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Reviewing the Best Chicken Nests
Last updated: 20 Jul 2021
People love their pets for many different reasons, and they enjoy their various characteristics and temperaments. Taking care of cats and dogs is a lot different than chickens that tend to fend for themselves. Just like a cat needs its own sleeping area, a chicken needs room to nest. Take a look at the best chicken nests for 2021.
This two-tier chicken nest has 10 holes for nesting hens, including wooden perches and metal perch arms. The unit comes with instructions for easy assembly, and the ventilation holes are great for airflow. All you need a screwdriver and a wrench to put it together. The nest is made with high-quality steel and has removable bottoms for easy cleaning.
Ventilation holes for better airflow
Removable nest bottom for easy cleaning
Unit comes with instructions, easy to assemble
Chicken poop from the top perch falls onto the lower perch
The durable chicken nesting box is made from polyethylene so it will not corrode or rust. The plastic surface is a great nesting place for your chicken since it’s not as cold as metal and is easier to clean. It is easily mounted on a wall and features a sloped roof to prevent roosting and provides a perch for chickens.
Plastic surface is not as cold as metal or wood
Wall-mounted to protect your chickens from predators
This nesting box features four holes for nesting chickens and is made of thicker galvalume metal with power-coated tops for durability and prevention against rust. It features keyhole-shaped hangers, which make it easier to detach the unit from the wall for cleaning. The chicken nest comes with instructions for easy, hassle-free assembly. It also has an attractive, shiny finish and is easy to clean.
Assembly instructions are easy to follow
Spacious design, can accommodate 16-20 chickens
Made with thicker galvalume metal for durability
Ventilation holes for better airflow
Chicken poop from the top perch may fall onto the lower perch
This chicken nest has a straightforward design and can accommodate only one hen at a time, making it a great purchase for smaller coops with limited storage. It also reduces nest sharing among chickens. Its wooden surface has lower thermal conductivity than metal so that your chickens can stay cozy in colder temperatures. The nesting box can be used inside or outside a coop.
Wooden construction with lower thermal conductivity
Whether you have a flock of hens or just one, you should ensure that they are in good health so you can enjoy the benefits of raising them. This involves investing in some essentials, including a good old chicken nest or nesting box.
Now, you can decide to build a chicken nest from scratch using some cheap materials, but its quality will be nothing compared to that of a standard ready-made box. Buying one will save you a ton of stress, time, and some cash too. So, drop the hammer and pick up your wallet/credit card. You’re going nesting box shopping.
Chicken nests come in different designs and sizes and are made up of a variety of materials. Choosing the best chicken nest can be a headache, especially if you haven’t done it before, but it is important to make the right decision. You don’t want your chickens to lose weight or stop laying eggs because of a bad decision you made, do you?
Why Do You Need a Chicken Nest?
Chicken nests provide a safe and private environment that most chickens need to lay their eggs. Chickens tend to be discreet when laying eggs, and chicken nests help them with this. Also, chickens are likely to damage their eggs if they are not in a confined area. This is no longer an issue with a chicken nest because both the eggs and the chicken are in a comfy but enclosed space.
What Factors Should You Consider When Choosing a Chicken Nest?
Selecting a chicken nest based on a hunch, feeling, or aesthetics is a bad idea. Pay attention to these factors as they will guide you to making the best chicken nest choice for your birds.
Size is a key determinant of the type of chicken nest to buy. Chickens need comfort when laying their eggs; therefore, their nest must have enough space to ensure that. If your chickens are jumbo in size, you know you can’t get them a small chicken nest—a similarly large chicken nest will suffice.
Basically, you have to select a chicken nest that suits the needs of your birds. If you don’t, they may refuse to get into the chicken nest, leading to other complications you don’t want to deal with. Sometimes, chickens make a mess of the bedding material if the chicken nest is too large; if it is too small, they simply won't enter. So, you have to make sure that the nesting box is neither too big nor too small for them.
In principle, a chicken nest with 16”x14”x14” dimensions will be suitable for most chicken breeds.
