Divide the box into two nests.,
Add a sloped top to the nesting box.,
Fill each nest 2-3 inches deep with bedding.,
Cut a door into the back panel.
Try to make the nests equal in size. If you used a cabinet, lay it onto its side. Build a one-foot-deep divider across the center of the now-bottom section so that you will have two nesting boxes.
You can use a shelf, a piece of plywood cut to size, or any flat slat of wood. Drive nails or screws through the back of the cabinet and into the slat.
You can use the top section of the cabinet to store sawdust and egg cartons. If you need the space, you can convert it into two more nest boxes.
, You don’t want your chickens to roost or poop on top of their nesting boxes—that would be a big mess. Angle the top of the nesting box at about 45 degrees to dissuade hens from perching on or above the nesting boxes.
, This will keep your chickens comfortable and protect the eggs that they lay. Replace the bedding every few weeks to keep the nest sanitary and attractive. Wood shavings, straw, and sawdust are cheap but effective choices. Consider the pros and cons of each material:
Wood shavings tend to be easier to clean out than hay or sawdust. They are generally more absorbent, less messy, and better-smelling. Try to find a wood mill or woodcutting center in your area to keep the cost down. If you have a wood-chipper, you can make them yourself.Hay is not as absorbent as pine shavings; it retains more moisture and mold than the other materials. However, many people favor hay, and chickens often enjoy pecking through strands of hay. You can buy hay at a feed-and-supply store or ask around your community.
Sawdust is relatively easy to sweep out of the box, making it ideal for chickens that poop in their nests. Bear in mind, however, that there is a risk of your chickens eating some of the sawdust, and thus ingesting toxic tannic acids. Sawdust remains damp long after it is wet, and it can be difficult for birds to work with.The dusty material may also stick to fresh eggs and dry on the shell., It should be at least six inches wide, and tall enough for your chickens to pass through without much effort. Don’t make the door too large—chickens like their nesting box to be dark and draft-free. Use a handsaw to cut the door, and make sure not to leave any jagged edges.