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Build Chicken Nesting Boxes From Recycled Scrap Materials | Homesteading Tips

Home Animals Build Chicken Nesting Boxes From Recycled Scrap Materials | Homesteading Tips

Want to know how to build chicken nesting boxes? This easy method uses recycled and scrap materials. If you don’t want to blow your budget, you’ll love this simple DIY project; perfect for any weekend!

DIY Chicken Nesting Boxes Using Recycled Materials

by Kathy Bernier

Ah, the joys of backyard chickens! Whether you got them as peeps and raised them up or acquired them as older birds, you are ready to gather up some nice farm fresh eggs.

But wait! Where will the hens lay their eggs? If left to their own devices they will find a place on their own, but chances are you won’t like it. Searching for hidden eggs in dark inaccessible nooks and crannies can be frustrating.

You are better off giving the hens a dry comfortable spot in which to lay eggs where you can find them, and you don’t have to spend a fortune to do it. You can build your own even if you are not a professional carpenter, using materials that are inexpensive, often even recycled or left over from other projects.

DIY Chicken Nesting Boxes Tutorial

Your backyard chickens are going to love their new nests

Also See: Build A Chicken Coop in 4 Easy Steps

How To Build Chicken Nesting Boxes

This specific chicken nesting box tutorial makes enough for 5 chickens, but yours may vary depending on the size of your coop. Make adjustments as necessary!

You Will Need:

  • Empty kitty litter buckets (one per chicken)
  • 5 2x4s (the amount varies, you will need at least 5, see details below)
  • Materials for a steep roof (optional, see below)
  • Insulation (optional)
  • Screws
  • Washers
  • TOOLS: You will basic carpentry tools:
    • Drill
    • Screw Driver
    • Saw
    • Level
    • Tape Measure
    • Straight Edge
    • Marker
    • (We use cordless electric tools, but you can use whatever is most comfortable for you)

Here is a step-by-step pictorial of a set of nest boxes we recently built in our new hen-house on our farm.

Chicken Nesting Boxes Tutorial

Step 1: Assemble the Materials

Here is a detailed assessment of all the materials you’ll need, to align with the list above.

For the nest boxes themselves, we use kitty litter buckets. They are the perfect size and shape, are free, and we feel good about reusing things instead of throwing them out (keyword: upcycling).

We clean them thoroughly and allow them to air dry for as long as possible—sometimes even months—in order to mitigate any odor that could be off-putting to poultry.

kitty litter boxes make wonderful DIY chicken nesting boxes

kitty litter boxes make wonderful DIY chicken nesting boxes

You will also need lumber, primarily 2x4s. I will not give an exact shopping list, because the amount you need will depend on how many you are making and how they are set up in your birds’ space. You can get away with using a lot of small pieces and scraps, even substituting some of the 2×4 studs for boards of other sizes.

You will need some full-length 2x4s, however. A good estimate is to measure the width of all your nest boxes put together, and buy five 2x4s of that length.

How to Build Chicken Nesting Boxes From Recycled Scrap Materials

The span of your next boxes is the length you should cut your 2x4s

You may also want to add a steep roof over the top of the boxes. A roof serves two functions, both of which are a nice plus but neither completely necessary. The roof can be extended over the front of the nest boxes like a visor, making it a little darker inside and making the hens happy.

The other good thing about a roof is that it keeps the birds from sitting on top of the boxes. Chickens eliminate often, and anywhere they spend time gets messy quickly. Keeping them off the top in the first place is easier than frequent cleaning.

DIY Nest Boxes Tutorial

Adding a roof to your nest boxes allows for some privacy and warmth

Another optional step is to cover and insulate the space between the nest boxes and the floor. If you do, you will need additional flat sturdy material for that too, plus insulation.

Raising Chickens: How to Build Chicken Nesting Boxes From Recycled Scrap Materials

Insulate below your nesting boxes for additional warmth, if you live in the colder regions.

We also added a side panel for a nice finished look.

