by Karla T.
We’ve always had a lot of self-sufficient living books at our house. The Almanac of Rural Living, Back to Basics, Making the Best of Basics and many more. So when we decided to start keeping chickens I did a LOT of reading both online and in our personal library. One book that I particularly liked is Barnyard in Your Backyard, edited by Gail Damerow from Storey Publishing.
That was where I turned when Bill and I decided that it was time to build some nesting boxes for our much hoped for first eggs. There is a drawing with measurements on page 39 of the book that we decided was the box for us. My husband did a great job of making the box and it looked so pretty I wished I could keep it in the house. Now it’s a bit too dirty for that. : )
We set them on the coop floor for a while to get the chickens used to them and then mounted them on the wall after a few weeks. Through the years we’ve had mixed success with the hens using the boxes rather than other spots in the coop. It seems to go in stages with them either almost always using them or almost always using various dark and inaccessible (to humans) corners. Some things that seem to help are making sure to keep clean chips in the boxes and leaving a couple of golf balls in them.