Homemade Nesting Boxes for Chickens Using Free or Recycled Materials



One of the things about my homestead is that I don't have a lot of money to spend. Like none. I have become very good at taking whatever free items come along and putting them aside for future use. I may not know what I am going to be using them for, but at least I have the materials on hand.

Laying hens need a place to lay their eggs. While I have some chickens who like to lay on the ground in the corner of the coop, a majority of the chickens like a safer and higher place to lay their eggs. You don't need to be really high or they won't use them. The highest you need to be is maybe in the two to three-foot range above the ground. 

I decided to use the free and recycled items I had on hand for these nesting boxes. I am not very good at construction and people around me know it. A friend of mine came up with this idea because his neighbor had some big feed tubs that he used for gardening. I had just gotten some free tubs from a coworker about the same time. By using these tubs, I eliminated the need to have to build wooden boxes.

To give the chicken something to fly on to and hold the nesting materials in the tub, I used a 1" x 6" board that I cut half-moons with using a jigsaw. The board was left over from the kennel project. I attached the boards to the tub using little screws I had on hand. I used three screws for each board on each tub.


Excuse the mess. The chickens aren't very neat!  

I used a scrap 1" x 2" board I had cut into 1' lengths to use on the inside back of the nesting boxes to give the boxes more stability when I hung them up. I drilled three 2-1/2" screws into each piece of wood to hold them to the wall.

One thing to remember with using plastic tubs or almost any plastic is that you need to drill pilot holes first in order for the plastic not to crack. With these tubs, I didn't have a problem with plastic cracking. The plastic was so thick and tough that screws were not going through.


Excuse the milk jug on top. We use that for getting water for the chickens. It's all about reusing here!

I hung the nesting boxes two on each wall to keep the boxes at an even level and to keep the chickens from fighting. I filled them with sawdust which I fluff for them and keep them clean about once a week.

So far, so good. The ladies loved their new boxes and we have got eggs laid in the one box since I only have one chicken laying so far. Hopefully, soon, all four boxes will be used!

You can also make your own nesting boxes out of scrap wood too. I choose not to at this time, but it is pretty easy to do. Using five 12-inch by 12-inch squares, you can screw or nail the four sides together to make a box. You will then add the last piece on to the back by screws or nails. Screw or nail a small 12-inch by 2-inch (or 3-inch) strip to the front to hold the bedding in and give the chickens something to land on to get in the nesting box. Hang them on the wall the same as the feed tub nesting boxes.  

Thanks for reading,
Erica

Updated November 11, 2019

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