How to make a chicken nesting box

Building the Perfect Nesting Box: A DIY Guide for Backyard Chicken Keepers

Learning how to make a chicken nesting box involves a series of well-planned steps that prioritize the comfort and safety of your hens. Firstly, understanding the essential features of a good nesting box is crucial. It should be spacious, secure, and placed in a low-traffic area to encourage hens to lay eggs.

The standard dimensions are generally 12x12x12 inches. But this can be different based on the breed and size of your chickens.

Materials like wood are commonly used, and adding comfortable bedding such as straw or hay can enhance the nesting experience for your hens. You must choose a location that is quiet and safe from predators. 

This guide will take you through a step-by-step process to build a nesting box. So, let’s get started!

 What Is A Chicken Nesting Box?

A chicken nesting box is a safe, comfortable, and dark space where laying hens can lay their eggs. It is a vital part of a chicken coop, providing a designated area that encourages natural laying behaviors while keeping the eggs clean and safe.

A chicken nesting box is a cornerstone in poultry care. Picture a secure, comfortable, darkened space where hens can lay their eggs peacefully. Nesting boxes are indispensable, fostering natural laying behaviors while safeguarding the eggs from dirt and potential breakages.

Understanding how to make a chicken nesting box starts with grasping its fundamental role. Nesting boxes champion hygiene, ensuring eggs remain clean and ready for collection. Moreover, they facilitate egg-laying, encouraging hens to use this designated area, significantly reducing egg loss.

In essence, a chicken nesting box is more than just a part of a coop; it is a sanctuary for hens during the laying process. It embodies safety, comfort, and functionality, providing a conducive environment for hens to lay their eggs naturally and safely.

Understanding the nuances of a chicken nesting box is the first step in creating one. With the right knowledge and approach, one can craft a nesting box that meets all the needs of your feathered friends, setting the stage for a happy and productive flock.

Why A Chicken Nesting Box Is Important?

Embarking on the DIY journey of understanding how to make a chicken nesting box necessitates a deep understanding of its pivotal role. Let’s delve into the various reasons that underscore the importance of having a well-structured nesting box.

Encouraging Designated Laying Areas

A nesting box delineates a specific area for laying eggs. This structure guides hens instinctively, reducing egg loss and fostering fruitful yields.

Maintaining Cleanliness

Nesting boxes promise clean harvests, keeping eggs away from dirt and potential hazards. The structured environment safeguards eggs from breakages, promising a higher success rate in egg production.

Promoting Comfort and Security

Hens find tranquility in well-designed nesting boxes, a refuge where they can lay eggs undisturbed. This secure space promotes well-being and encourages healthy laying routines, beneficial for both the hens and the keepers.

Enhancing Well-being

A comfortable space resonates with content clucks from happy hens. This satisfaction translates to productive layers, emphasizing the nesting box’s role in a coop.

Facilitating Organization

For chicken keepers, a nesting box is a tool for organization, streamlining daily routines, and reducing stress for both the hens and themselves.

Ensuring Safety

Safety is a hallmark of a well-structured nesting box, shielding the flock from predators and providing peace of mind for the hens during the laying process.

Catering to Natural Instincts

Understanding how to make a chicken nesting box involves catering to the hens’ natural instincts. Providing a dark, cozy, and secure space aligns with their innate desires, fostering a harmonious environment.

Upholding Hygiene

A nesting box aids in maintaining the coop’s hygiene, promising fewer dirty eggs and a smoother egg-collecting experience, a boon for keepers.

The nesting box is a beacon of safety, comfort, and productivity in a chicken coop. For DIY enthusiasts, grasping its significance is the stepping stone to creating a nesting haven that meets all the needs of your feathered friends, setting the stage for a happy and productive flock.

What Are the Necessary Materials for Chicken Nesting Boxes?

