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Last updated: February 24, 2021
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Owning chickens can be very rewarding, but every chicken owner has a responsibility to look after their birds and provide them with respectable living conditions. This all starts with choosing the right nesting boxes. The best chicken nesting boxes allow hens to feel safe and comfortable, while also making egg collection easy.
We reviewed 40 of the best chicken nesting boxes on the market today, finding that the Brower 410B is the best option for most people. Offering 10 holes spread across two tiers, these nesting boxes are easy to put together, well-designed for the comfort and safety of the chickens, and fitted with ventilation holes for air flow. We also gathered five more of the top rated chicken nesting boxes to suit a wide range of buyers from families with just a few chickens to farm owners.
Our review team spent many hours analyzing and evaluating the quality of these chicken nesting boxes, taking a range of factors into account in order to find only the best boxes. We looked at the material each set of boxes was made from, as this can have a big impact on the durability and lifespan of the nesting boxes. We also considered the size of the boxes and how many nesting places they offer, which can be an important factor for people with large numbers of chickens. We also considered any interesting extra features like ventilation holes, egg trays, and perches which can make the boxes more comfortable for the chickens and more convenient for the owners. The table below shows the best boxes we found, followed by detailed reviews and a buying guide.
"These galvanized chicken nesting boxes, capable of housing up to 60 chickens, are made from strong and sturdy steel, one of the best materials for nesting boxes in terms of its durability, strength, and easy-clean nature."
"This 2 set comes with a sloped roof to prevent roosting, a removable ventilated laying tray that helps to keep the chickens cool and fresh, and a sloped base that allows the eggs to roll easily out into the collection tray."
If you’re looking for a nesting box that can handle a relatively large flock of birds and offers comfort, support, and resistance all in one great product, the Brower 410B 10 Hole Poultry Nest is a great option to start with. These galvanized chicken nesting boxes are made from strong and sturdy steel, one of the best materials for nesting boxes in terms of its durability, strength, and easy-clean nature.
The Brower 410B nesting boxes are really convenient for chicken owners due to this easy-to-clean aspect and the fact that they’re super simple to set up too. Installation and assembly can be done in less than an hour and you don’t even need any advanced tools to get the job done; just a screwdriver and a wrench are enough to carry out the entire assembly process.
Some users have reported that the instructions included with the Brower 410B aren’t the clearest, so you may need to visit the official website or check out an online video tutorial to help out, but the process shouldn’t take too long at all once you figure it out.
These nests come with 10 holes, offering space for up to 50 or 60 chickens in total, and can be staggered back to back if you’re worried about hens passing between the tiers. They also come with double bolted perches with hinges for closing, as well as ventilation holes in the sides to aid with airflow on warm days.
If you need a metal nesting box but don’t necessarily need a lot of nesting places, the Harris Farms 2 Hole Nesting Box is a great option at a fair price. Made from tough, strong, galvanized steel, this nesting box features a 2-hole design, making it a good fit for flocks of around 6 or 7 chickens. The Harris Farms 2 Hole Nesting Box is totally rust resistant and flawlessly designed with comfort and safety in mind.
The edges have been carefully folded to prevent any accidental damage or injuries to the birds and the side panels are fitted with ventilation holes that help to provide cool, fresh airfow throughout the nesting unit and prevent the hens from getting too hot. The sloped roof of the Harris Farms 2 Hole Nesting Box helps to prevent roosting and there are holes and hangers for easy mounting if you’d like to raise the nesting box up off the ground.
The Harris Farms 2 Hole Nesting Box also comes with a hinged perch that can be easily closed and provides comfortable entry and exit for the chickens. It’s a really top quality metal nesting box overall, but some users have reported that the installation instructions are a little confusing and so you might need to spend a little while actually putting this box together.
If you’re looking for an affordable chicken nesting box made from top quality material and nicely designed to provide comfort and security to your birds, the Miller Manufacturing 163620 is a big winner in every category. It’s made from plastic, making it more affordable than some of the more expensive metal nesting boxes out there, while still giving it a strong degree of resistance and strength.
