The 4 Best Chicken Nesting Boxes For Your Backyard Chickens, Reviewed
We’ve analyzed over 1,700 reviews and dug deep into forums to pinpoint overlooked concerns of shoppers. Superb design. Imperishable materials. Life-changing bonus features. Those are the makings of a perfect chicken nesting box.
One of these four best chicken nesting boxes will surely be your next egg-collecting partner.
- 4 Best Chicken Nesting Boxes For Your Backyard
- Things to Consider When Picking The Best Nest Box For Your Chickens
4 Best Chicken Nesting Boxes For Your Backyard
Short in time? Here’s a handy dandy table with four of the best chicken nesting boxes in the market today:
Still unsure what’s the best nest box for you? Let’s talk about each one starting with our top pick from the Little Giant.
Now it’s time for our top pick.
[**Cue drum roll**]
Don’t let this plastic structure fool you. It’s one spacious chicken nesting box. Yup, just one. And that’s actually a good thing.
Get rid of nest sharing altogether. Chickens learn to take turns. But if you have more than three hens, best to get a couple more nesting boxes so they don’t wait too long. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself on an egg hunt way past Easter!
This best nesting box is also the only entry made of high-density, impact-resistant polyethylene. Or a fancy term for strong-ass plastic. You don’t have to worry about weather-proofing, corrosion, or rotting. Just slide the tabs on some screws, and you’re good to go. ZERO MAINTENANCE FEES in the future.
If the temperature is always cold in your area, you want to avoid steel. Plastic nest boxes stay warmer and more weather-resistant.
This chicken nesting box is suitable to put anywhere, even outdoors. Rain slides off the sloped roof and down the drain slot inside the box floor while the side slits allow fresh airflow. It’s a great add-on option.
Cleaning is also a breeze thanks to the building element and design. You don’t need to unscrew anything. Slide up, pop out and wash. Poop slides right off the smooth plastic. Easy peasy box is squeaky.
The landing perch is a great addition to the nesting box. Chickens don’t just fly up and land inside the box. That’s like having a plane land straight into the hangar. They need a landing strip.
The only problem is the plastic perch bends. Some chickens find it unstable and hop back to the ground. Others get used to it just fine. But bigger birds like Brahmas tend to steer clear of this nesting box.
The Little Giant Single Plastic Nesting Box is spot-on for a small flock. But also an egg-cellent addition for expanding coops. If you don’t have space inside your enclosure, feel free to slap these babies on your outer coop wall.
It’s our top pick because it’s a foolproof and weather-proof chicken nesting box option. It takes no skill to assemble, lasts a lifetime, and a breeze to maintain.
Picture this. It’s a normal day. You go to feed your pullets in their coop. Then, you notice a clutch of eggs on the floor. Oh no! They aren’t due to start laying for another few weeks.
Don’t panic. The Precision Pet Triple nesting box is cheap and quick to assemble. It’s perfect for such emergency purposes.
There are two ways of assembling this chicken nesting box – screwing the boards together or using wood glue.
Each section is large enough to fit one hen at a time comfortably. It has a full “wall” on two sides of each box, keeping nosy neighbors out. Plus, it prevents nasty egg-eating habits.
You can place it anywhere in the coop – well, almost. You can put it in a quiet corner of your coop or on top of a higher shelf. But whatever you do, make sure you don’t mount it on the wall without reinforcing the bottom. Or else your girls and eggs will fall through.
However, its plywood material is thin. It’s not going to last long on its own. The top plank is problematic as well. Yes, it’s great for carrying the chicken nesting boxes around. But it’s also perfect for roosting. With a nest right below, that’s not good (unless you want a poopy hen and eggs).
Pro tip: Put the chicken nesting boxes right under the roof. Ta-da. No perching space.
Cleaning-wise, this isn’t one of those fancy nesting boxes. It has no egg tray. But, you can line the boxes with a cloth or cover them with bedding. Pull the whole contraption out, and presto, a clean nesting box.
The Precision Pet nesting box is vanilla. Plain, simple, and easy to dress up. It’s perfect for first-time chicken owners that need a basic chicken nesting box. Or, as we’ve said earlier, an emergency premature laying situation.
The materials won’t hold up for long, so it’s not a permanent box option. On the bright side, it’s cheap enough that it won’t put a hole in your pocket – if you find it’s not a good fit for you.
Tired of wooden chicken nesting boxes? Get on board the metal nesting box train with the Brower 6-hole Poultry Nest.
You’ll only need your screwdriver and wrench to put it together. Maybe a mallet, in case there are dents or bent parts. But you don’t need to worry about any jagged edges.
They’re all folded in, so you or your precious hens don’t get cut. Barring any delays, your chickens will be ready to move in after less than an hour of assembly.