Making Nest Boxes Tutorial

A side panel helps keep out dirt

We made our roof, bottom cover, and side panel all out of leftover composite material from the house itself, but you can use whatever materials you have on hand or are able to acquire. Plywood, pressboard, lauan underlayment, oriented strand board, metal roofing, or even kitchen countertop materials will work.

Just remember that if you use something super heavy, you will need to shore it up with a few extra 2×4 braces. You will also want to make sure that your walls and floors are sturdy enough to support whatever you use.

We used screws for assembly. It is possible to use nails if that’s what you have, but screws are faster, easier, and more secure. Also by using screws, you can also more easily take the structure apart later if it needs modification.

You will need a few washers also, just one per nest box, to keep the back of the box from breaking. We used a type called “fender washers,” which are large in diameter with a small hole in the center.

Nest, gather your tools. You will need a drill, a screw driver, a saw, a level, a tape measure, a straight edge, and a marker. We use cordless electric tools, but you can use whatever is most comfortable for you.

Nesting Boxes Tutorial

Gather your materials first, then start your project.

Now you’ve gathered your materials. You’re ready to begin the build Nesting Boxes

How To Build Chicken Nesting Boxes

First: Visualize

Before beginning the actual building process, we find it helpful to get a visual feel for the space in which the nest boxes will exist. Measuring is important, but it also helps to just hold the nest box components up and take a look.

Chicken Nesting Box

Get a visual of where you want your nesting boxes to lie before you begin.

It is important to keep in mind that this isn’t brain surgery. If your end result isn’t perfect, the hens are not likely to mind.

We built ours with one end in the corner against a side wall and the other end open into the room. This is probably the setup that works best in most houses, but you can easily adapt these directions to fit your own needs.

With a plan in place, it is time to begin the fun!

Step 1: Prepare Your Boxes

chicken coop nesting boxes tutorial

Slice off the flap of your lid, you only need the short side.

First, prepare your boxes. You’ve already aired them out. Now you can cut off the part of the lid that folds so you’re left with the smaller portion. This will create a short wall for your chickens to nest behind.

cut your nesting boxes: Chicken Coop Tutorials

The lids are cut, and the boxes are ready to be installed!

Step 2: Cut your 2x4s

Next, cut two pieces of 2×4 the length of the total boxes you plan to use.

Mark off. Use a square if you have one. Cut. You will use one of the cut 2x4s now and set the other one aside for later.

chicken nesting boxes tutorial

Mark the length of your boxes onto the 2×4. Using a measuring square ensures a straight line.

Step 3: Attach 2×4 to wall

Screw one of the 2x4s onto the wall along the bottom edge of where the nest boxes will go. This will help support them.

nesting box tutorial

Make sure your 2×4 is level.

Step 4: Add boxes

The boxes go in next. It is easy enough to install the boxes and build the supports around them. Real carpenters might do it the other way around, but this way works too.

chicken nesting box tutorial

You’ll need one screw and one washer per box.

Drill a hole in the bottom of each box, somewhere near the center.

chicken nest boxes tutorial

You can either measure to find the center of your box, or just eyeball it.

Rest the back of the nest box on top of the 2×4 you just installed. Screw it into place on the wall, using the washer. Repeat with another nest box next to it until they are all in place.

chicken coop nesting boxes tutorial

Attach the box to the wall over the holes you made in this order: Box, Washer, Screw

Step 5: Build The Front Support

Next, build the supports along the front. Measure the distance between the floor and the bottom front of the boxes and cut a 2×4 to that length. Attach it to the end of the other long 2×4, the one you can cut and set aside earlier.

nesting boxes tutorial

Now you can assemble your frame.

Screw the short piece to the side wall.

nesting box tutorial

Secure your 2×4 to the wall.

Measure another 2×4 at least as tall as the top of the nest boxes. You don’t have to be precise at this point, because you’re going to trim off the top later anyway. Attach it vertically to the front corner on the other end of the nest boxes.

chicken nesting box tutorial

Add a center beam across the front of your nesting boxes.