The plastic shell of the Miller Manufacturing 163620 is fully resistant to rot, corrosion, and rust. It’s impact resistant too, meaning that it has little chance of bending, breaking, or snapping under pressure, and the roof has been formed in a sloping shape to prevent roosting while still providing a cozy space inside for chickens to lay their eggs. The Miller Manufacturing 163620 also comes with a small perch on the outside and a couple of ventilation slits in the sides of the plastic shell.
Then, there are some holes at the back to allow the user to easily mount this nesting box up on the walls of the coop or hen house, offering additional safety and comfort to the birds. The only real downside to the Miller Manufacturing 163620 is the fact that some users say, due to the small entryway, it can be a little bit difficult to clean the inside and refill with straw, hay, sawdust, or other bedding materials.
Some of the chicken nesting boxes on our list are designed for families who just have a small group of half a dozen chickens and need a few nesting spaces for them to lay their eggs each day. However, if you have a much larger flock and need something that can really handle a lot of chickens all at once, the Best Nest Box Rollaway Community Nest Box is a terrific choice. It’s one of the best high capacity chicken nesting boxes you can find today, with a large communal nesting space that can cater for flocks of 45 to 60 hens in size.
The Best Nest Box Rollaway Community Nest Box also comes with a rollaway egg tray, allowing the eggs to simply fall out from the box into the tray without the risk of any damage or cracks. Since the design is fully reversible, you can position the egg tray on the front or rear, as needed, allowing for super convenient egg collection.
There’s a nest pad base along the nesting area of the Best Nest Box Rollaway Community Nest Box. Made from polyethylene resin, this base helps to prevent the build up on bacteria inside the nesting box and also provides a comfortable, grass-like feel for the chickens to enjoy. The addition of vinyl flaps over the front of the nesting space also helps to keep it dark and quiet inside, giving the chickens more safety and security. It’s one of the best boxes out there, but it’s also very big so can only be recommended to those with big flocks.
What we liked:
Prevents build up of bacteria
Lots of useful extras like egg tray and vinyl flaps
If you prefer your chicken nesting boxes the old fashioned way, made from strong and sturdy wood, the Precision Pet 7029288 might be the best option for you. Metal and plastic have several advantages over wood, but some people still favor the aesthetic of wood and the fact that it tends to be a lot cheaper. This is one of the most affordable nesting boxes in our list, especially when considering its impressive size and three separate nesting spots. It’s quite a simple design on the outside, but has a lot of flexibility, able to be placed in or out of coops on any flat surface.
The clever design of the Precision Pet 7029288 helps to eliminate nest sharing and prevents hens from interfering with others who are trying to lay, with single and double models also available. This can be a huge advantage to any chicken owner who has experienced of hens all trying to get into the same boxes at once, and the open, airy nature of this design also keeps the hens cool and makes the nesting boxes easier to clean.
Unfortunately, since the Precision Pet 7029288 is made from wood, it won’t be quite as simple to keep clean in the long term as a metal or plastic model would be. The wood is also prone to wear and tear over time, but if you position this nesting box in the right place, in dry and shaded conditions, it should be able to survive for a long time.
Last but not least, we come to the Homestead Essentials Roll Out Poultry Nesting Box. While many nesting boxes out there are made from just one material, this one makes use of two: featuring rust resistant galvanized steel plates and bases and then plastic lids and perches. This combination of materials works well at giving the Homestead Essentials Roll Out Poultry Nesting Box a unique aesthetic and ensuring that it’s highly durable and resistant in the long term.
The Homestead Essentials Roll Out Poultry Nesting Box is also very easy to clean and can last for years if looked after properly, as well as boasting a great range of extra features. It comes with a sloped roof to prevent roosting, a removable ventilated laying tray that helps to keep the chickens cool and fresh, and a sloped base that allows the eggs to roll easily out into the collection tray.
The Homestead Essentials Roll Out Poultry Nesting Box is quick and simple to put together too, offering a lot of advantages overall. The only real downside is that some users have criticized the price of this model as being too high, considering it only offers two nesting places. You can certainly find larger nesting boxes for less money, but the durability, design, and overall quality of this model help to justify the price tag.
