Frugal DIY Nesting Box Ideas

If you want your chickens to provide you with lots of wonderful, nutritious, farm-fresh eggs, they’re going to need some cozy nests to get the job done!

You don’t need to spend an arm and a leg to trick your coop out with some nice, comfortable nesting boxes for your lovely egg-laying ladies.

Here are some frugal nesting box ideas for you that can all be purchased cheaply, recycled, or even scavenged for, if you’re lucky!


Dishpans, the kind you can grab at Walmart or the Dollar Tree for very cheap, are great for nesting boxes, if you cut a shallow entry point for the chickens on one end, and stack them where they can easily access them. Simply fill with bedding, find a quiet, private place for them to go, and let your hens enjoy.

Related Article: 5 Mistakes First-Time Chicken Farmers Make


If you have any old bookshelves lying around, the little nooks would be perfect for some comfortable chicken privacy. Also, if you feel more confident that you could easily make a bookshelf than some fancy laying boxes, just use the same idea! Chickens like to “roost”, fly up into trees, so they’ll like something they can perch on and fly up and down from to lay their eggs.

Milk crates

Milk crates are one of the best kind of containers there are, especially for homesteaders! And you can probably find them for free, from friendly restaurants or businesses who discard them after deliveries. These are also great because they have holes all around, so they’re breathable and will dispose of some of the chicken droppings for you, without putting the eggs at risk. Fill with bedding and tuck away (maybe on your bookshelf?).

Litter boxes

If you’ve only got a few hens and some old litter boxes lying around or can find them cheaply or for free, they’re perfect for nesting boxes. They enclose the hen and are already designed for easy cleaning and bedding changes.

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