Your project should look like a real nesting area by now!

Step 6: Floor Brace

If you are going to cover the space between the nest boxes and the floor, it’s a good idea to place a brace on the floor to keep it from curving in the middle. Choose a leftover piece of 2×4 or any board about a foot long. If you have a knotty or otherwise imperfect one, this is a great use for it.

How to Build Chicken Nesting Boxes From Recycled Scrap Materials Tutorial

This is your nest box so far

Step 7: Build Your Sidewall Wall & Roof

If you are putting a roof on the boxes, now is the time to build the braces to hold it up. Use the marks you made on the wall when you were doing a visual. If you haven’t done so already, draw an angled line from the marks on the back wall where the top of your roof is going to the front upper edge of your nest boxes.

The next steps can be a little tricky, and you will need to measure and cut your angles carefully.

Measure a 45 degree angle from the front lip of the nest boxes to the wall. You can do this using carpentry tools, a plastic protractor, or just a level and a straight edge. Mark it with a level line along the wall the length of the nest boxes.

Cut a short piece of 2×4 or board and screw it into the side wall on the corner end. You can angle the ends, but you don’t need to.

chicken nesting boxes tutorial

Measure twice, cut once. Getting the angle just right is tricky; get it as flush to the wall as possible.

Now for the other end. Cut one end of a 2×4 in a 45 degree angle. Leave the other end long enough to reach past the vertical 2×4 on the front corner. Attach it to the wall. Trim the end to fit flush with the vertical, and trim off the end of the vertical as well. This will be a brace to hold up your roof on the open non-cornered end.

nesting box

An inside view of your angled beam.

Fit a small floor brace on the open end for added support and to hold up the side wall if you are using one.

nesting boxes for chickens tutorial

Add a support beam on the inside to back your side wall.

Cut your flat material to size and fit it onto the end.

chicken nesting box tutorial

Keep your chickens out from behind the boxes by blocking it off with a sidewall.

Measure the area for the roof, adding at least four inches of overhang, and cut out flat material.

chicken nest boxes tutorial

Measure out your roof, this will be a basic rectangle fitted atop.

Attach to the angled braces.

Stuff insulation under the boxes if you plan to use it. Our nest boxes are along the north wall of the hen house in a cold climate, so we added it for extra chicken comfort. As with most of the project, we used leftovers from building the actual house. You can skip insulation or use other materials.

chicken nesting box tutorial

Use insulation from recycled materials.

Step 8: Bottom Cover

Measure, cut, and attach the bottom cover.

chicken nesting boxes tutorial

Your nesting boxes are complete!

Add shavings, hay and the boxes are ready! We add fake eggs because we find that hens prefer to lay where another bird has already laid.

Chicken Eggs | How To Build Nesting Boxes

Fake eggs tell the chicken this is a safe place to nest.

Congratulations! You have built nest boxes easily and inexpensively, used recycled materials, and your hens will enjoy the fruits of your labor for years to come. And with any luck, they will thank you with the daily gifts of fresh delicious eggs.

Here’s what it looks like

How to Build Chicken Nesting Boxes From Recycled Scrap Materials

Our hens adapted quickly to their new chicken coop nesting boxes.

How do your chickens like their new nesting boxes? Let us know in the comments.

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Self Sufficiency

NYC Adds Nearly 4,000 People Who Never Tested Positive To Coronavirus Death Tolls

New York City added nearly 4,000 people who never tested positive for the coronavirus to its death toll Tuesday, bringing coronavirus-related deaths in the city to around 10,000 people.

The city decided to add 3,700 people to its death tolls, who they “presumed” to have died from the virus, according to a report from The New York Times. The additions increased the death toll in the U.S. by 17%, according to the Times report, and included people who were suffering from symptoms of the virus, such as intense coughing and a fever.

The report stated that Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio decided over the weekend to change the way the city is counting deaths.

