Check out how we built easy DIY nesting boxes for our chickens. Chicken keeping is simple when you keep it basic. Here’s all you need to know about building a DIY nesting box for your chickens to lay their eggs.
If you have chickens, then you know how much they love to hog their favorite nesting box. At the time I’m typing this post, we have about 25 chickens. Around 12 of those girls are “mature” and laying eggs almost daily. The others are only a few short months (maybe weeks) away from laying too. That’s why we needed this easy DIY nesting box for our girls.
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Most chicken keepers recommend having 1 next box for every 3 chickens. In my opinion, you don’t need quite that many because they will all want the same one no matter what! It’s like musical chairs in the coop. One girl hops on and the other hops off. I’ve even found 2 chickens laying eggs in one nest box at once!
Our First Attempt at Nesting Boxes
Since we try to stagger the ages of our chickens around 6 months apart, I knew we needed more nesting boxes for our new upcoming layers. Something I have learned in a couple of short years is that farm life is a lot of trial and error. That being said, for our first set of nest boxes, we chose to use buckets because we had a ton on hand. We built a nice 2 story stack of nest boxes our of buckets for the ladies.
I never took a picture of the rack we made but here’s the idea from Meyer Hatchery. Unfortunately, our girls really didn’t like these! The girls who had been laying eggs continued to use the same nest boxes as always. And the new layers followed suit and used the old ones as well. We scraped these and decided to try something else.
After owning chickens for a few years, I see that there are a few things that chickens like in a nest box. First, they like privacy. The most used nest box that we have is the most secluded. Next, they need cover from the elements. As for cleaning, you’ll want a nest box that your chickens can’t roost on top of. Otherwise, much like everything else in the chicken coop, it will be covered in poop! That’s the reason for the pitched roof design you see here.
If you have checked out my other projects, you know I like to keep it basic! I really find that simple is almost always better.
How to Build the Nest Box
- 4 ft. x 8 ft. x 3/4 Plywood
- Wood Screws ( 30-40) #6 1 5/8 in.
- Exterior Caulk (optional)
- Exterior Paint (optional)
- Top- 24 in. x 30.5 in.
- Bottom- 17 in. x 28.5 in.
- Front Edge- 4 in. x 30 in.
- Sides (2)- 12 in. x 28.5 in.
- Back- 28.5 in. x 28 in.
- Divider wall (optional)- 12 in. x 11 in.
- Circular saw
- Caulk gun (optional)
- Speed Square / Level
- Cut the plywood to the sizes listed above.
- Attach the bottom piece to the back. I use a speed square here to ensure a square fit.
- Next, attach the sides. Use screws to join the side to the bottom panel first. Then attach the sides to the back panel. Again, use the speed square to keep things square.
- If you're using a divider wall, now is when you'll want to place it. Measure the interior of your box to find the middle. Use screws or a small piece of scrap wood to stand the divider wall upright and screw it into place.
- Add the roof and secure it into place with screws.
- Place the lower lip piece along the front of the nest boxes and secure it into place.
- Check that all your pieces are secure and add more screws if needed.
- Optional: Caulk the exterior seams for a watertight seal.
- Optional: After the caulk has dried, use exterior paint to paint the nesting boxes. I used 2 coats of a deck paint that we already had on hand. A quart would be plenty for this project.
- Caulk the exterior seams so that no water can get into the boxes. I find this useful when cleaning the exterior of the nest boxes off.
- In order to extend the life of the nest boxes, I recommend painting the exterior (at least)
- The divider wall is optional
- Be sure to add the lower lip piece to keep nesting materials inside the box and prevent the eggs from falling out.
Pin for later!
I hope that you will comment below if you make my Easy DIY Nesting Boxes. I would love to see how your boxes turn out! Don’t forget to pin the instructions or the images above so that you can find them later!