The Chicken Nest Box

The Chicken Nest Box is a continuation of Hen House Plans - Want Eggs? Hen House Plans. If you landed on this page first, I’ll do my best to get you caught up on the plot so far: Previously we discussed hen house plans - the end.

Why You Need to Provide a Chicken Nest Box

Chicken Nesting BoxIf you’ve gotten to this point and you are concerned about providing your hens with everything they need to give you lots of eggs.

This is where your hens will leave their eggs for you to gather. The chicken nest box is a very important part of your hen house plans and it is very important for the psychological health of your chicken. This isn’t some green-eco-loving, over-concerned thought either. Happy, secure chickens lay more eggs, are less likely to become diseased and taste better. So building a good chicken nest box definitely is a benefit to everyone.

Planning Your Hen's Nest Box

The first thing to consider is Space. Think about the size of your hens. Most laying hens are close to the same size. If you opt for raising smaller, exotic chickens, you may want to downsize your chicken nest box.

Larger chickens will need a little more space. Having a mansion is great for most people, all that extra room wouldn’t be so good for a smaller chicken. Your hens must be able to get in and out of the nest box comfortably. Typically, you should have enough room to easily lift your new little friend out of the chicken nest box. So at least a few inches all the way around is a good rule of thumb. Chickens need a little space for getting in and out, but not so much that they can’t get a good air pocket built up when your chickens puff up on a cold night or share space with some small chicks.


It is a good idea to make the entrance a good inch to two inches smaller than the box it’s self. This will not only help insulate a little better, but will allow you to use a little more hay for bedding. Again, this serves a functional purpose. A nice layer of 1 1/2” to 2” of hay will not only help keep yout chicken nest box nice and cozy, but the added cushion will help keep the eggs from getting cracked when they are laid or knocked out of the nest when your chicken jumps up to greet you!

Generally speaking, your chicken nest box should be a box. This box should have four walls, a top, a bottom with a rail perch along the front. You can have a single row of boxes and if you have lots of hens, add another row on top.

Box Top or Lid for Your Chicken Nest Box

Depending on the climate in the winter and summer time, it might not be a bad idea to make your chicken nest box top hinged turning it into a convertable unit. This will also make it easier for you to clean the nesting boxes. Not only will this make the neighbors’ chickens green with envy, but being able to remove and add a top at will. This will allow you to keep your chickens warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

This is easily accomplished with a few extra saw cuts to your finished box. Then add the hinges to the rear edge of box roof. Or you could add a lock down system by adding a groove to the leading edges of the top and bottom of your chicken nest box.

The only thing left is to make sure you have a perch outside of the box. Chickens love perches to hang out and talk about the day or to get in and out of the nest. Again having that little bit extra security is a nice thing for chickens. They might never say it, but your chickens will appreciate your thoughtfulness.


Step by Step Chicken Coop Building Guide & Video