Human mothers always want the best for their babies, and chicken mothers are no different. And a nest box is without a doubt the best place for a brooding hen to lay her eggs.
Sure, hens are willing to lay eggs just about anywhere. The corner of the coop, under a bush in your yard, out behind the shed where you haven’t set foot in years… when it’s time to lay, nowhere is off-limits.
But this anything-goes laying style poses many inconveniences to you — and many dangers to your hens and their eggs.
Heading outside in the morning to collect your hens’ latest eggs is one of the most rewarding parts of raising chickens. It’s so satisfying to know that your hens are happy and healthy enough to produce such lovely eggs!
But if you don’t have a nest box, your daily egg collection can feel like the world’s most frustrating and unnecessary Easter egg hunt.
You need to scour your property for eggs, checking in tall grasses, under decks, inside sheds and even in ridiculous “nests” like children’s toys. It’s a time-consuming ordeal, and to top it all off, there’s no guarantee you’ll even find all the eggs your girls have laid!
And if a nest site is out in the open, it’s a target for scavengers like foxes and raccoons who would love nothing more than a meal of tasty eggs. These predators also pose serious threats to your hens, who are at their most vulnerable when laying and sitting on eggs.
Why do hens insist on such inconvenient laying practices? Shouldn’t that maternal instinct drive them to lay in more suitable spots?
Well, just as we have our favorites chairs and preferred sides of the bed, hens have their own favorite laying spots. Often, these are chosen based on comfort: soft grass is more comfy than the hard wood floor of a coop, so many hens prefer to nest out in the yard.
Safety also plays a role in a hen’s nesting decisions, but since you take such good care of her, she probably feels safe just about anywhere in your yard. Her strong sense of security makes her forget the possibility that there are still plenty of dangers afoot in the outdoors.
And unfortunately, your hens don’t take your feelings into consideration when they pick their nesting sites. They’re not laying those eggs so that you can collect them — they’re laying them because that’s what nature demands they do.
Your chickens lay their eggs in the most comfortable spot, wherever that may be. So the trick to getting them to lay in a particular location is to make that location as comfortable as possible.
And a nest box is the picture of comfort for a broody hen.
Nests Are Best!
A quality nest box not only makes it easier for you to collect eggs, it also makes it safer and more comfortable for your hens to lay them.
The best nest boxes are insulated against light, sound and the elements. They’re warm, dark, quiet spaces where a hen can enjoy the privacy she needs to lay her eggs.
Not only will these qualities make the nest box appealing to your hens, they’ll ensure that your girls have a stress-free laying experience. Stress can lead to reduced egg production and even health problems like becoming egg bound, so consider a nest box an investment in both your hens’ well-being and your egg-collecting success.
Speaking of you, a high-quality nest box will make your life easier as well. You can just reach in, grab the eggs and get on with your day — no more hunting through your property every day to track down all those scattered eggs!
These nest boxes are endorsed by both chickens and their owners. They’re comfy, convenient and a cinch to set up. If you find yourself frustrated with your hens’ laying habits, try one of these nest boxes and see for yourself the difference they can make!
Best Nest Boxes
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