What we liked:
Strong metal and plastic design
Easy to clean
Simple to set up
Smart features like sloped roof and ventilated base
What could be better:
Things to Consider
More and more people are deciding to raise their own chickens for eggs or meat, and any chicken owner can benefit from investing in high quality nesting boxes. These boxes give hens a little peace and privacy for when they need to lay their eggs, and the best nesting boxes for chickens are able to offer comfort and security, as well as making the whole process of collecting the eggs much easier for you too. Some people even consider making their own DIY chicken nesting boxes, but buying pre-made boxes from quality materials is often a lot easier. Read on to learn what to look for when shopping for nesting boxes and how to find the top options for your chickens.
Features to consider when buying a chicken nesting box
If you’re ready to start shopping for a chicken nesting box, we advise you to take your time, read through our reviews and recommendations, and consider a wide range of factors in order to make the right decision. It’s definitely not wise to simply dive right in and buy the first set of nesting boxes you find, as there are a lot of different features to consider, including the material used to make the nesting boxes, the size of the boxes, how easy they are to clean and install, what extra features they have to offer, and how many nesting places they have too. Read on to learn more.
One of the first and most important things to think about when it comes to finding the best chicken coop nesting boxes is the material used to make them. Usually, there are three main materials you need to be aware of when it comes to these boxes: metal, plastic, and wood. When trying to choose between these materials, you need to think about how strong they are, how long they’ll last, how comfortable and safe they are for the hens, and how easy they are to clean as well.
Let’s start off by talking about metal nesting boxes for chickens, such as the Brower 410B. Metal nesting boxes have started to become quite popular in recent years due to their unique advantages. The main plus point of metal is that it’s very strong and sturdy, so these boxes can withstand the elements and cope with dirt and waste from the chickens without degrading or wearing away. Metal boxes are also very easy to clean. However, on the downside, metal can heat up quickly, which won’t be so comfortable for the birds on hot days.
Next, let’s consider wooden chicken nesting boxes, such as the Precision Pet 7029288. Wood is the most traditional material to use for chicken nesting boxes and has been relied upon for many years, with many antique chicken nesting boxes being made of wood. It’s affordable, relatively sturdy, and easy to work with. However, wood has some downsides, such as the fact that it’s a lot harder to keep clean, it can be a good breeding ground for bacteria, and it will wear down over time when exposed to the elements and waste from the chickens.
Finally, we have plastic chicken nesting boxes like the Miller Manufacturing 163620. Plastic is a nice compromise between wood and plastic in terms of price and sturdiness. It’s usually cheaper than metal and more durable than wood, offering a good all-round solution for your chicken nesting boxes and being very easy to clean too. Again, however, plastic has a few downsides, like the fact that it can wear down over time.
Another big factor to consider when looking for the best chicken nesting boxes for you is size. So what is the best size for chicken nesting boxes? Well, it all depends on how many chickens you’re dealing with and what kind of coop or set-up you have already in place. Since nesting boxes should be installed within the coop or chicken house, you need to ensure that the chicken nesting boxes dimensions match up with the coop and will fit properly.
Fortunately, chicken nesting boxes come in a variety of shapes and sizes to suit all situations, from the large Brower 410B boxes, which measure up at 60 x 12 x 34 inches, to the smaller and more compact models out there, like the Miller Manufacturing 163620, which measure up at only 26.5 x 15.9 x 19.8 inches each. Naturally, the smaller models will be better-suited to those who don’t have as much space to work with or don’t have too many birds.
You also need to think about the weight of each set of nesting boxes. Metal nesting boxes tend to be heavier, while plastic and wooden variants, like the Precision Pet 7029288, tend to be more lightweight.
The lighter models are not only easier to carry around and simpler to install, but they’ll also put less pressure on your coop and will be easier to remove for cleaning too, if needed.
