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Laying Boxes for Chicken DIY: An Egg-cellent Guide!

Looking for a way to create a snug haven for your flock to nestle and lay eggs without spending a fortune?

We’ve got you covered!

Laying boxes are considered very important for chickens. Hens love having cozy places where they can lay their eggs peacefully. These cozy nests serve as sanctuaries for hens to lay their eggs comfortably and securely.

While pre-made laying boxes are available, crafting your own not only offers customization but also can be a budget-friendly option.

Let’s discuss some practical designs, cost-effective materials, and step-by-step instructions to create functional yet economical accommodations for your chicken flock.

Laying Boxes for Chicken DIY
Image via Reddit

Laying Boxes for Chicken DIY | With Step-By-Step Instructions

Utilize 5-gallon buckets, old milk crates, tyres and even repurpose furniture like drawers and create unique and budget-friendly laying boxes.

Creating laying boxes with these materials can be both practical and inventive.

1. Bucket Laying Boxes

Repurpose your sturdy plastic buckets into a cozy place for chickens by cutting side openings and lining them with soft bedding materials. Materials such as straw, hay, or dried grasses, provide excellent cushioning and insulation for the eggs.

Step 1. Finding Buckets

Find free buckets lying around in your house. Or, you can buy some 5-gallon buckets from local businesses.

However, make sure the buckets you are using are made from eco-friendly materials.

Step 2. Setting the Foundation

To set the foundation for your bucket laying boxes, begin by selecting a suitable location within the chicken coop that offers privacy and protection from the elements.

Place the buckets on a flat surface, ensuring they are stable and level. If the coop floor is uneven, use bricks, concrete blocks, or wooden shims to create a level surface for the buckets to sit on so that the eggs do not roll down.

Step 3. Arranging and Securing the Buckets

Arrange the buckets in a row leaving enough space between each for easy access by the chickens. Once positioned, secure the buckets in place by attaching them to the coop wall or structure using screws, nails, or brackets.

Ensure they are firm and won’t shift or tip over when the chickens use them. However, be sure that the buckets can be removed easily for cleaning purposes.

Laying Boxes for Chicken DIY 2
Image via Reddit

Step 4. Adding a Lid

A lid at the entrance of the DIY laying bucket may be required to ensure that the chickens do not kick out the bedding or eggs.

Make sure that the lid is not too high. You can use the bucket lid or attach a board to the opening that fits the bucket. If you have the bucket lid, cut 2/3 off the lid and attach the remaining 1/3 to the bottom of the bucket.

Step 5. Add Comfortable Bedding

Nesting pads are considered the best option for any type and size of coop.

You can also use hay or straw as they won’t retain dust. Wood shavings are also a popular choice of bedding for chicken keepers as it creates a soft landing space for eggs and is easier to deal with than other bedding materials.

But, whatever bedding material you choose, make sure you clean or change it every day to keep the chickens from finding a new place to lay eggs and to ensure egg safety and cleanliness.

2. Milk Crates Laying Boxes

Creating a laying box with a milk crate just takes a few minutes and is the perfect size for a nesting box.

Here are a few steps to craft a milk crate laying box:

Step 1. Gather the Materials 

Gather a clean and sturdy milk crate. If you don’t have it at home you can easily find these at a grocery store, farmers market, or online.

Step 2. Cutting the Sidewalls

Now, cut the sidewall of the crate but don’t cut off the entire wall so that there’s a boundary at the bottom to protect the eggs from rolling out.

Step 3. Reinforcing the Bottom

To ensure the durability and stability of the milk crate laying box, reinforce the bottom of the crate by infixing wood or sturdy cardboard to it. It prevents the crate’s bottom from breaking or sagging under the weight of eggs.

Use adhesive or screws to securely attach the cardboard or wood to the bottom of the crate.

Step 4. Creating the Nesting Bed

Fill the bottom of the crate with soft nesting material such as straw, hay, or shredded paper. This will provide a comfortable and cozy environment for the eggs to rest in. Make sure to add enough nesting material to cushion the eggs and keep them safe from damage.

Laying Boxes for Chicken DIY 3
Image via Reddit

3. Upcycled Drawers Laying Box

Transforming the old into extraordinary!

Using upcycled drawers to make laying boxes can be practical, eco-friendly and an amazing idea. As it is budget-friendly and also…by using old drawers, you’re not only reducing waste but also contributing to environmental sustainability.

Here are a few steps for creating this DIY project:

Step 1. Gather Materials

Gather old drawers that are in good condition and are deep enough to accommodate chicken nesting material.

