Create a Better Nesting Box for your Chickens
Create a Better Nesting Box for your Chickens Box Size Nest Bedding Nesting Box Herbs Fake Eggs Putting some fake eggs in the nesting boxes can help to show new layers where they are supposed to lay their eggs. You can buy fake ceramic or wood eggs, or just use golf balls or even smooth, round rocks. If you have older chickens, they'll teach your new layers where to lay their eggs, but the fake eggs can be a good substitute if you're on your first batch of hens. Nesting Box Curtains
The Secret to Keeping your Chicken Coop Nesting Boxes Clean
No more messy nesting boxes in your chicken coop - or dirty eggs - with these few easy tips for keeping them clean.
Eggs from your backyard chickens stay fresher if they aren't washed before storing them, but no one wants dirt- or poop-covered eggs on their counter, or worse in the refrigerator. So how can you ensure that you always collect clean eggs?
Well, the easiest way is to keep the bedding in the nesting boxes refreshed and replaced as needed. Clean nesting boxes = clean eggs.
The Secret to Keeping your Chicken Coop Nesting Boxes Clean
Each morning I fluff the aspen nesting pads in the nesting boxes and check for poop. I remove any dirty bedding I find. Which is rare. As a general rule, your nesting boxes should stay pretty clean.
No Sleeping in Nesting Boxes
Chickens generally will only poop in the nesting boxes if they are sleeping in them at night. Often young pullets who have just been introduced to the big girls coop will try to sleep in the boxes instead of on the roosts with the older hens.
To prevent this, take any little ones out of the boxes and place them onto the roosts after dusk. And be sure your roosts are positioned higher than your boxes to encourage your chickens to roost.
If this still doesn't prevent them sleeping in the boxes, then block the boxes just before dusk.
All the chickens will be done laying, so the boxes can remain blocked until you let the chickens out again the following morning.
I have tried putting an upturned egg basket or a cardboard box in each nesting box, I've tried blocking the boxes by wedging a piece of cardboard across the front, but determined chickens have always managed to push their way in and wedge themselves into the box.
So after a bit of trial and error, I have found this 'hack' is the easiest, most inexpensive, and effective way to block nesting boxes from hens wanting to sleep (or be broody) in them.
Block those Boxes!
What you Need |
Scrap of chicken wire or welded wire fencing
Four nails with large flat heads
What you Do |
- Nail a single nail to each of the four corners of your row of boxes.
- Attach your piece of wire fencing to the four nails and then trim it to fit.
- Bend any rough edges in to avoid injuries.
- Remove the wire each morning and put it up again each day in the later afternoon just before the chickens turn in for the night.
- Now you can easily put up and remove the wire as needed without any trouble.
You can also fashion a block for just one box if you have a broody hen hatching eggs in that box. Just cut a piece of wire to fit the single box and nail one nail into each corner.
The day the eggs are due to hatch, block the box so the chicks won't accidentally topple out before you can move them and mother hen to a safer, ground-level, spot.
This is also a great way to deter broodies you are trying to break. This box blocker will foil the efforts of a persistent broody hen.
So here's how simple it is to create a block for your nesting boxes.
Voila! Nesting boxes are temporarily blocked and will keep out the most persistent chickens.
Project Nest Box connects students with nature by supplying bird nest boxes made from 97% post-consumer recycled plastic, to K schools across North America. Students monitor the nests bi-weekly from April to July, and report data to Bird Studies Canada’s Project NestWatch. Students learn more about different bird species, while gathering important information. So far, over bird nest boxes have been donated.
A limited number of free bird nest boxes are distributed every spring.
Project Nest Box is now CLOSED for Spring We will re-open again in September.
Due to high demand CleanRiver Nest Boxes are also available for purchase on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca.
Quantities are limited so ORDER NOW.
Project Nest Box Gallery
Project Nest Box was pioneered by David Tomlinson of the Aurora Environmental Advisory Committee’s Naturalization and Wildlife Working Group. CleanRiver is proud to partner with David and his group of dedicated volunteers, Bird Studies Canada, and the Royal Ontario Museum’sOntario Nest Records Scheme, to bring this very worthwhile and educational program to schools across North America.
Thank you to the following companies who have helped to make Project Nest Box School Nest Watch Program a success:
Seven of the best bird nesting boxes
Birds are in decline across the country, but you can help to turn the tide with a bird nesting box.