Before we delve into simple chicken nesting box plans PDF, gathering all the necessary materials is essential. You will need the following materials to build your chicken nesting box:

  • Wood (preferably plywood or pine)
  • Screws and nails
  • Saw
  • Hammer
  • Measuring tape
  • Sandpaper

How to Make A Chicken Nesting Box? – A Detailed Guide

Embarking on the DIY journey of creating a nesting box can be much smoother with a well-laid plan. While we are guiding you through each step here, you might find downloadable simple chicken nesting box plans PDF online to aid you visually. Let’s chalk out the basic blueprint:

Sketching the Design

Before you start cutting and hammering, take a moment to sketch your design. It doesn’t have to be a masterpiece — a simple sketch outlining the dimensions and the structure would suffice.

A-Frame Chicken Coop Nesting Box

An A-frame chicken coop nesting box is a great choice as it maximizes space and is relatively easy to construct. The A-frame design allows for a multi-tiered setup. It provides ample space for multiple nesting boxes.

Cutting the Wood

Start by measuring and marking the wood according to the dimensions you decided upon in the planning stage. Use a saw to cut the wood into panels for the nesting box’s sides, bottom, and top.

Sanding the Surfaces

Once you have all the pieces cut, it’s time to sand the surfaces to make them smooth and prevent any potential injuries to your chickens from splinters.

Assembling the Box

Next, assemble the box by nailing the sides to the bottom panel. Ensure it is sturdy and secure to hold the weight of your hens.

Adding the Finishing Touches

We are almost there! Now it’s time to add those finishing touches that will make your nesting box the favorite spot for your hens.

Installing a Roof

Adding a roof to your nesting box will provide a dark and secure environment, encouraging your hens to lay eggs in the box. The roof should be slanted to prevent chickens from perching and making a mess.

Adding Bedding

When pondering over what is best for chicken nesting boxes in terms of bedding, consider materials like straw, hay, or shavings. These materials are comfortable for the hens and easy to clean and replace.

How to Determine the Right Chicken Nesting Box Size?

Determining the right size is a pivotal step in learning how to make a chicken nesting box. Keeping in mind the breed, the comfort, and the safety of your hens will guide you in creating a nesting box that is just right. A well-sized nesting box is the foundation of a happy and productive flock.

When pondering over how big do chicken nesting boxes need to be, consider the size and breed of your chickens. Generally, a nesting box should be spacious enough to comfortably accommodate a laying hen, with standard dimensions being 12x12x12 inches.

Considering the Breed and Size of Your Chickens

Different breeds have different needs. Large breeds require spacious nesting boxes, while smaller species can do with a compact space. Research your chicken’s breed to understand the space they prefer.

Standard Dimensions

A general guideline is a nesting box measuring around 12x12x12 inches. This size accommodates most laying hens comfortably, providing ample space to move around.

Comfort is Key

Comfort should be a priority. Ensure the hens have enough space to turn around, stand, and settle down without feeling cramped. A comfortable hen is a happy, productive hen.

Personal Space for Each Hen

Every hen cherishes her personal space, especially when laying eggs. Adequate space prevents overcrowding and promotes a calm, peaceful environment for egg-laying.

Trial and Error

Sometimes, determining the right size involves a bit of trial and error. Be prepared to make adjustments based on the preferences and behaviors observed in your hens.

Space for Bedding

Remember to allocate space for bedding. Bedding not only provides comfort but also absorbs droppings, making cleaning easier.

Height of the Nesting Box

While width and depth are vital, do not overlook the height. A height that allows the hen to stand comfortably without hitting the roof is ideal.

Accessibility for Chicken Keepers

Chicken keepers should find it easy to access the nesting boxes for cleaning and egg collection. Ensure the design allows for easy maintenance without disturbing the hens.

Safety Measures

Safety comes first. The nesting box should be designed to keep predators at bay, ensuring a safe and secure space for your hens.


A well-ventilated nesting box ensures a fresh air supply, keeping the environment healthy and odor-free for the hens.

Material Considerations

While determining the size, also consider the materials you will use. Different materials have different thicknesses, which can affect the internal dimensions of the nesting box.

How to Choose the Right Location for Chicken Nesting Box?

