or corrode
With three compartments
Eggs are safe
Not enough side ventilations
So, there you have it! Those are the top 7 chicken nesting boxes on our list. Now that you already know the advantages and downsides of each product, the decision is up to you now.
If you have already made up your mind, the next you’d have to think about would be the box’s location.
So, if you’re wondering where to put your chicken nesting box, here are some tips for you.
Where to Place Chicken Nesting Boxes?
To make your nest box attractive for hens and conducive for brooding, you must place it in a safe, quiet, reasonably dark, and private environment.
Ideally, it should be no less than 18 inches from the floor, but it can be as high as a few from the ground.
Do take note, though, that your roosting bars should be higher than the nesting boxes.
That’s because they will sleep on the boxes if it’s on the same level as the roosting bars.
It’s not a significant problem, but if it happens, you’ll have to muck out the boxes every morning.
Since it can be tiring or annoying, it’d be best to move the roosting bar to a higher place since chickens tend to roost as high as they can.
But, How Many Chicken Nesting Boxes Do You Need?
There’s no exact ratio on how many boxes you should provide for your hen as it could vary significantly.
The Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs suggests providing one box per seven hens.
On the other hand, other chicken experts believe you should have at least one nest space for every five birds.
Most people, however, use one box for every 3-4 hens.
This figure is per animal welfare organizations’ recommendations for the “5 Freedoms.”
What Should You Put in Your Chicken Nesting Box?
To make your nesting box comfortable for chickens and encourage your hens to use it, here are some nest essentials that you have to prepare for them.
A chicken nesting box will not be complete without the presence of a nest.
It’s an essential part of every nesting boxes because it’s where the hens will lay their eggs on.
As for the nesting materials, you can choose from many choices, but the most popular materials are the following.
Types of nesting materials:
1. Pine shavings
This material is widely available in local farms that sell it inconvenient bales.
It’s another popular choice among chicken caretakers, usually available from a local farmer or farm store.
3. Pine needles
The soft pine needles will also make a good nest for hens, and you can have it for free if you have access to a local source.
You can get sawdust for free or at a meager price from a sawmill or perhaps your neighbor.
Fallen leaves in the autumn can make good bedding for your hens too. Just rake and gather it, and you’ll have a free nest.
6. Nesting pads
Nesting pads are available at most hatcheries and on the internet. The advantage of these pads is they’re both washable and affordable.
Since hens need privacy when laying eggs, they would love it if you could add a simple curtain to keep them hidden from prying eyes if the box doesn’t have one.
It doesn’t have to be fancy.
You can utilize burlap sacking, feed sacks, old napkins, or tea towels that you no longer use as an alternative.
Then, hold it into place with staples and a push pin, and you’re good.
Final Thoughts on Nesting Boxes
Nesting boxes are not necessarily a must for chickens since they can actually lay eggs anywhere when they forage.
But, they’re worth an investment because it provides a safe location for laying eggs and it can help ensure your hard work in raising your ladies will pay off.
So, of all the nesting boxes in the list above, which one is your favorite? Let us know in the comment section below.
READ NEXT: How Do I Make My Chicken Lay An Egg?
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