Step 2. Prepare the Drawers

Clean the drawers thoroughly to remove any dirt or debris. Sand down any rough edges or surfaces to create a smooth finish by using sandpaper.

Step 3. Attach Drawers Together

Decide on the layout of your laying box. You can stack the drawers vertically or arrange them horizontally, depending on the space available and your preferences.

Attach the drawers together securely by using screws. Make sure the drawers are aligned properly and are stable when attached.

Step 4. Create Entry and Exit Points

If the drawers don’t already have an opening for the chickens to enter and exit, you’ll need to create one.

Use a saw to carefully cut an entry hole in one of the drawers near the bottom. Make sure it’s large enough for your chickens to comfortably pass through. You can also create a small slope using scrap wood to help the chickens access the laying box.

Step 5. Fill with Nesting Material

Once the laying box is assembled and the entry point is created, fill the bottom of the drawers with nesting material such as straw or shredded paper. Make sure it’s soft and comfortable for the hens to lay their eggs.

Check the laying box regularly to ensure it stays clean and refill the nesting material as needed.

4. Tractor Tyres Laying Boxes

Laying Boxes for Chicken DIY 4
Image via Reddit

Crafting a laying box out of an old tyre is also a creative and sustainable DIY project.

Here’s a step-by-step procedure to help you make one:

Step 1. Prepare the Tyre

Grab an old unused tyre and clean it to remove any dirt or debris.

Use sandpaper to smooth any rough edges and then cut it in half. This will create two semi-circular halves. You can use one half of the tyre or both, depending on how many laying boxes you want to make.

Use more tyres if one is not enough.

Step 2. Prepare the Laying Area

Fill straws, hay or other nesting materials in the tyre to provide a comfortable place for laying eggs. You can also add a cushion or nesting pad to provide extra comfort for your chicken.

Step 3. Install the Laying Box

Place your tyre nesting box in a sheltered area of the chicken coop or run where the chickens feel safe and comfortable.

Ensure it’s at a height that’s easily accessible for the chickens to enter and exit.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the answers to some frequent questions.

What Materials Are Good for Constructing Laying Boxes?

When it comes to making laying boxes for chicken, wood, metal or plastic are considered good materials because they are stable and easy to clean.

You can also repurpose materials like 5-gallon buckets, milk crates, upcycled furniture, or even tractor tyres. They do not cost a lot of money and are good for DIY laying boxes as long as they are durable enough to hold your chicken and can be cleaned easily.

How Many Laying Boxes Do You Need?

For the most part, one laying box for 3 to 4 chickens is considered a good rule of thumb. Typically, this ratio ensures that there are enough nesting spaces available for all the hens to lay their eggs comfortably without overcrowding.

Observing your flock’s egg-laying habits can also help to determine how many nesting boxes you will need. Some hens may prefer specific boxes or times to lay eggs. Having a few extra boxes accommodates these preferences and reduces competition among them.

Note: If you are planning to increase your flock in the future, it is a good idea to install a few extra laying boxes to accommodate the anticipated increase.

What Should Be the Size and Space of Laying Boxes?

When it comes to the size and space of the laying boxes, you want to make sure that they are of the perfect size for your chickens to be comfortable, and they must provide a good space for them to lay eggs calmly.

Boxes should be ample enough to contain a laying chicken and small enough for them to feel secure and protected. Generally, a laying box should be about 12×12 inches in size, with enough space for the chicken to turn around comfortably but snug enough to provide a sense of security.

When it comes to larger breeds like Jersey Giants, Buff Orpingtons, or Malay, a size of around 14×14 inches or even larger would be more appropriate for accommodating the larger size of these birds.

What Is an Ideal Placement for Laying Boxes?

Finding a good location for installing laying boxes is crucial so that the chicken can lay eggs peacefully.

Chickens love to lay eggs in a quieter place so it is a good idea to put the laying boxes inside the coop and in a darker area. These laying boxes should be kept up to a height of 2 to 3 feet to ward off predators.

Ensure that the height of the laying boxes is assessable enough for the hens.

How to Encourage Hens to Use Laying Boxes?

Sometimes hens do not use laying boxes because there could be something that is scaring them to use the nesting box.

Try using a cloth or curtain at the opening to deal with this problem. You can also place a fake egg or a golf ball. It will give them a little encouragement and confidence.

It can also be due to dirty bedding.

Make sure to keep the bedding fresh to ensure cleanliness and hygiene.

Well…that would be all for today.


Creating DIY laying boxes for your chickens is an awesome idea.

It not only creates an eco-friendly environment for your flock to lay eggs but also encourages you to get those creative juices flowing!

So, what are you waiting for?

Good luck with your DIY boxes.