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As people seek healthier food options, many are adopting practices like keeping chickens in their backyards. When you decide to keep chickens, a good chicken coop is a must. It serves as the house and home for your poultry and must be secure, dry, and spacious enough to meet their needs.

Chicken coop nests, also known as chicken coop nesting boxes, are one of the most essential components of a chicken coop. Nests are among the first things you need to set up for your chicken coop, as chickens start using nests around 17 weeks old.

There are many factors to consider when building or buying a chicken coop to ensure it is a fitting home. Here are a few factors to keep in mind.

Black Australorp
Image Credit: Deposit Photos

What is a Chicken Coop Nest?

A chicken coop nest is basically a small cubicle for laying eggs. The sole purpose of a chicken coop nesting box is to have a clean place for hens to lay. A properly built chicken coop nest ensures that eggs are in the best environment for hatching and collecting.

Olive egger
Image Credit: Deposit Photos

If hens are allowed to lay eggs on the ground, there is an increased risk of egg breakage, contact with fecal matter, and damage.

Chicken coop nests are probably the most essential component of a chicken coop. They are such a great addition that some chickens start sleeping in them. This habit should be discouraged so the birds learn that the coop nest is only for eggs. Never leave the coop nest dirty because it will attract parasites that deter hens from laying in it.

Always collect eggs as soon as they are laid to prevent your birds from damaging them.

How many nesting boxes do I need for my chickens?

It is recommended to have two (2) nesting boxes for every six (6) chickens and 3-4 for 12 chickens. The general advice is approximately one (1) nest for every five (5) chickens. Having 1 or 2 extra will leave the room if one gets dirty or breaks.


When building, you must ensure that your birds have sufficient indoor space and outdoor access. They need approximately four sq. ft. indoors and 5-10 sq. ft. outside. The outdoor area should be covered with a roof to protect it from harsh weather and soaring predators.

The space requirement suggested here does not include outdoor access and is suitable for medium-sized birds

AgeFeeder spaceWater spaceFloor spaceNests
0 – 6 weeks0.7″ or 1.8 cm0.5″ or 1,3 cm100 sq or 645 cm²No yet needed
6 – 18 weeks1.5″ or 3,8 cm0.6″ or 1,5 cm250 sq or 1600 cm²Just 1 (or a couple) for training
18 weeks and older3″ or 7.6 cm0.75″ or 1,9 cm380 sq or 2450 cm²1 for every 5 chicken


You don’t want your birds outdoors where predators can snatch them. Therefore, it is essential to have a predator-proof outdoor space where your chicken can play in peace.

The nests will need to be indoors and in a darkened space where the girls can feel safe. It will help your management if you still have access to the nests from the outside, but this is not required.


Birds need fresh air at all times. Windows and ventilation holes are good to have, no matter the climate. Keeping birds in a totally sealed space exposes them to ammonia, which could harm them.

Hens eating inside a chicken coop with well ventilation
Image Credit: Deposit Photos

Dust particles and mold can also affect your chickens, so it is necessary to always have the coop and nesting area well ventilated.

Draft is also a concern, so you, on the other hand, still want the nesting area to be sufficiently covered.


A dim-lit chicken coop disrupts the hen’s sleep, laying, and waking cycle. These birds need extra hours of light so they can keep laying. Electrical outlets and bulbs with a timer should be installed to ensure the coop is well-lit. This keeps things consistent and keeps the birds on a steady schedule.

This is expressly necessary in parts of the world where the days have shifted throughout the year. Shifting daylight will not harm your birds but can affect the egg-laying cycle.

The nesting boxes themself need to be darkened somewhat.

How much does a chicken coop nest cost?

You can build the chicken’s nest yourself, but they are quite inexpensive. The wooden ones will cost you around 20-40 $, while the metal or plastic ones can cost as much as 150 $.

Plastic ones are considered more hygienic and easier to clean.

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