50+ Surprising Chicken Nesting Box Ideas

Chicken Nesting Boxes Don't Have to be Expensive ... Try Home Depot Buckets, Empty Kitty Litter Buckets and More!

New flock owners are always on the hunt for creative chicken nesting box ideas, so we asked our Backyard Poultry readers to share their suggestions, pictures, and advice! Take a look at these fun and original nesting boxes, upcycled from items around the house and farm or purchased on the cheap. Who knew you could get so much life out of Home Depot buckets, milk crates, kitty litter containers and even mailboxes! Plus, don’t miss these tips on the best bedding for chickens to make sure your bedding options are safe and comfortable.

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• BELOW: Our newest nest box … the girls love it. — Jennie Adeski Jones

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• BELOW: Our nesting boxes, our small barn. — Jodi Vaske

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• BELOW: I use a nesting trough so no one fights over the same box … if there’s a favorite spot then they have the option of laying next to the current user if they can’t wait their turn.  — Veronica Roberts

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• Plastic potato bins. I stacked four of them. Have nine hens. They just use the bottom one. — Andrew Phillippi

• Milk crates. — Nick French

• BELOW: An old cupboard. — Fawn Stammen

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• BELOW: Five-gallon buckets with a 2×4 across the bottom of the open end. — John Mueller

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• BELOW: Plastic baskets. They’re so much easier to clean. — Julie Raine

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• BELOW: Plastic Home Depot buckets. Hubby made a wooden stand and they slide in and out for cleaning. — Lisa Adams

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• My husband and I use old plastic totes upside down with a hole cut in them so the can get in and out. — Heather Preston

• BELOW: I got this from a young couple that makes and sells them for extra cash. I am still looking for license plates to cover the rest of the top and sides, and curtains are next on my list. — Jennifer Shcaer Jackson

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• They don’t use them. So basically an uncovered cubby, they all lay in the same cubby too. — James Vriana Beaulieu

• One coop I have 5-gallon buckets and we use straw/hay in them and the other coop we have dish pans with pine shavings in them. We made free-standing shelves with steep roofs so no one nest on/in them. — Jennifer Thompson

• Wood wine boxes. — Kelley Jane Kloub

• BELOW: We modified wooden crates, that are lined with a thick plastic mat and straw. The chicken love these boxes and often want to sleep in them. I had to put something over them because the chickens would roost on the sides and poop in them. But these have worked for well over a year. The burlap shades shake off easily and dry easily when sprayed off. — Amanda Currey

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• I made boxes from plywood and use straw for bedding . — Mark Pieklik

• BELOW — Amey Walker McDow

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• In our coop and outside hut we actually use a square shoe organizer cubby we bought at Menards. In the stalls, we have regular aluminum nest boxes. — Leah Mae Johnson
• Chick-N-Nesting boxes…they turn anything into a coop! — Danielle Sechler-Gunther
• BELOW: Old metal ones. — Sharleen Beth McGaw Hendrickson
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• Metal 10-hole nesting boxes. — Lyndsay Grummet
• Dish pans. — Christine R. Hupper
• BELOW — Nancy Powell
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• We have a single nest box that opens on the outside, and it is really wide, so three or more hens can use it at once, but no dividers. We found the hens would use the same ones anyway and didn’t want to waste hubbies time build a bunch if they just choose favorites and share anyway. — Ericca Colby
• BELOW: My son built my small coop as a birthday present! The nest box is plywood. — Becky Mishler
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• BELOW: We built a custom three-tier box to fit a vintage window. It’s so nice to be able to see in to find the eggs. — Lori Jordan
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• BELOW: Lots of Dengie chicken bedding. — Tine Ton
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• I have wooden boxes built into a stall in the barn that are difficult to clean. They don’t drain so I put a plastic tub in each one with straw. Now when an egg breaks it doesn’t stick to the wood and make a mess. And it’s much easier now to change out the bedding. — Susan Everett
• BELOW: An old play kitchen. — Holly Matherne
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• Store-bought wooden boxes and I use pine shaving for bedding. — Jenny Leslie
• BELOW — Christi Jones
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BELOW: My bantam’s love this one. — Christi Jone
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• BELOW: I built it into the coop. I have access to the two nests from the outside. I placed the eggs in the nests to get the ladies motivated. They are right at 22 weeks old so we should be getting eggs any day! — Scott Branch
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• BELOW: Plastic crates with top flaps. — Kymberly White
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• Milk crates. — Rodney Marical
• BELOW: These are built into the wall and accessible from the outside of the coop. — John Johnson
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• BELOW— Mamahen Shaw
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• 5-gallon buckets. Just lay them on their sides and prop up the front with a block of wood or a brick, works great! — Jacqueline Taylor Robson
• Boxes built onto the back of the coop. — Karla Redden
• Kids bookcases. — Mary Dorcey
• Dishpans from the dollar store. I sized the partitions to fit and keep a few cleaned and ready to go in. They also are removable from the
outside via a hatch. — Mike Hilbig
• BELOW: They have space but lay in the same nest. — Ericca Colby
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 BELOW — Carrie Miller
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• BELOW — Kenan Tufekcic
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• BELOW: Kitty litter hooded pan. Easy to clean. — Chris Carena