You know a chicken nest is the best when it is constructed from plastic, metal, or wood. These three materials are the best options for a chicken nest, but you have to consider longevity and ease of cleaning before selecting a chicken nest made of either one of them.
Wood is the common choice of chicken nest material—not because it is the best one—but rather because it is the pocket-friendly choice. Wooden chicken nests degrade easily due to various environmental and microbial factors. When you factor in the cleaning agents and chemicals that may speed up this degradation, it doesn't sound like a great investment. Plus, they get moist easily, thereby supporting the proliferation of pathogenic agents.
You can’t sterilize wooden chicken nests either, so they may shelter dangerous microorganisms that cause human and chicken diseases.
Plastic is another pocket-friendly choice of chicken nest material. Since plastic is highly resistant to environmental and microbial degradation, it lasts longer than wood. It provides the perfect temperature for your chickens because it doesn’t get overly hot during the summer, and neither does it create an arctic environment during the winter or when it is super cold. It is also relatively easy to clean.
Considering all these advantages, plastic chicken nests may be the best option. However, you must remember to keep them away from direct sunlight, lest it deteriorates. Also, some plastic designs may be too slippery for chickens to stand on at first. You might want to add some bedding to fix that.
Metal chicken nests have grown quite popular in recent years, which is no surprise because they have their perks. They are super durable, easy to sterilize and clean, and keep chickens safe and in check.
All good things have their downsides, and for metal chicken nests, the downside is that they have a higher thermal conductivity, which means that they can get extremely hot or cold depending on the temperature. This property of a metal chicken nest may affect the laying regularity or cycle of your birds, and you definitely do not want that. They also rust when constantly exposed to water and air.
The number of chickens you own or plan to buy will determine the number of chicken nests to get. You can calculate the number of chicken nests you will need by assuming a “four chickens to one box” setup.
It is better to have extra chicken nests than to lack a couple, but you don't need to overdo it. Sometimes, chickens can be crazy enough to fill up a single nest box while totally ignoring others.
Chicken Nest FAQs
Should chicken nests be secured so they can not move around?
Yes. Chicken nests should be firm and secure. Chickens tend to flap their wings and make rash movements which may cause unsecured chicken nests to tip over, thereby destroying eggs or causing injuries to the birds in the process. Always secure your chicken nests with a couple of screws into the wall.
How to train chickens to lay in chicken nests?
Training chickens to lay in chicken nests is not difficult, but it is advisable to start early—even before they start laying. Start by placing a fake egg or an egg-like object like a ping pong ball in the nest boxes. It may take a while for them to get the hang of it, but they eventually will. If your birds still refuse to use the chicken nests, consider the factors that could be responsible for that. Noise? Zero privacy? Too much light? Or maybe you just don't have enough chicken nests. Find out what the problem could be and fix it.
Which nesting materials should be used in a chicken nest?
Nesting materials enhance the chickens' nesting experience which is why you should get some for them. They also provide a soft landing spot for the eggs to reduce their likelihood of breaking. Here's a list of possible choices of nesting material:
Where to place chicken nests?
The best location to place chicken nests is someplace fairly dark and quiet. It is also advisable to place them at least 18 inches above ground level to protect them from predators.
How many chickens should be in a nesting box?
Typically, one chicken nest should house 3-4 chickens. This arrangement aligns with the '5 freedoms' rule of some animal welfare organizations. According to them, a certified "humane" practice is to put no more than five birds in one chicken nest. However, if you have many birds, a "one chicken nest to 7 birds" approach should do no harm as long as the nesting box has a spacious design.
Will chickens lay eggs outside a chicken nest?
Yes. The chicken will lay eggs anywhere they feel secure and where they can find enough food—and that could be outside a chicken nest. However, to make the egg-picking process easier for you, a chicken nest is where you want your hens to lay all their eggs.
Rick shares the not-so-common appreciation for exotic pets but ultimately advocates for ethical ownership and care of these animals. With several exotic pets of his own, Rick knows the materials and information needed to raise healthy animals and enjoys passing it on to others.