Galvanized steel doesn’t just make a strong structure. It also makes it easy to clean. Simply pop out each of the bottom trays. Then, hose everything down. Easy peasy.
Gone are the days of having 2 or 3 hens squeezing into one box at the same time. This metal, double-decker chicken nesting box has six well-ventilated compartments. That’s a lot of laying space for over 20 hens.
Good news for those with a roosting problem. The 2-tier chicken nesting box comes with roosting bars and a slanted roof. So, everyone has a PROPER place to sleep at night. That’s right. You don’t need to worry about chickens perching on the flat roof and messing it up with their dirty business.
One bonus is you can also fold up the bars during the day – in case you don’t want anyone napping inside the boxes.
With lots of sleeping space, we highly recommend the Brower 6-hole Nesting Box for medium flocks. More chicken nesting boxes mean no box sharing. Hens can lay in peace.
But wait, this chicken nesting box doesn’t only benefit the chickens. The sturdy and easy clean features are also good for your back and wallet. Think of less maintenance and repairs. Doesn’t that sound awesome?
Upgrades and modifications are a huge part of keeping chickens. Heck, once your chicks become adults, you’ll need a nesting box again.
That’s where the Best Nest Box comes in. It’s an absolute time-saver! Imagine never having to change beddings and clean soiled eggs – especially if you have a large flock.
Get this. The hens lay their eggs on the plastic nesting pads that sort of feels like artificial grass. From there, the eggs roll down to the egg tray. It sounds puzzling for chickens, but they seem to get it after a few tries.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. “Don’t the freshly laid eggs break after rolling on metal?”
No, they don’t. Thanks to the larger metal grids that slow the roll. The curved bumper gently catches the eggs too. They are perfectly safe from both egg-eaters and steep inclines.
Another cool thing about this chicken nesting box is that it’s reversible. Having options is always a good thing. You can choose whether you want to be collecting eggs inside or outside of your coop.
Here are some insights for each configuration:
In-coop egg tray design:
- Pros: Keeping the egg tray inside the coop means you don’t need to punch a hole in your wall. No extra work. Plus, it provides safety from the weather and predators.
- Cons: The egg tray sits right below the perch, helping chickens easily get in and out of the box. Know what else the perch is good for? Roosting and pooping. Yup, it can get messy.
Out-coop egg tray design:
- Pros: You can collect from the outside, and there’s no risk of escaping chickens. Not to mention you’ll always have a clean egg tray.
- Cons: You need to cut a hole in the wall. It also exposes the eggs to drastic temperature changes.
Whichever configuration you choose, you’ll end up spending less time with maintenance. That alone makes this chicken nesting box a bang for your buck.
If you have more than ten egg-laying hens, collecting eggs is a breeze with the Best Next Box Large Reversible Rollaway nest box. It’s a brilliant solution to having soiled eggs. Or if you have hens that learned the horrible egg-eating habit.
Things to Consider When Picking The Best Nest Box For Your Chickens
You may have an idea of which nest box you’re buying. Or maybe you’re tossing between a few options. Check out the four things to consider when picking the perfect nesting box for you below to help you decide once and for all.
First things first, think about what your chickens need. The more comfortable they are, the better chances that they lay their eggs regularly. So, what do hens need? The basics are:
a. A Safe, Quiet Area
Consider this. Egg production is essentially chickens giving birth. They want to do their business in a place they feel safe (1).
“Many hens like a dark enclosure, but others prefer the nest to have more light.”
b. Comfortable Bedding
Hens don’t just lay their eggs on any material. They build a comfy nest out of soft, warm materials. You can use straw, shredded paper, wood shavings, pine needles, and the sort.
Other synthetic things work too. Some nesting boxes come with nesting pads. It saves you on bedding, and some hens find it comfortable enough. You get the idea. Eggs are fragile. They need good bedding.
Pro tip: Adding some herbs in the nesting box also helps increase egg production and keeps the nesting box clean.
c. Easily Accessible
Most people overlook this. Yes, hens like to lay their eggs in secluded areas. But it should also be easy for them to get to. These ladies are mothers. They need access to their babies, especially if they’re broody hens hatching eggs.
d. A Little Hint For First-Timers
All hens have that mother’s instinct when they first start to lay their eggs. They know what to do. But if you want them to lay in a specific place, you need to give them a hint. Planting a dummy egg is a classic strategy.
The logic is simple. Chickens see an egg and think, “Oh, okay. If someone else laid here, I guess it’s a safe spot.” (chickens are such copycats).
Dummy eggs don’t have to be real eggs. You can easily get ceramic ones at the poultry shop. A golf ball works like a charm, too (2).