Number of nesting places
It’s important to also differentiate between the size of a nesting box set and how many nesting places it offers. One of the big questions many first-time or amateur chicken owners ask is “How many nesting boxes do I need per chicken?” Opinions vary on this matter, but many experts tend to agree that each nestign box should be suitable for up to five birds.
Others are a little more conservative in their views, stating that you should one box for every three birds. In either case, it’s important to note that multiple birds will happily use the same box, but it definitely helps to have more boxes if you can, as this gives them more space and options, preventing any of the birds from having to lay their eggs outside or in unclean areas.
Next, you need to think about the installation and placement options offered by your chicken nesting boxes. Some models, like the Precision Pet 7029288, are super easy to install with simple designs that allow them to be positioned on any flat surface, while others, like the Harris Farms 2 Hole Nesting Box, come with little holes that allow for the boxes to be hung up or mounted on walls.
Many chicken owners with experience say that wall mounted chicken nesting boxes are the best option here as these boxes provide more comfortable conditions for the hens. Hens are quite timid and easily frightened creatures. Even the act of laying a big egg can scare them quite a lot, so it really helps if chicken owners take the time to provide very safe and comfortable conditions for their hens.
With a wall mounted box, you can position it quite high up, and this will allow the hen to feel safer and have much less chance of being bothered by other hens or roosters in the coop. If you do want to invest in a wall mounted box like the Miller Manufacturing 163620, you should try to position it about 1-2 feet off the ground. Any higher than that will make the boxes difficult to access for your hens, while any lower will allow others to get in and bother them.
Another big factor to think about with your chicken nesting boxes has to be the warranty. This is an important thing to think about when buying almost any product in life, especially something as vital as a chicken nesting box that can be exposed to a lot of wear and tear over time due to the chickens’ activities, the elements of the surrounding area, and the build-up of dirt and grime as time goes by.
It’s always beneficial to the owner when a manufacturer provides a strong warranty policy, offering to cover the repair costs or offer you a free replacement if anything happens with your nesting boxes. Many of the best nesting boxes are very well-made, designed to be durable and long-lasting, but it is possible for them to break or degrade over time, and this is where a good warranty can make all the difference.
Another major factor that needs to be taken into account when shopping for any chicken nesting boxes is the extra features and add-ons they have to offer. At first, you might think that most nesting boxes are more or less the same, but from vintage chicken nesting boxes right the way up to contemporary chicken nesting boxes with egg drop add-ons, there are many different designs, styles, and extra features to think about.
Our top rated chicken nesting box, for example, the Brower 410B, comes with an impressive list of extra features to consider. For example, it features ventilation holes in the sides of each nesting place panel. This is a major advantage for a metal nesting box, as metal can sometimes have the downside of getting too hot in warmer weather. Fortunately, the holes help to provide airflow for the hens, cooling them down in any conditions.
The Harris Farms 2 Hole Nesting Box is another terrific option with some impressive extra features like the aforementioned ventilation holes, bottom metal inserts that can be removed with ease for speedy cleaning, and folded edges to prevent any damage or accidental injuries to the birds as they move around and get into the nests.
The Miller Manufacturing 163620 is another fine example of a top quality nesting box with some impressive extra features. It comes with holes in the sides for easy mounting onto the wall, a sloped roof that prevents birds from climbing around on top or roosting, and even an impact-resistant, rot-proof plastic coating to ensure that your nesting boxes will last for years without needing to be replaced or repaired.
Tips on how to maintain chicken nesting boxes
Getting a good quality set of chicken nesting boxes is a great start, but if you want them to last a long time, you need to look after them properly. Even the best chicken nesting boxes made of strong materials and fitted with useful extra features can suffer from wear and tear as time goes by, but with good care and regular maintenance, you can ensure that your chicken nesting boxes last for years, providing safety and comfort to your hens time and time again. Here are some of our top tips for chicken nesting box maintenance:
Be sure to clean your chicken boxes regularly. This is made easier by choosing metal or plastic nesting boxes like the Best Nest Box Rollaway Community Nest Box. You can wash over these boxes with warm soapy water and antibacterial solution, but remember to let them dry off and avoid using any strong chemicals that could put the chickens at risk.
