When building your coop, you will also want to include chicken nesting boxes for all those tasty eggs you will be collecting. Here is a quick faq to hopefully answer the most common questions new chicken owners have...
How many nesting boxes will I need?
Many beginners think they need to have a box for each chicken they own. However, you actually only need one for every three to four birds.
What size should I make the nesting boxes?
A good size for average breeds is 12" x 12" x 8". You may want to make it smaller if you are raising bantams, or larger for bigger breeds. However, as long as you make the box slightly bigger than the anticipated size of your mature chickens, they will be more than happy.
What materials should I use to build the boxes?
Wood and plastic are both good choices. Many people prefer plastic because it wipes up easily, but it's really your choice, and it may even depend on what you have lying around. Plastic buckets and drawers from old furniture are just a couple of examples of items you can use.
What type of litter should I use?
Straw or light-colored softwood shavings are two good choices. To prevent cracked eggs, make sure you provide a generous layering.
Where should I place the nesting boxes?
Select a dark corner in your coop that is out of direct sunlight. You will also want to place the nesting boxes lower than the perches, so that the birds do not decide to sleep (and subsequently poop) in them. If the boxes are not at floor level, you should install a rail along the bottom of the boxes to prevent eggs from rolling out. Finally, for your own convenience, you may want to set the nesting boxes up so that you can access them from the exterior of the coop.
Your chicken coop plans are not complete without nesting boxes. However, as long as you keep these general guidelines in mind, it should be an easy task.
photo credit: jakesmome
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