Changes to climate, farming practices and urban landscapes have changed how birds nest. With fewer trees and wooden barns to build nests in, mating pairs of many birds are declining. With a bird nesting box you can offer them shelter and be thanked with beautiful birdsong.
Birds make fantastic wild companions and encouraging birds into your garden is a great way to introduce you and your family to British wildlife. They can even help in the garden, eating common garden pests like snails and aphids.
If you put food out for them to eat and a bird bath where they can drink and wash, you can attract these characterful creatures and provide a much-needed sanctuary.
We’ve curated a list of bird nesting boxes – from the understated to the unique – to help you choose the perfect one for your garden.
Looking for other ways to attract birds to your garden? Have a look at our lists of bird tables or bird feeders.
Types of bird boxes
Different birds have different needs, so if you’re looking to introduce birds to your garden this way it’s a good idea to have a range of nesting boxes.
Robin nesting box
Robins like small but open-faced bird boxes.
Swift nesting box
Swifts love high, long nesting boxes, with a small crevice opening to hide in.
Sparrow nesting box
Sparrows are largely unfussed by type, but prefer little, square nests with a small entry hole.
Blue tit nesting box
Blue tits love small, round nesting boxes that mimic holes in oak trees.
Seven of the best nesting boxes
See our pick of a range of nesting boxes, below:
National Trust CJ Wildlife Build Your Own Nest Box Kit
This build-your-own bird nesting box kit is a perfect DIY project. Customise this box however you like, as the birds won’t mind as long as they have a warm place to sleep. A fantastic starting point for teaching children the basics of DIY while learning about – and caring for – the natural world.
Buy National Trust CJ Wildlife Build Your Own Nest Box Kit at the National Trust
Johnston & Jeff Middleton Swift Box
Swifts are magical birds, spending almost their entire lives in the air and they summer throughout northern Europe and winter in Sub-Saharan Africa. A swift nesting box offers this remarkable species one of the few places they’ll ever land.
Buy the Johnston & Jeff Middleton Swift Box at Robert Dyas
CJ Wildlife House Martin Nest Box
House martins are fascinating birds, breeding and raising their young in the UK but wintering somewhere unknown in Africa – some have even been spotted as far south as Namibia. This bird nesting box perfectly mimics their mud nests, and is designed to be fitted under eaves, beams, and windowsills, just like real house martin nests. What’s more, this bird nesting box comes with two nests, so you can watch two broods of this intriguing species mature for the long flight southwards.
Buy CJ Wildlife House Martin Nest Box from CJ Wildlife
Buy CJ Wildlife House Martin Nest Box on Amazon
Wildlife World Artisan Nester Shesali
This unique bird nesting box not only provides for birds, but for humans too. Made from recycled saris it has no plastic and is Fairtrade, ensuring high working standards and fair pay for the Bangladeshi workers who make them. A great product for ethical consumers.
Buy Wildlife World Artisan Nester Shesali on Amazon
Wildlife World Blue Tit Nest Box
One of the most common birds in Britain, blue tits are also the most likely to take to a bird nesting box. They’re an especially helpful companion for gardeners, because they love to eat aphids. For the joy of birdsong and some free pest control, look no further than this FSC-certified birch bird nesting box.
Buy Wildlife World Blue Tit Nest Box on Amazon
Riverside Woodcraft Sparrow Terrace
Sparrows are one of the most common birds in Europe and one of the most social. Few birds are as unbothered by human beings as sparrows, which is why they’re commonly found in towns. Though populous in Europe, the numbers of house sparrows has collapsed in the UK in recent years. This bird nesting box offers space for three different nests at once, so you can help to revitalise this mainstay of British wildlife.
Buy Plant Theatre Sparrow Loft on Amazon
Wildlife World Woodpecker Box
Woodpeckers are one of nature’s more striking birds, hammering into tree bark with their beaks to pick out ants, grubs and larvae with long, thin tongues. This industrious tapping is one of the most distinctive sounds of British wildlife. This FSC-certified bird nesting box is specifically designed for woodpeckers to roost – just put it in a tall tree facing away from the prevailing wind.
Buy Wildlife World Woodpecker Box from Wildlife World
For more advice on how to put up bird nesting boxes, take a look at Monty Don’s guide below:
This Product Guide was last updated in March and we apologise if anything has changed in price or availability.
Boxes amazon nesting
.Russian nesting boxes from Amazon
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