Try to discourage the hens from pooping in the boxes or spending long amounts of time inside them. Ideally, the boxes should only be used for laying eggs. If you have hens that are sitting in the boxes for long periods, simply shoo them out or carry them out if you can get access, and they’ll gradually learn that the boxes are only for eggs.
Think about positioning! Try to place the chicken nesting boxes in areas where they’ll be as safe as possible from the rain and other elements. Even the sun can be a risk for your boxes, depending on the material they’re made from, so try to put them in dry and shady spots if possible.
Tips on how to keep other hens and predators out
One of the big worries many chicken owners face is how to deal with predators. You have to think about how to keep predators away from your hens and ensure that they stay safe when laying their eggs and living their lives. You also need to control your flock, ensuring that each hen can safely lay her eggs without interference from the others. Here are some tips to help out:
Always ensure that the nesting boxes are positioned within the chicken house for easy and safe access, allowing you to shut the door at night and keep predators at bay.
Don’t let your chickens lay their eggs outside, as the smell of the eggs can be detected by predators and lead them right to your flock.
Position the nesting boxes in dark and shadowy corners of the coop in order to make them less interesting for the other chickens to interfere with.
Place a piece of burlap cloth over the front of each nest to make the nests less enticing and appealing to other chickens too.
Be sure to shoo the hens out when they’re finished laying their eggs so that they don’t get in the habit of hanging around the boxes and bothering the others.
The whole point of buying nesting boxes is so that your chickens can enjoy them and lay eggs in them, but what if your hens just don’t seem to understand or aren’t going into the boxes? Well, there’s no need to worry. This is a common issue that some chicken owners simply have to deal with, and the solution is quite simple. In order to encourage your chickens to use their nesting boxes, there are a few simple tips to follow. Firstly, the nests should be placed within the chicken house or coop for easy access. Secondly, the nesting boxes should always be lined with a comfortable material such as wood shavings, sawdust, straw, or even pieces of chopped up paper. You can even use bits of grass if you want, and the more comfortable and cozy you make the box, the more appealing it will be for your hens.
This is one of the top questions many chicken owners ask themselves in regard to nesting boxes. The truth of the matter is that hens are all different and you might find that they respond better to one material or another, so it’s worth testing out a few options in the early stages and seeing what they like best. Shavings and sawdust are popular options due to their affordable nature, but they can get dirty quite quickly. Shredded paper is cheap too and easy to replace. Straw and hay are good options but need to be changed regularly due to the build-up of dirt and bacteria, and grass clippings can be very comfortable for the hens, as long as the grass has no chemical treatments on it. Overall, the best choice depends on how much you want to spend, how your hens react, and how often you plan on cleaning the boxes.
This is another one of the big issues that hen owners have to deal with. If you’ve had hens before, you’ll know that they’re not the most hygienic of creatures and tend to poop all over the place, even in chicken waterers and around their food sometimes. So yes, they will also poop in their nesting boxes from time to time, but you can help to prevent this kind of behavior by positioning the nests out in the darker corners of the hen house, away from the main areas of activity. You can also take an active role by shooing the hens out of the nests if you notice them pooping or hanging around in the boxes for too long after laying their eggs. In short, you can try to teach your hens that the boxes are only for eggs and nothing else.
The number one choice in our list of best nest boxes for chickens is the Brower 410B. By far the best metal chicken nesting boxes around, these boxes offer plenty of space for larger flocks of up to 60 hens and are made from tough, strong, galvanized steel.
The second best chicken nesting boxes we found are the Harris Farms 2 Hole Nesting Box. Ideal for smaller flocks but easily extendable to cater to more birds too, these strong metal nesting boxes can be easily mounted on the walls and are made of rust-resistant, highly durable steel.
Our third top rated chicken nesting boxes are Miller Manufacturing 163620. The top plastic nesting boxes for chickens on the market today, these boxes feature a unique sloped design to prevent roosting and are made of high quality, rot and rust resistant materials.