Keeping Chicken – Building Chicken Nest Boxes
Chicken nest box design comes in all sizes and shapes. The suggestions for better designs also
vary. The large variety of suggestions speaks so much about personal experiences and thereby the preference. In
building chicken nest boxes, there are designs that stand out in view of practicality and function.
First though, a good chicken nest box must be planned to get the chicken lay eggs in manners that are most
productive. The basics are the same. You build a box, put in some straw or wood shavings and when the time comes so
too the eggs. But when there is low egg production chances are something must be done to improve the nest box. For
as much eggs as possible, here are suggestions:
Often, chicken nest boxes are built to house more chicken and there are practical management reasons for this.
The fact though is that when the nest box is crowded, chicken prefer laying eggs on the floor where the eggs are
dirtied, trampled on, and even eaten lowering production. Chicken are actually more productive when they nest on
smaller boxes. A box that could house four chickens at a time is good. Smaller is better. When nesting boxes are
smaller, there is also less room for the chicken to kick around the straw or wood shavings, creating less mess and
keeping the straw where they should be.
The roof of the chicken nest boxes are sloped for the purpose that chickens do not roost on the roof. A roof not
angled steeply will invite chickens to roost there and when that happens expect where the eggs will be. Inside the
nest box, keep at least two inches of straw but if you could have wood shavings (pine is preferable) that is even
If you could provide a chute where the eggs will roll after being laid, and collected at a separate place, the
added cost of the chute will be paid for in terms of more eggs that could be used. It will also be practical as
frequent intrusions disturbs chicken and that destroys eggs in the process let alone the muck that you will help
In place of the egg chute, construct the chicken nest box with doors constructed at the backside so that you
could collect the eggs from outside the coop without disturbing the chickens very much. Build a lip at the opening
to prevent the eggs from falling when the doors open. A two-inch high lip is enough to keep the eggs safe.
Likewise, build also a similar lip at the entrance to the nest boxes that serves as a chicken step. This will
prevent the eggs from falling from inside the chicken coop as the chicken kicks around before laying more. The lips
will also keep the straw inside the nest.
The sizes in building chicken nest boxes vary widely. In general though the height would be about 9" and if you
intend to limit the chickens inside the box, a 12" square is sufficient and let the nest boxes be cave like, cold