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• BELOW: Baby changing table. — April Wilson Brown
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• BELOW: I use the black plastic fruit and vegetable packing cases. Lots of room, though you wouldn’t believe it and very easy to scrub clean! — Eileen Thomaschicken-nesting-box

• Old speaker boxes. — Janene Duffy

• I bought an 8 nest condo from Farm Tek. They love it. I also nail up milk crates they are great for perches. — Carolyn Ellis Niven

• BELOW: Homemade boxes. — Sandra Nevins Bailey
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• BELOW — Carrie Isenhouer Cushman

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• Boxes built onto the side of the coop that I can access easily. I put straw in them. — Courtney Crawford

• BELOW — Isabella O’Mahony

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• BELOW: Milk crates with pine shaving. — Mike’s Misc Sales

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• BELOW: We recycle and work was gonna throw this soda rack out! — Kristin Ransiear
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• BELOW: The Booda … they can be relocated out of the coop so they don’t lay in the yard. And they can be sanitized if they get dirty. They wait in line and also share if they’re impatient. — Donna Nelson
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• BELOW: Kitty litter buckets! — Tanya Pribyl Manthie
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• BELOW — Tammie Beckner
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• Old subwoofer box. — Chuck Sturm
• Artificial grass. — Sharron Lowe
• Tool bins. — William Poling
• Lawnmower catcher with wood shavings from hubby’s toy making. — Kia Ora Dawnie Angell
• We made eight boxes and they all use the same one. — Molly Scott
• We made boxes from plywood & 2x4s. We use pine shavings as that’s what they have preferred. I’ve tried straw and even horse bedding but they like pine shavings. — Carrie Domerchie
• BELOW — Krista Johnson
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• BELOW: Wine boxes. — Siry Bromley
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• Bucket  — Jill Rogers

• BELOW — Kristen Cutlip
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• BELOW: My newest rollaway nest boxes. — Julianne Seguin
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• BELOW: I use cat litter containers. — Kristen Barton

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• I built my chickens nest boxes, but they preferred laying in discarded sinks and old toilets that were dumped on the ranch I was cleaning up. — Kayla Chang
• Milk crates. — Tom Oates
• The bottom half of a cat carrier. — Brenda Givens
• BELOW: Wood shavings in a renovated dresser. Our first successful mama hen. — April Gardner
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 • Plastic cat litter buckets on their side with the larger part of the cover removed, leaving the smaller part to be a ‘stopper’ so the shavings don’t get kicked out as much. — Diane Allen
• BELOW: Old potting planters. — Angi Toth
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• BELOW: They are plastic. My husband then screwed them into the wall and put a little board in front. The girls love them! I have 10 hens and they use all three every day. Well, one little diva lays on the floor right underneath but the rest use them daily.
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• Dishpans from the dollar store lined with wood chips. — Vicki Campbell
• BELOW: My husband built this for me. — Liz Kinyk
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• BELOW: They’re numbered because the fronts are removable for cleaning, and were made for each box (not interchangeable). Makes it easier for me. — Ruth Ann Clark
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• BELOW — Tracy Joan Case
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• I must be the only person here that does not like to enter the pen to collect eggs, mine are set up in such a way I collect externally. — JR Wallis
• BELOW: We used these bins from Lowe’s and screwed them through the bottom. Girls absolutely love them. — Elisabeth Nyenhuis
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•  Thrashed flax stalks filled 5-gallon buckets. I have a stack of milk crates I slide them into, or I just scatter them around the coop. — Kitsune Nyx
• BELOW: — Bonnie Williams
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• Plastic lawnmower catchers. — Susan Glambert
• Beer boxes. — Andrew Sherman
• BELOW: 5-gallon bucks with holes drilled in the bottom so when I clean them the water can drain out. No curtains, that is just added work to keep clean. Simple is better. — Trish Haygood Hutchison
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• BELOW — Jen Fletcher
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• An old chest of drawers, drawers from an old refrigerator, and old car tires. — Joanne Russell
• BELOW: Old computer screens take out screen and wiring they love them. — Sue Jones
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• BELOW: Home Depot buckets. — Beth Ann Henry Smith

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• BELOW: Freebies from my son’s work. — Christine Cowling
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• BELOW — Deloris Marie Bursott Mills
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• BELOW: I found some old large mailboxes someone threw away and cut the backs out. I mounted them in the front wall of my coop so I can just open the mailbox door and reach right inside! — Marilyn Hill Baxter
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• BELOW: Built from old wood and steel I found around our farm. — Andrew Weispfenning

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• BELOW — I have used milk crates and wood boxes and 5-gallon buckets. — Penny Coffman
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• If you do yard sales, old night stands can make a nest box, dressers too. I use old parrot cages as well. — Victoria Seaborn
• Wood wine boxes, they are wider. — Barbara Visocchi
• Bee boxes. — Angela Roberge
• Dishpan with pine shavings. — Linda Rice Carlton Abraham
• BELOW: Doghouse
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• BELOW IKEA bookcases. — Amy Hendry Pistor

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•  BELOW: Kitty liter containers, very easy to take out and clean! — Kelli Sizenbach
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• BELOW: This is solid wood. — Deborah Rogers
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 • Timber wine boxes. — Quentin Carter
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