Choose the materials that you will use to build your nesting box.,
Design your nesting box(es).,
Make a nesting box out of a kitchen cabinet.,
Build a 12″ x 12″ x 12″ nesting box out of wood.,
Try building a quick nesting box from a clean wooden half-barrel.
If you’d like to build upon an existing structure, consider re-purposing a crate, a cabinet, an old pet carrier, or a barrel. Otherwise, feel free to build a comparable box from scratch using wood, metal, or plastic. The box should be sturdy, heat-retentive, and easy to clean, so choose your base materials accordingly. Review the following steps for a few straightforward box ideas.
Try re-purposing storage containers: kitchen cabinets, barrels, milk crates, wash basins, old pet carriers. Make sure to thoroughly wash these things before use, especially if they’ve held something that can be toxic to chickens.Construct boxes from found materials, when possible. This can save on costs, and it may give character to your backyard coop. Build a box from wood, metal, or plastic—whichever is available.;
, You will need one box for every 2-4 hens. Each “nest” should be roomy enough to contain a laying hen and small enough to feel secure.Twelve cubic inches (12″ x 12″ x 12″) is an ideal size. The interior should not be higher than two feet, as hens like to roost in cozy spaces.
Make sure to add a comfortable access point for the chickens to enter and exit. Make sure to add a slight lip to the entryway so that the chickens’ bedding (sawdust, straw, etc.) cannot easily spill out.
If you’re building a nesting box from scratch, pitch the top of the box at a 45 degree angle to discourage chickens from roosting and pooping up there. If you’re using a cabinet or another found object, consider nailing a plank the roof with one side lifted at a 45 degree angle.The boxes need not be square or absolutely symmetrical. The important thing is that your chickens are comfortable.
, Find an old wooden kitchen cabinet. The cabinet should be at least 18 inches deep, and it should have working doors that are at least two feet high. Try asking around at secondhand stores and recycled furniture stores. If you already have any old cabinets, or if you plan to replace your current kitchen cabinets, this is the perfect opportunity to reuse them toward a productive end. Make sure that the cabinet is sturdy; it need not be in perfect shape, but it shouldn’t be falling apart.
Ask friends if they have any kitchen cabinets that they aren’t using. Poke around junkyards, demolition sites, city streets—anywhere someone may have thrown out a perfectly good kitchen cabinet.
Realistically, you can use any cabinet-like box as long as it is large enough, warm enough, and sturdy enough.
, Use plywood or any other large cut of cheap wood. Follow these steps to construct the basic nesting box:
Cut your wood. Measure one square foot out of a piece of wood—this will be the bottom. Cut another square of the same size for the back, and one more for the bottom of the side piece.
Your three squares should form a rough triangular shelter. You will need to make two such triangles.
Ask a helper to hold the back of the box against the bottom while you nail/screw the pieces together.
Have your helper hold one of the sides to the bottom and the back while you nail/screw the pieces together. You will need to use several nails or screws to connect the sides solidly to the bottom and the back. Repeat this process for each side. You should have an open box.
, Turn the barrel onto its side so that it is easily accessible from the ground. Nail or screw a 2×4 to the edge where the opening of the barrel meets the ground. This forms a lip that will hold in hay and eggs. Fill the barrel with two inches of straw, wood shavings, or sawdust—and you are ready to go.