Anyone that decides that they want to raise chickens for eggs will need to know how to build and use chicken nesting boxes the right way for the best egg production. You not only have to have enough boxes but they need to be the correct size.
There are three conditions that you need to consider for your nesting boxes.
- They need to be cleaned regularly.
- They need to stay dry.
- They should be placed in a quiet and dark area of the coop.
Failing to meet these conditions could result in your hens not producing enough eggs.
Making Your Boxes the Right Size
You need to be sure that your chicken coop is appropriately-sized for the amount of nesting boxes you place inside. Make sure that you measure your coop to get the dimensions of the available space. Decide the size of your nesting box and determine how many you can place.
The absolute bare minimum size of a nesting box is one cubic foot. So each box will be one foot long, one foot wide and one foot deep. This is the minimum, but your hens would be happier in a box that is bigger.
The box should be just large enough for a hen to sit in if you are building one box per hen. If you want to build a box for multiple hens, make it large enough for three hens. Make sure you have enough boxes to accommodate all your hens.
Cleaning The Nesting Boxes
Remember that chickens are not very clean and the nesting boxes will need cleaned regularly. You need to decide if wood is the best material for your hens.
As time goes by, the box will need replaced because of the saturation of fecal waste into the wood. Plastic nesting boxes are available to buy. This will make it much easier to keep clean.
Beddings for the Boxes
You could use pine shavings to spread on the bottom of the box. The bedding you add should be about two to three inches deep. It’s important to change the bedding every few days. It won’t take long for some material such as hay to start rotting quickly.
You should keep the nesting boxes off of the floor so your hens will feel better protected. Place them about 18 to 24 inches from the ground as a general rule. It’s always a good idea to add a roost bar to help them get into their boxes.
Once the hens start laying, make sure you gather the eggs daily. If you let them stay in the box, the hen will stop laying eggs, as she instead tries hatching the egg.
As you learn more about raising chickens and spend more time with them, you can come up with a cleaning routine that works for your schedule and your hens. As long as you keep your hens happy, they will keep you happy by producing plenty of delicious, fresh eggs.