Nest boxes are a useful and necessary accessory to anyone interested in raising a laying flock or even just a few laying hens. Nesting boxes provide your hens with a designated place to lay their eggs. Not only does this reduce the amount of time you spend on your hands and knees looking for laid eggs around your farm, but it more importantly protects the eggs from breaking or getting dirty.
The amount of nesting boxes you will need will correlate to how many laying hens you intend on using. One nesting box should typically suffice for 4-5 hens. Smaller layers will require around 12” x 14” of space with larger breeds needing around 14” x 14”.
Nest boxes are usually constructed with wood, metal, plastic, or some combination of those materials. Each material has its own pros and cons. For example, wood nest boxes can be more visually appealing, but don’t last as long as a metal or plastic. On the other hand, a metal nesting box might last you a long time and is easily cleanable, but they can become incredibly frigid in the winter time depending on your climate, meaning your hens aren’t going to be sitting on them for very long - if at all. There aren’t many nest boxes that are made 100% with plastic, at least out of those for sale on eFowl.com. Most galvanized metal nest boxes have some plastic parts to them like perches or nest bottoms.
Below you’ll find a series of nest boxes in different price ranges offered by eFowl.com. We’ll organize them by price range and materials as well as provide you with some advantages and disadvantages for each type of product that may help you decide what’s best for your farm. In general, wooden nest boxes are going to be more basic and cheaper than the larger, galvanized metal nest boxes. That being said, we do have some larger and more comprehensive wooden models available.
Wooden Nest Boxes
Wooden nest boxes are often relatively inexpensive. In actuality you can create your own wooden nest boxes if you want the ultimate in cost effectiveness. Wooden nest boxes often combine the idea of cost efficiency with the natural wooden aesthetic many hobby farmers seek to maintain in their farm. Wood also doesn’t get brutally cold in the winter months. Your hens are much less likely to sit and lay eggs on a frigid piece of metal than a relatively normal piece of wood. The problem with wooden nest boxes and wooden anything for that matter is its tendency to deteriorate over time, especially when its exposed to more intense elements and weather. Wood is also hard to disinfect. Despite this, it is still a viable option for creating nest boxes and many other poultry supplies. At eFowl.com, we sell simple single wooden nest boxes, all the way up to 6-hole models that have other features as well.
**Lower Price Range**
Chick-N-Nest Box: This is a simple, one hole wooden nest box that’s available for under $20 before shipping. The unit is made out of durable plywood and measures 12” x 12.5” x 12.5”. (4-5 hens)
**Middle Price Range**
Fall Harvest Laying Nest Box: This is also a single hole wooden nest box but is of higher quality than the Chick-N-Nest Box. This unit is made from heavy durable pine wood (not plywood.) It also features a removable bottom for egg collection and is easily mountable. (4-5 hens)
Fall Harvest 2-Hole Poultry Nest Box: Similar to the last product, but is two nest boxes stacked on top of each other. Both boxes have the same removable egg collection tray at the bottom. (8-10 hens)
**Higher Price Range**
Fall Harvest 4-Hole Poultry Nest Box: Same product as last two, just increased in size. Features 4 poultry nest boxes, all with removable egg collection tray. (16-20 hens)
Fall Harvest 6-Hole Poultry Nest Box: The ultimate in wooden nest boxes. This model combines size, efficiency, and beauty. This 6 hole wooden nest box is the largest in the Fall Harvest Poultry Nest Box line offered on eFowl.com. All boxes have egg an collection tray. (24-30 hens)
Metal Nest Boxes
Most nest boxes made out of metal will have some sort of plastic element to them. The key in finding out what metal nest box is right for you is making sure you have enough room to house the amount of laying hens you plan on utilizing at a given time. Also, many models available come with roll-out nest bottoms. Similar to the egg collection tray at the bottom of the Fall Harvest wooden nest boxes, these act as a receptacle to hold your eggs after they’ve been laid. Without something like this, your eggs are free to roll around the floor of your coop or farm, get dirty, or even worse, break! Not only is it inconvenient to search around your coop or farm for your eggs, they don’t last as long when they’re dirty.
