Nesting boxes are where it all begins. I’ve seen firsthand how the right nesting box can make a world of difference for any backyard flock.
Hens need a safe and cozy place to lay their eggs. Without proper nesting boxes, you’re likely to find eggs in the most unexpected places — under bushes, behind sheds, in spare tires, etc.
Worse yet, your hens might feel stressed, impacting their health and egg production.
I’ve tried and tested numerous nesting boxes. Some were hits, others misses. But all this trial and error has given me a deep understanding of what works best.
In this guide, I’m going to share that knowledge with you. Whether you’re just starting out or looking to improve your setup, I’ve got you covered. Here’s my take on the best nesting boxes for chickens.
At a Glance: The Best Nesting Boxes for Your Flock
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I want to start with a quick overview of the four nesting boxes I researched for this article. There are detailed reviews of each product below, but here’s the high-level overview:
|Nesting Box Model
|Best Nest Box Reversible Rollout
|Medium to large-sized flocks, clean egg collection
|Up to 45 hens
|Galvanized steel, AstroTurf
|Dual floor system, reversible collection area, movable perch bar
|Homestead Essentials Classic 2-Compartment
|Medium to large hens, egg protection
|Medium to large flocks
|Galvanized steel, plastic
|Roll-out feature, removable trays, ventilation holes
|Eggluuz Chicken Nesting Boxes
|Busy flocks, easy egg collection
|Up to eight hens
|Alloy steel, ABS plastic
|Unique egg collection design, removable tray, inclined design
|Yrangee Chicken Nesting Box
|Backyard coops, large hens
|Suitable for large hens
|Single-compartment, pre-drilled screw holes, suitable for wall hanging
The Basics of Nesting Boxes
A nesting box is a special spot in your coop where your chickens can lay their eggs. Think of it as a bedroom for your hens — a private, comfortable place where they feel secure.
Now, not all nesting boxes are created equal. A good one has a few key features:
- Size. It should be big enough for your hen to move around but cozy enough to feel safe. A general rule is about 12 inches by 12 inches for standard breeds.
- Privacy. Hens like their privacy. The box should be in a quiet, darker corner of the coop, away from the hustle and bustle.
- Material. Wood is a common choice, but plastic can work, too. The key is to keep it easy to clean and free from mites or other bugs.
- Accessibility. Your hens should be able to easily get in and out of the box. A low entrance helps, especially for heavier breeds or older hens.
Why are these boxes so important? Well, they’re not just about keeping eggs in one spot.
A good nesting box keeps your hens happy and stress-free. Happy hens mean more eggs.
Plus, it keeps the eggs clean, safe, and in good shape for collecting. No more hunting around the yard for stray eggs.
In short, a well-designed nesting box is crucial for your chickens’ health and your convenience. Get this right, and you’re on your way to being a top-notch chicken keeper.
Types of Nesting Boxes
As you look for the best nesting boxes for your chickens, you’ll come across various types. Here are the most common ones:
- Wooden boxes. These are classics. Most folks start here. They’re sturdy and easy to make or buy. You just need to keep them clean to avoid mites.
- Plastic boxes. These are gaining popularity. They’re super easy to clean and don’t rot like wood. But, they can get a bit more pricey.
- Metal boxes. Great for durability. They last long and pests don’t like them. The downside? They can get hot in summer and cold in winter.
- Rollout boxes. These are a bit fancy. Eggs roll away into a compartment after being laid. This keeps them clean and safe from pecking.
- Compartment boxes. Perfect if you have many hens. Each hen gets her own space. It’s a bit like an apartment building for chickens.
The right box depends on your setup and what your chickens like. Keep an eye on them. If they’re happy, you chose well.
When and Why Chickens Need Nesting Boxes
When do you need to set up nesting boxes for your chickens? The right time is before they start laying eggs.
Typically, hens begin laying around 5 to 6 months old. Get those boxes ready by then to avoid any egg-laying surprises.
Now, let’s talk about the why. Nesting boxes are more than just egg holders. They bring real benefits:
- Egg safety. With a nesting box, eggs stay clean and unbroken. You won’t have to scour your yard every day looking for eggs.
- Hen health. A comfortable nesting box reduces stress in hens. Less stress means healthier hens and more eggs.
- Easier egg collection. When hens lay in designated spots, collecting eggs becomes a breeze. No more egg hunts!
- Order in the coop. Nesting boxes help maintain order. Hens know where to go, reducing squabbles and chaos.