Size And Capacity
Basics, check. Now let’s talk about real estate.
First, consider the size of the actual chicken. Make sure the hens fit into the box. Most chickens need a box that measures 12” by 12” and 18” in depth. Check out our guide on chicken nesting box sizes for more info about other breeds.
Next, think about egg capacity. You know how there’s an ideal space allotment for coops? Well, there’s a guided ratio for nesting boxes too. It highly depends on the breed of your layers and the size of their eggs (3).
“If all your chickens are laying daily, for example, you may need more boxes. Especially if you have a breed laying large eggs.”
The law of supply and demand applies here too. The shortage of nesting boxes starts a domino effect. It can begin with simple overcrowding but can lead to breakage. And even worse, some hens eat eggs. It’s a horrible habit, but it happens.
Having the right size nesting box is essential to the success of egg collection.
Design And Durability
Egg-laying is part of a mature hen’s daily routine. It should be easy and comfortable for the chicken. Design plays an important role here.
You already know what your hens need. So next, ask yourself, “How can I make it easy for my hens?”
Start with accessibility. The best chicken nesting boxes should be easy to get to but still safe. So raise it off the floor out of reach of predators. But not too high that they have a hard time flying to it. Definitely think about how high your chickens can fly comfortably.
Is your coop fully enclosed? Add vents to the nesting boxes.
Do you have a problem with chickens roosting above the nesting boxes? Add a slanted roof.
How will you collect the eggs? An external hatch is awesome if you have a cramped coop.
There are many things to think about. The more hens you have, the more durable your nesting box should be. This is where materials come into play.
Your imagination is the limit when building a nesting box. But, it gets limited when you buy it from a store. The most common material is wood. But it’s also the easiest to break down because of frequent cleaning. Wood always needs to be treated to prolong its quality (4).
Galvanized steel lasts longer, but it’s not ideal for cold climates. Then there’s plastic which is becoming a popular choice. Sturdy but lightweight and easy to clean.
Consider your climate and size of your chickens. It affects the efficiency and lifespan of your nesting boxes. Choose the one that will serve you well without putting a hole in your wallet.
Ah, the fun part. This is where you get to consider your “wants.” There’s nothing wrong with considering features that make things easier for you. After all, you work hard enough.
Think of these as an investment. For example, you want a roll-away egg tray. Great! It costs more, but it saves you the trouble of washing eggs every day.
Dual-purpose elements are fantastic. They give you twice the excuse to spend more. (Kidding but also true) Exhibit A: The hinged perch. Chickens need it as a landing platform (win). You can also fold it up at night, so no one sleeps inside the nesting boxes (win).
Chickens poop a lot at night because they lack a muscle called the sphincter. It’s responsible for controlling bodily functions.
Getting that hinged perch actually saves you from having to change the bedding more than usual (win).
See? Bonus features are great. Just be sure to choose the beneficial ones. Spending extra money on cute but useless features isn’t the way to go.
You need approximately three nesting boxes for 12 chickens. Ideally, it’s good to allot one box for every 4-5 chickens. Again, this depends on the size of the bird and its eggs. How often the chickens lay eggs is also a factor.
Chicken nesting boxes should be at least 12 inches high.
Of course, it depends on the breeds you have. You can’t expect a Brahma to fit into a standard-sized nesting box. For bigger breeds, allot 14 inches of height for your nesting box.
No, chicken nesting boxes don’t need to be off the ground. However, it is better to raise them.
Elevating the nesting box keeps it cleaner. It keeps out dust, parasites, and poopy bedding from the floor. Nesting boxes should be between 18-20 inches off the ground (5). That’s enough floor clearance while staying low enough for chickens to get to comfortably.
No, chickens don’t need a ramp to get to their nesting boxes. The usual mode of getting to the nest box is by flying. What they might need is a perch. But that’s only if the nesting box just has a hole. It’s easier (and safer) for them to perch before going in the nest box.
- Backyard Flock Tip: Egg Laying Behavior. Retrieved from: https://www.thepoultrysite.com/articles/backyard-flock-tip-egg-laying-behavior
- A Few Simple Tips to Help You Train Your Chickens to Use Nesting Boxes. Retrieved from: https://bestnestbox.com/blogs/news/a-few-simple-tips-to-help-you-train-your-chickens-to-use-nesting-boxes
- How Many Nest Boxes per Chicken. Retrieved from: https://chickenandchicksinfo.com/how-many-nest-boxes-per-chicken/
- Build a Nest Box. Retrieved from: https://www.lincstrust.org.uk/wildlife/wildlife-gardening/bird-boxes
- Frequently Asked Questions. Retrieved from: https://www.mcmurrayhatchery.com/faqhowfarshould.html