Plastic and metal nest boxes pose an interesting advantage over their wooden counterparts. While wooden nest boxes can be nicer to look at, they just simply don’t last as long for a number of reasons. Wood is a natural material that’s especially susceptible to water damage and bacteria. It can also house termites and other insects and is also incredibly difficult to disinfect should you need to give it a deep clean, which you definitely will want to do at some point in its lifetime. Plastic and metal are both extremely easy to clean and are both less likely to succumb to the elements. Metal does run the risk of rusting, unlike plastic, but in general it will last much longer than wood.
**Lower Price Range**
2-Hole Metal Poultry Nest Box: A very economical option for anyone looking for a simple metal 2 hole nest box. The unit has removable bottoms for easy cleaning. The box has a completely galvanized design and measures 22” H x 14” W x 20” L. (8-10 hens)
Brower 4-Hole Nest Box: Here’s a metal nest box from the ever-popular manufacturer Brower. It features a galvanized metal design with 4 holes on two different tiers. Can typically handle around 20 hens. (16-20 hens)
Fall Harvest 4-Hole Galvanized Laying Nest: Like the wooden models, there’s also Fall Harvest galvanized nest boxes. This is a 4-hole, two tier model made with galvanized steel and a durable plastic perch. It also has removable bottoms in each nest box for cleaning. (16-20 hens)
**Medium Price Range**
Kuhl 4-Hole Roll Out Nest Box: While this nest box has a smaller capacity than some, its convenient roll out bottom is what bumps it up into a higher price range. If you’re in the business of saving eggs and maximizing your birds laying efficiency, then roll out bottoms are worth the extra dollar. The roll out bottoms are made with a durable plastic that greatly reduces the amount of broken eggs over time. The rest of the unit is made with galvanized metal. (16-20 hens)
Kuhl 6 Hole Laying Nest Box: Being able to provide laying space to around 50 hens, this nest box is a great deal for the price! Though it lacks the roll out nest bottoms, it still has removable bottoms, and durable plastic perches for your birds to enjoy. (between 40-60 hens)
Kuhl Original 10 Hole Laying Nest: The 6-hole nest box from Kuhl is a great deal, but the deal you can get on the Kuhl Original 10 Hole Laying Nest is unbeatable. It’s an older model that feature wooden perches and metal bottoms instead of the newer plastic ones. If you’re in the market for a cheap but large nest box, this is your product. (~60 hens)
Big Bird 5-Hole Nesting Box: This nest box has 5 holes spread wide on only 1 tier. It’s a great product if height is a restricting factor in your setup. This product also has rather large nest holes which it makes great for birds like Giants, Wyandottes, Brahmas, Plymouth Rocks and more. (35-50 hens)
Kuhl Economy Front Roll Out 10-Hole Nest: This 10-Hole nest is another great deal on a large nest box. This 2-tiered unit also includes a roll out feature for egg protection. (30-50 hens)
**Higher Price Range**
Kuhl Rear Roll Out 10-Hole Nest: This unit is a galvanized 10 hole nest box with hard plastic perches and nest bottoms so it’s 100% sanitizable. The nest boxes also feature a rear roll out so you can extract eggs easily from the back. It also prevents chickens from touching the eggs - and nothing good can come from your chickens touching the eggs. (~50 hens)
10-Hole Big Bird Front Roll Out Nest: This is Big Bird’s more advanced model that also features a roll out feature for egg collection. It has 10 holes on two tiers. Each box is 24” tall by 14” deep. (40-50 hens)
Brower 10-Hole Roll Out Nest: This product sits on the lower end of the higher price range, and is a great deal on a high-quality large nest box. It features ventilation holes to cool and calm your birds as well as poly front roll out bottoms to catch your eggs. You can also stagger the two tiers back to back to prevent birds from going from tier to tier. (50-60 hens)