Nest boxes serve an important role for both the chicken and the keeper. They are in many ways essential for successful egg-laying and collection.
Nobody wants to find their eggs broken, nor do we have the time to regularly clean up the mess that can follow as a result.
Besides, we want our chickens to be comfortable, and provide them with all the help they need to feel safe and secure.
Unfortunately, a lot can go wrong. Poor design, insufficient materials, or inappropriate sizing; and that’s just of the nest box itself.
This is not taking into account human error; such as not providing enough boxes for your hens or putting them in the wrong place altogether.
So, if you set off on the right foot; investing in some high-quality nest boxes comes strongly advised.
Below you’ll find details of some of the best nest boxes that are not only durable but easy to clean too.
The Best Nest Boxes For Chickens
Next Box Details
- QUALITY MATERIALS - This nesting box is made of high density, impact-resistant polyethylene that will not rust, rot, or corrode. It can be securely mounted vertically or side by side.
- EASY-TO-CLEAN - This smooth plastic surface is easy to keep clean and does not get as cold as metal, making it more comfortable for the nesting chicken or other small bird.
- INCLUDES PERCH - This plastic nesting unit features an entrance perch that gives hens a place to land before entering the nest and ventilation holes for fresh air. The lowered box floor helps prevent a loss of bedding, sloped roof prevents roosting.
- WALL MOUNTS - This box mounts to 16” on-center studs. If you hang three units vertically we recommend the first unit be mounted 24” off the ground to protect from predators, while the top unit will be low enough from the ceiling to prevent roosting.
- PLASTIC PREFERRED - When compared to wood tables or metal unit supplies, plastic stays warmer in winter months, is easier to clean, more sanitary, and reduces mite and bug infestations.
- [Give Your Hens Privacy to Lay]: The Rural365 Curtained Roll Out Chicken Nest Box prevents egg eating and offers a comfortable, dark, and sheltered area for poultry to lay eggs
- [Automatically Collect Eggs]: Nest pad can be set at 3 different angles to slope downward towards the egg drop collecting tray on front side of chicken egg laying box allowing eggs to roll into tray to prevent hens from destroying or dirtying eggs and allow for automatic egg collection
- [Perfect Size]: 1 box per 5 hens (used one at a time); 19 x 12 x 17 inch (48.3 x 30.5 x 43.2 cm) hen nesting box with hinged lid that slopes to prevent roosting on top of the poultry nesting box with lid; 11.9 x 9.4 inch (30.2 x 23.9 cm) curtain; 11.9 x 6.7 x 2.6 inch (30.2 x 17 x 6.6 cm) hinged egg collection tray stores up to 15 large eggs
- [Built to Last]: Zinc-plated galvanized metal construction for maximum strength and longevity; Includes ABS plastic parts that are UV resistant; Polyethylene plastic nest pad includes vertical fingers to guide the eggs to tray and ensure minimum contact with manure and debris; Nesting pad removable and easy to clean
- [Easy Setup]: Assembly required, instructions and hardware included; Chicken coop nesting box backside has 2 slotted screw holes for optionally mounting 1.5 to 3 feet (0.5-1 m) above ground inside chicken coop near waterer and feeder; Multiple poultry nesting boxes with lids can be attached to each other with the supplied set of spacers (package includes 1 hen laying box)
- 6 holes in 2 tiers; 30 hen capacity
- Nest bottoms removable for easy cleaning and litter replacement
- Easy to assemble with a screwdriver and wrench - no rivet gun required; Estimated assembly time: 30 – 45 minutes
- High quality galvanized steel construction; All exposed edges folded to prevent injury
- Ventilation holes in partitions for fresh air flow
Do You Need To Have Nest Boxes?
It comes strongly recommended that you get nest boxes for your chickens. They help to provide a sense of security for your birds when laying eggs.
Although, nest boxes are not technically essential for chickens to lay eggs. They will do so as long as they feel protected.
That being said, nest boxes can help you to more easily find your chicken’s eggs, as they may be laid in random, safe places without them.
Just consider that you will not need to have nest boxes in the coop until your birds are of egg-laying age, around 15-17 weeks, on average.
How Many Next Boxes Do You Need?
It is generally advised that you allow a nest box for every three hens.
So, for instance, if you have a flock of 6 hens, 2 nesting boxes will typically suffice.
A larger flock of 12 birds should have 3-4 nest boxes.
How Big Do Next Boxes Need To Be?
Nest boxes need to be at least 30 cm (12 inches) square and 15-20 cm (6-8 inches) deep for the average chicken, although it will depend on the breed and size of the hen.
Where Do You Put Next Boxes?
Nest boxes should generally be kept within the coop, where you can either choose to fix them or place them below the roosts.
It comes strongly advised to place them low, in dark area of the coop outside of direct sunlight.
Otherwise, if nest boxes are placed higher than the perches, you may find your hens roosting on them, leading to mucky eggs!
Depending on the space you have available, it is possible to stack nesting boxes. Although, most keepers find that their chickens will wait for one to become available and not make use of the spare anyway!
Other Nest Box Considerations
- Nest boxes are available in a variety of different materials; with the main options being wood, plastic and metal. Plastic and metal nesting boxes are considered easier to clean.
- You will need to fill the nesting boxes with bedding to entice your birds to use them, to make them a comfortable sport for your birds and to also protect the eggs.
- The most important point to consider with bedding is ensuring it is dust free and absorbent; pine shavings and shredded hemp are the most popular.
- Younger hens may lay outside of the nest boxes to begin with; so always check the coop and/or the run for eggs.
- Ensure you have a sufficient number of nest boxes for all of your hens,
- Pinning black plastic strips along the top of the nest boxes can be enough to prevent hungry chickens from eating the eggs!
- Collecting eggs regularly will help to ensure that they do not get broken.
Looking for other products for keeping chickens? My following guides could be of help:
- Best Chicken Feeder To Prevent Rats
- Best Chicken Run Flooring
- Best Heated Waterer For Chickens
- Best Calcium Supplement For Chickens
- Best Layer Feed For Chickens
- Best Bedding For Chicken Nesting Boxes
I am an experienced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets, from traditional pets like dogs and cats, to the more exotic like reptiles and rodents. I currently own a Cockapoo (pictured) called Bailey. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site dedicated to sharing evidence-based insights and guidance, based on my vast pet ownership knowledge, experience, and extensive research.