“In the heat of battle, our primary focus has been on saving lives,” de Blasio press secretary Freddi Goldstein told the Times.“As soon as the issue was raised, the mayor immediately moved to release the data.”

The post New York City added nearly 4,000 people who never tested positive for the coronavirus to its death toll appeared first on Daily Caller

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Self Sufficiency

How To Make Lacto-Fermented Sauerkraut In A Mason Jar

The thing about homesteading is you get to create your own ingredient right from scratch! Cheese, yogurt, butter and now sauerkraut, a delightfully sour and crunchy ingredient you can use on your meals — or consume by itself — while on a homestead, or while facing this health crisis!

This homemade sauerkraut is a great meal because it has a long shelf life. You can either make plain sauerkraut or mix it with herbs and spices. In this tutorial let us make Lacto-fermented sauerkraut that preserves all the good probiotics in a jar, good for your guts.

So how to make sauerkraut in a mason jar?

RELATED: How To Make Buttermilk On Your Homestead

Delicious Sauerkraut Recipe Every Homesteader Should Know

Why Make Sauerkraut?


Not only does sauerkraut spoil a long time, but it is also a meal in itself, and it is also easy to make! You don’t need to be an expert cook, all you need to do is follow these simple steps.

So let us get started. Here are the steps in making sauerkraut in a mason jar.


  • 1 head of cabbage or 2 1/2 lbs cabbage
  • 1 tablespoon of salt

Tools Needed:

  • knife
  • bowl
  • mason jar
  • smaller jar
  • rubber band

Step 1: Wash & Clean the Tools & Ingredients

Wash all the equipment and utensils you need. Wash your hands too.

You don’t want to mix your sauerkraut with bad bacteria, anything that is going to make you sick.

Next, remove the faded leaves from your cabbage. Cut off the roots and the parts that don’t seem fresh.

Step 2: Cut the Cabbage Into Quarters & Slice Into Strips

Cut your cabbage into quarters and remove the core. Then, slice it into strips.

Step 3: Place in a Bowl & Sprinkle With Salt

Put the stripped cabbage into a bowl. Sprinkle the cabbage with 1 tablespoon of salt.

TIP: Use canning salt or sea salt. Iodized salt will make it taste different and may not ferment the cabbage.

RELATED: Homemade Yogurt Recipe

Step 4: Massage the Cabbage

Massage the cabbage for five minutes or more to get the juice out.

TIP: You’ll know it’s ready when you see a bit of juice at the bottom of the bowl and will look similar to coleslaw.

Step 5: Press Cabbage Into the Mason Jar

Add the cabbage to the mason jar gradually. Press it in hard to allow the juice to come out. Do this every time you add about a handful of cabbage.

IMPORTANT: Food should be covered by the liquid to promote fermentation. Add any excess liquid from the bowl to the jar.

Step 6: Press a Smaller Jar Into the Mason Jar

You want to squeeze every ounce of that juice from the cabbage. To do this place the mason jar in a bowl and get a smaller jar.

Fill it with water or marble to make it heavy. Press it into the bigger mason jar. Allow any juices to rise to the surface.

Step 7: Cover the Jars With Cloth & Tie With Rubber Band

Leave the small jar on. To keep your jars clean from annoying insects and irritating debris, cover your jars with a clean cloth. Then, use a rubber band to tie the cloth and the jars together, putting them in place.

Step 8: Set Aside & Check Daily

Set it aside in a cool dry place, away from direct sunlight. Check the water level daily. It should always be above the cabbage.

Step 9: Taste Your Sauerkraut & Keep at Cool Temperatures

Homemade Sauerkraut Cumin Juniper | How To Make Lacto-Fermented Sauerkraut In A Mason Jar

After about five days, you can taste your sauerkraut. If the taste is to your liking, tightly cover it with the lid and store in the fridge or cellar.

NOTE: If after five days it’s still not your desired taste, leave it for a few more days. This will allow the fermentation process to continue.

