The Pros and Cons of Using Plastic Nesting Boxes for Your Chickens.
Keeping chickens is a rewarding hobby that provides fresh eggs, entertainment, and the satisfaction of caring for a flock of animals. However, it is important to provide chickens with comfortable and safe nesting boxes to lay their eggs. Plastic nesting boxes for chickens are a popular option because they are durable, easy to clean, and affordable.
In this article, I will share my experience and knowledge on plastic nesting boxes for chickens, including the benefits of using them, the types available in the market, how to choose the right one for your chickens and tips on maintenance and cleaning.
So, whether you are a seasoned chicken keeper or just starting out, keep reading to learn more about plastic nesting boxes and how they can benefit your flock.
What are plastic nesting boxes for chickens?
Plastic nesting boxes are designed to provide a comfortable and secure space for your chickens to lay their eggs. They’re typically made from high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic, which is a durable and easy-to-clean material. Plastic nesting boxes come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so you can choose one that fits your coop and the number of chickens you have.
Benefits of using plastic nesting boxes
There are several benefits to using plastic nesting boxes for your chickens:
- Easy to clean: Unlike traditional wooden nesting boxes, plastic nesting boxes can be easily cleaned and disinfected, which helps to prevent the spread of disease and parasites.
- Durable: Plastic nesting boxes are more durable than wooden boxes and are less likely to rot or break over time.
- Comfortable for chickens: The smooth surface of plastic nesting boxes is more comfortable for chickens to lay on than rough wooden surfaces.
- Less prone to pests: Because plastic nesting boxes don’t have cracks or crevices where pests can hide, they’re less prone to infestations of mites, lice, and other pests.
- Lightweight: Plastic nesting boxes are lightweight and easy to move, which makes cleaning and maintenance easier.
Choosing the right plastic nesting box
When choosing a plastic nesting box for your chickens, there are several factors to consider:
- Size: The size of the nesting box should be large enough for your largest chicken to comfortably lay eggs. A good rule of thumb is to have a nesting box that’s at least 12 inches square.
- Number of compartments: Depending on how many chickens you have, you may need a nesting box with multiple compartments.
- Ventilation: Good ventilation is important to prevent moisture buildup and bacterial growth. Look for a nesting box with adequate ventilation.
- Design: Some plastic nesting boxes are designed to be stackable, which can save space in your coop. Others have removable dividers that allow you to adjust the size of the compartments.
Tips for using plastic nesting boxes
Here are some tips for using plastic nesting boxes in your chicken coop:
- Provide nesting material: Even though plastic nesting boxes are smooth, it’s still important to provide nesting material such as straw, hay, or wood shavings. This will help to keep the eggs clean and provide a comfortable surface for your chickens to lay on.
- Keep the nesting boxes clean: Regularly clean and disinfect your nesting boxes to prevent the buildup of bacteria and parasites.
- Monitor egg production: Keep an eye on how many eggs your chickens are laying in each nesting box. If one box is getting too crowded, consider adding another box to give your chickens more space.
- Position the nesting boxes correctly: Nesting boxes should be placed in a quiet, low-traffic area of the coop to encourage your chickens to use them.
Where to Buy Nesting Boxes
If you’re interested in buying plastic nesting boxes for your chickens, there are several places you can look. Here are some options:
- Online retailers: There are many online retailers that specialize in chicken supplies, and they often carry a variety of nesting boxes. Some popular options include Amazon, Tractor Supply, and MyPetChicken. When shopping online, be sure to read reviews and product descriptions carefully to ensure you’re getting a quality product that meets your needs.
- Local farm and feed stores: If you prefer to shop in person, local farm and feed stores may carry plastic nesting boxes for chickens. These stores often cater to poultry owners and may have a variety of sizes and styles to choose from. Additionally, you may be able to speak with knowledgeable staff who can help you choose the best option for your specific coop and flock.
- Secondhand stores and online marketplaces: If you’re on a tight budget, consider looking for used nesting boxes at secondhand stores or online marketplaces like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace. You may be able to find a good deal on a box that’s still in good condition, or you may be able to repurpose an item like a plastic storage container or an old toolbox into a nesting box.
- Specialty poultry supply stores: If you’re looking for a high-end nesting box with specialized features, such as an automatic egg collector or a heated pad, you may want to look for a specialty poultry supply store. These stores typically carry a wide range of chicken-related products and can help you find a box that fits your specific needs.
When choosing where to buy your nesting boxes, be sure to consider factors like price, quality, and convenience. You may also want to think about any additional features you want your box to have, such as easy cleaning or a secure lock. With a little research and some careful shopping, you can find the perfect nesting boxes for your flock.
Plastic nesting boxes are a great option for chicken owners who want a durable, easy-to-clean, and comfortable space for their chickens to lay their eggs. When choosing a plastic nesting box, be sure to consider the size, number of compartments, ventilation, and design. By providing your chickens with the right nesting boxes and taking care to keep them clean and comfortable, you’ll help to ensure a healthy and productive flock.