The location of your nesting box within the coop is crucial. Ensure it is placed in a quiet, low-traffic area to give your hens a sense of security while lying. Also, it should be away from the feeding and roosting areas to maintain hygiene.

Choosing the right location is critical in learning how to make a chicken nesting box. A well-placed nesting box ensures the comfort and safety of your hens and facilitates a smooth egg-laying process. A happy hen is productive, and the right location is a giant stride toward achieving this happiness.

Quiet and Low-Traffic Areas

Seek out quiet corners in the coop. Hens prefer tranquility while laying, significantly enhancing their comfort and security.

Distance from Feeding and Roosting Areas

Position the nesting box away from feeding and roosting zones. This strategic placement aids in maintaining hygiene and reducing disturbances.

Safety from Predators

Safety comes first. Choose a location that is secure from predators, ensuring peace of mind for both the hens and the keepers.

Ease of Access for Keepers

Keepers should find it easy to access the nesting boxes for maintenance and egg collection, promoting a smooth daily routine.

Sunlight Exposure

Consider the sunlight’s amount that the location receives. A moderately lit area encourages natural laying cycles, fostering healthy habits in hens.


Ensure the chosen spot has good ventilation. Fresh air circulation is vital in maintaining a healthy environment for your hens.

Protection from Adverse Weather

Shield the nesting box from adverse weather conditions. A well-protected location ensures the hens remain comfortable, come rain or shine.

Room for Expansion

Anticipate future expansions. Select a location that allows for additional nesting boxes as your flock grows.

Observing the Hens

Spend time observing your hens. Their behavior can offer insights into their preferred locations, guiding your choice effectively.

Trial and Error

Be open to adjustments. Sometimes, finding the perfect spot involves trial and error based on the feedback from your flock.

Consulting Experienced Chicken Keepers

Seek advice from seasoned chicken keepers. Their experiences can provide valuable insights, helping you avoid common pitfalls.

Research and Resources

Leverage online resources and books on how to make a chicken nesting box. These platforms offer a wealth of information, aiding in making an informed decision.

What Are the Maintenance Tips for Your Nesting Box?

Along with knowing how to make a chicken nesting box, it’s essential to know how to maintain it. By maintaining a perfect coop, you can ensure a safe and hygienic space for your hens. Follow the maintenance tips mentioned below:

1. Regular Cleaning

Regular cleaning is very important to prevent the buildup of bacteria and pests. Make it a routine to clean the nesting boxes thoroughly, replace the bedding, and remove any dirt or feces.

2. Pest Control

Implementing a pest control strategy is crucial to keep harmful pests at bay. Ensure to check for signs of pests and take necessary actions, such as using diatomaceous earth to deter mites and lice.

3. Egg Collection

Make egg collection a daily routine to prevent eggs from getting dirty or broken. It also discourages hens from developing the habit of egg-eating.

Frequently Asked Questions 

What materials are recommended for building a chicken nesting box?

Wood, such as plywood or pine, is commonly used due to its durability and ease of work. Ensure to sand the surfaces smoothly to prevent any injuries to the chickens.

How can I choose the best location for the nesting box?

Select a quiet, low-traffic area in the coop, away from feeding and roosting spots, to maintain hygiene and give the hens a sense of security while laying.

What kind of bedding should I use in a chicken nesting box?

Straw, hay, or wood shavings are popular choices as they are comfortable for the hens and easy to clean and replace.

How many nesting boxes do I need for my flock?

A general guideline is to have one nesting box for every 4-5 hens. This ensures they don’t have to wait in line and can lay eggs comfortably.

Wrapping Up

Hopefully, you now know how to make a chicken nesting box from scratch! Your hen’s comfort and safety should always be your priority. Building a nesting box is more than just a DIY project. It’s a step towards sustainable living, allowing you to enjoy fresh, home-laid eggs right from your backyard.

Whether you opt for a simple design or a nesting box a frame chicken coop, the joy of seeing your hens happily laying eggs in the box you built will be unparalleled.

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