You can now enjoy your sauerkraut in a mason jar. Enjoy its goodness! You can use it as a side dish or mix it with your favorite sandwich.

Things to Remember in Making Sauerkraut

  • Store away from direct sunlight and drafts.
  • Colder weather will make the process longer. Spring is the best time to make them since the warmth helps activate the fermentation.
  • Always make sure that the cabbage is below the water level during the entire fermentation process.
  • If the water level decreases during the fermentation process, you can make a brine and add it.

Let us watch this video from Kristina Seleshanko on how to make delicious Lacto-fermented sauerkraut in a mason jar!

So there you have it! Making Lacto-fermented sauerkraut in a mason jar is as easy as slicing the cabbage into strips. Remember that as long it remains unopened, your sauerkraut can last for months. Best of all, you can partner this sauerkraut in many recipes.

What do you think of this homemade recipe? Share your best sauerkraut recipe in the comments section below!

Fellow homesteaders, do you want to help others learn from your journey by becoming one of our original contributors? Write for us!


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Self Sufficiency


Having plants in the house will bring peace to people. Having a little garden with vegetables is even better! You can grow these vegetables in your backyard garden easily as well!

RELATED: Microgreens Growing Guide

In this article:

  1. Tomato
  2. Eggplant
  3. Beet
  4. Spinach
  5. Pea
  6. Carrot
  7. Radish
  8. Cauliflower
  9. Asparagus

Growing veggies in your garden will give you an opportunity to understand what you eat and value it more. Early spring is when most vegetables are being planted. Keep reading to learn about 9 spring vegetables that anyone can grow in their garden!


Tomato is the most popular garden vegetable in the States! There are different varieties to choose from. Tomatoes need to be planted in early spring because they won’t survive a frost.

Because tomatoes are consumed daily, try adding them to your garden! They’re not difficult to grow either.


Eggplants are known to have low-calorie, vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Plus, they are delicious! So why not plant them in your garden?

Eggplants shouldn’t be planted too early because they won’t be able to survive a frost. So you could consult an expert in your area before you plant your eggplants.


Beets are known to be a superfood for its various health benefits. They’re easier to grow in the garden, usually around late March or early April.

If the weather is always cool, beets will keep getting bigger and bigger. Once the weather starts to warm up, you’ll need to harvest them, or they’ll go to waste.


Spinach is a delicious early spring veggie, and it’s also very beneficial for health. And it’s not difficult to grow spinach in your garden!

Spinach needs cold weather to grow. Getting spinach to grow is easy, but keeping it growing will require some extra care.


Peas are usually planted in late April. Peas will die in freezing temperatures, but they also won’t survive the heat either. So make sure you plant your peas in early spring.

Peas are widely used in many different ways, and there are different types of peas. The soil you’ll be planting your peas should be suitable for them, so make sure you ask while buying seeds.


There are different types of carrots, but regardless of their size and color, it’s a fact that carrots are both delicious and rich in vitamins.

They’re root vegetables, so with proper sun and watering, they can be picked up as baby carrots as well.


A radish is an excellent option for beginners because it doesn’t require too much care. Radish is easy to harvest.

Radish grows fast, so it’s better to keep an eye on it after a few weeks. Radish usually is grown pest-free, but there’s always the chance of unwanted guests, so watch out for worms. Radish can be eaten raw or can be added to garnish recipes.


Cauliflower isn’t the easiest vegetable to grow at home, but it is very popular.

Cauliflower grows better in colder weather, so before you plant it, consider the climate of your garden. Cauliflower can be eaten raw or cooked, and it is known to be very beneficial for health.


Freshly picked, tender asparagus is very delicious!

Asparagus plants get more productive with each harvest, and mature asparagus harvest can last for months! Make sure you plant them at the correct time, or else they might go to waste.

All the vegetables listed above are great for your healthy diet, and it’s fun to watch them grow. So don’t miss out on the opportunity to grow your own veggies and eat healthy this spring!

So tell us which veggies will you be growing this spring? Tell us in the comments section!




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