Without proper nesting boxes, you face a few challenges. Eggs can end up anywhere — dirty, broken, or hidden. Stressed hens might stop laying or lay less often.
In a worst-case scenario, hens might start eating their own eggs. Trust me, you don’t want that.
4 Best Nesting Boxes for Chickens: Researched and Reviewed
With some background out of the way, let’s get into the specifics. I’ve done in-depth research, testing, and analysis on each of the following nest boxes:
- Best Nest Box Reversible Rollout
- Homestead Essentials Classic 2-Compartment
- Eggluuz Chicken Nesting Boxes
- Yrangee Chicken Nesting Box
Below, check out my detailed review of each one.
Best For: Chicken keepers looking for a clean, efficient egg collection method, especially suitable for medium to large-sized flocks.
- Community style nest box with rollaway egg tray…
- Easy to assemble and made of galvanized steel
- 45 hen capacity
- Front or rear egg tray – Each box is reversible -…
- Nest pad bottom removes for easy cleaning – Made…
The Best Nest Box is a nice community-style nesting box designed to simplify egg collection and maintain cleanliness.
Made of USA-made galvanized steel, it’s built to last. It’s heavy and requires a strong mount. And it’s not going anywhere.
This box is available in three sizes, with the largest accommodating up to 45 hens. Great for any reasonably sized backyard flock.
For me, its standout feature is the dual floor system, which gently rolls eggs away from the hens to a protected area, ensuring eggs remain clean and unbroken.
The AstroTurf nest pad is a smart addition, providing a comfortable laying area that’s easy to clean. Its reversible collection area and movable perch bar add versatility and practicality, making it a great fit for any coop.
- Efficient egg collection. The sloped floor ensures eggs roll away for easy, clean collection.
- High capacity. Options available for small to large flocks, up to 45 hens.
- Easy to clean. The wire mesh and AstroTurf pad make maintenance simple.
- Versatile design. Reversible egg tray and easy wall mounting cater to different coop layouts.
- Quality material. Durable galvanized steel construction.
- Habitat friendly. Design reduces the likelihood of egg eating and nest fouling.
- Initial training required. Some chickens may take time to adapt to the new nest box style.
- Price point. Higher cost, but reflective of its quality and features.
- Installation assistance. Assembly might require an extra pair of hands.
- Front rail design. May need additional support for stability.
This nest box will SIGNIFICANTLY reduce egg breakage and keep eggs cleaner. While the price may be a bit steep, the durability and efficiency make it a worthwhile investment.
Best For: Easy egg collection for a medium to small flock.
The Homestead Essentials Classic 2-Compartment Chicken Nesting Box is ideal for chicken keepers looking for a durable, easy-to-clean solution to protect their eggs and provide a comfortable nesting space for their hens.
This nesting box is a two-compartment unit made with galvanized steel and plastic trays that resist corrosion and rot.
It’s designed to be sturdy and durable. But I have to say it’s not going to last as long as the Best Nest Box option above. Still, it’s a solid option that WILL last a considerable amount of time.
The roll-out feature ensures eggs roll away safely for easy collection, reducing the risk of damage. The removable trays with ventilation holes make cleaning simple. Each box measures 10.5 x 15 x 20 inches, providing ample space for your hens to nest comfortably.
- Easy assembly. Even if you’re not handy, you’ll find it straightforward to put together.
- Durable construction. Made of galvanized steel and sturdy plastic, it’s built to last.
- Roll-out design. Protects eggs and simplifies collection.
- Easy to clean. Removable trays with ventilation are a breeze to clean.
- Size. Good for medium to large hens, offering ample space.
- Egg protection. Helps prevent hens from eating eggs.
- Mounting hardware not included. You’ll need to get your own hardware for mounting.
- Assembly required. Some effort is needed to put it together.
I appreciate the thoughtful design that goes into products like this. It makes life easier not just for us, but for our feathered friends, too. If you’re looking for a reliable, user-friendly nesting solution, the Homestead Essentials Classic 2-Compartment Chicken Nesting Box with Perch Lids is a solid choice.
Best For: Eggluuz’s nesting boxes are ideal if you have a busy flock and need a convenient, easy-to-clean solution.
- Chicken Nesting Boxes for Laying Eggs
If you’re looking for a practical and efficient solution for your backyard chickens to lay eggs, the Eggluuz Chicken Nesting Boxes might just be what you need. Here’s a rundown of what makes this product stand out:
The boxes come in a dark green color and are designed with three holes, providing ample space for your chickens.
Made from durable alloy steel and ABS plastic, these boxes promise longevity, although I haven’t honestly put the longevity of this product to the test yet.
They feature a unique egg collection design, where eggs roll into a tray, making it easier for you to collect them without reaching into the box. Installation is straightforward, and the removable tray with small holes ensures easy cleaning.
- Sturdy construction. Made from galvanized steel, these nesting boxes are built to last.
- Easy egg collection. The inclined design helps eggs roll into the tray, protecting them and making collection a breeze.
- Ventilation. Adequate ventilation keeps the nesting box cool and dry.
- Simple to clean. The design allows for easy cleaning by removing the tray.
- Efficient space utilization. The design is compact yet spacious enough for comfort.
- Installation challenges. You may find the installation a bit tricky due to the position of the hanging holes.
- Plastic tray durability. The plastic bottom tray is not as durable as the rest of the metal construction.
- Initial hen adjustment. It might take some time for your chickens to get used to the new nesting box. Give it a couple of weeks at least.
- Sloping design limitation. If you prefer using fluffy nesting material, the sloping design might not work as intended.
- Tool requirements. You’ll need your own tools for assembly.
The Eggluuz Chicken Nesting Boxes are a solid choice for their durability, ease of cleaning, and efficient design. If you’re looking to streamline your egg collection and provide a comfortable laying space for your chickens, this product is worth considering.
Best For: Chicken-keepers who want a cost-effective (read: inexpensive) nesting box solution for their chickens.
- ✅【Durable & Stury】: Made of high quality…
- ✅【Easy to install】: The nesting boxes for…
- ✅【Place Anywhere】: There are two hole slots…
If you’re looking for a reliable, inexpensive nesting box for your backyard chickens, the Yrangee Chicken Nesting Box might just be what you need. Here’s a rundown of what the Yrangee nesting box offers and some pros and cons to consider.
The Yrangee Chicken Nesting Box is a single-compartment, wooden box designed for chicken coops. It’s made from thick, high-quality wood planks, ensuring durability and resistance to daily wear and tear.
The single box is spacious (13” x 14” x 13.6”), accommodating large hens comfortably.
Installation is as easy as it gets, with pre-drilled screw holes and clearly marked boards. Plus, you can place it anywhere in your coop, thanks to the handy hole slots for wall hanging.
- Sturdy build. Made from durable wood, it’s designed to last.
- Easy installation. Pre-drilled holes and clear instructions make assembly quick.
- Large size. Good for larger breeds of hens.
- Versatile placement. Can be hung on walls or placed on the ground.
- Cost-effective. Much less expensive than other nesting boxes.
- Quality inconsistencies. Some units may have unsanded edges or incorrect screw lengths.
- Manual work required. In some cases, additional sanding, sawing, or drilling might be needed.
- Lightweight material. While sturdy, the wood is somewhat light, which may not suit all preferences.
- Hens’ acceptance. Some chickens might need time to adjust to the new nesting environment.
Overall, the Yrangee Chicken Nesting Box is a solid choice for backyard poultry enthusiasts. It’s especially good if you’re looking for a durable, inexpensive option for your larger hens. Just be prepared for some potential minor adjustments during assembly.
Choosing the Right Nesting Box for Your Flock
Selecting the right nesting box isn’t a one-size-fits-all deal. Your flock’s needs depend on their size, breed, and your backyard space.
Let’s break it down:
- Flock size. More hens mean you need more boxes. A good rule of thumb is one box for every 3 to 4 hens. This helps avoid fights over boxes.
- Breed size. Larger breeds like Jersey Giants need bigger boxes. Smaller breeds are fine with standard sizes. Make sure your hen fits comfortably in the box.
- Backyard space. Got limited space? Consider compact or stackable boxes. They save room and can be just as comfy for your hens.
Now, let’s talk about bringing new boxes into the coop. Here are some tips:
- Introduce gradually. Place the new boxes in the coop a few weeks before they’re needed. Let your hens get used to them.
- Encourage exploration. Curiosity is natural for chickens. Place some treats or fake eggs in the boxes to attract them.
- Keep it familiar. If your hens are used to certain materials like straw, use the same in the new boxes. Familiarity helps ease the transition.
- Monitor the flock. Keep an eye on how your hens interact with the new boxes. You might need to make adjustments based on their behavior.
Choosing and introducing the right nesting box is crucial. It ensures your hens are comfortable and your egg collection stays hassle-free. Keep these points in mind, and you’ll make a choice that’s perfect for YOUR flock.