Do Chickens Make Nests?

All birds will, at some point, lay eggs.

Of course, before they lay their eggs and nest them until they become chicks, they have to acquire a suitable nest first.

Normally, a bird’s nest is placed in high trees to keep the eggs away from the predators.

But do chickens also make their nests in the same manner, considering how they are flightless birds?

Do chickens still make their nests even though keepers would provide them nesting boxes? 

It is expected that chickens do make their nests just like any other birds would instinctively do.

However, they do not create their nests the same way as them.

If other bird species would have to spend weeks collecting nest materials, and go through an arduous process of assembling them, chickens simply don’t. 

After all, fowls will lay their eggs in an area they consider safe for their eggs.

Unlike birds, chicken nests are only made of a few twigs often placed in bushes, shrubs, or simply a quiet ground. 

Let’s get into more detail

Will Chickens Build Nests? 

Chickens are still considered birds, so it is their instinct to build nests.

The primary concern of these fowls is to have a place where they can lay their eggs peacefully.

Building their own nest would make the chickens feel safe and content to release their eggs. 

Both domesticated and wild chickens will build their nests when the time comes.

A nest is a place of comfort, safety, and shelter for them and for their chicks, after all.

Domesticated chickens would make nests if the provided nesting boxes are not enough.

Similarly, wild fowls would create their own anywhere safe. 

Remember, fowls do not build their nest like how other birds would normally do.

They are not that meticulous in assembling their nest.

In fact, chickens would not make a circular nest out of twigs, but any pieces of material would be good enough for them. 

Where Do Chickens Make Nests? 

Normally, birds establish their nest in high trees to protect their eggs from predators.

Since chickens are incapable of reaching or flying to extremely high areas, their nests are impossible to find in those locations. 

Chickens will make their nest in somewhere safe, quiet, and peaceful for them.

Domesticated fowls often build their nest in their nesting box.

However, if they see their boxes unsuitable, they would lay their eggs in bushes, shrubs, hen houses, or anywhere hidden. 

Wild chickens, however, will have to explore areas until they find somewhere hidden and safe from all kinds of predators.

They will also normally create their nest in bushes or shrubs as well. 

Do Chickens Need Their Own Nest To Lay Eggs? 

Surprisingly, chickens do not really need their own nest to lay their eggs.

As long as the surface is soft, flat, and protected, they will rest and lay their eggs comfortably.

This is also the reason why the fowls do not exert that much effort in building their nest. 

This is also the same for domesticated fowls.

Although keepers provide nesting boxes for them, it is just to make the harvesting pretty convenient.

Once the chickens have determined that the nesting boxes fit their needs, they will use it as their space.

This will make it easier for the keepers to find, harvest, and store the eggs. 

How Do Chickens Make Their Nest? 

Unlike birds, chickens cannot make their nest placed somewhere high.

As such, most chicken nests are on the ground.

Do not also expect that their nests are like any other bird nests – circular, made of twigs, and carefully well-made. 

Some chickens would only pick up a few grasses to make their laying space soft and comfortable.

Others would try to dig a small hole in the ground and lay their eggs on that spot.

Of course, chickens may not try at all, and just let their eggs sit on a completely flat and clean area. 

Most nesting boxes have already been provided with few wood-shavings, grass, or any nesting material.

Most of the time, these nesting boxes would already be sufficient as nests for the fowls already.

Do Chickens Sleep Where They Nest? 

Chickens may or may not sleep where they laid their eggs.

Whether it’s a nest they personally made or their nesting boxes, they may use it as their roosting area as well.

Be reminded that, at the end of the day, these birds have their own preferences.   

Most fowls, however, do sleep where they nest.

This is because their nest feels too safe, quiet, and warm for them.

They just prefer to lay rest on their nests or boxes for comfort and extra warmth.

Here’s a problem some chicken keepers may have – Their chickens don’t use the nesting box

Check out my article – Do chickens sleep during the day? 

Let’s find out how you can get your chicken to use the nesting box  

How Do You Get Chickens To Use Nesting Boxes? 

Your chickens would undoubtedly ignore their nesting boxes if they think these are not sufficient or protected enough.

If that happens, your hens will look somewhere else where they can lay their eggs safely and quietly. 

It is highly encouraged to get your chickens to use their nesting boxes for egg laying.

This would make harvesting easier and it will assure you that the eggs will be kept safely and perfectly. 

Chickens love nesting areas to be somewhere hidden and protected from predators.

Place the nesting boxes somewhere private and dark, so your fowls would be encouraged to stay there.

Fowls also want their nests soft and clean.

Make sure you use clean bedding, such as pine shavings, straw, or nesting pads. 

Ultimately, you can also opt to add fresh herbs that could make your hens feel calm.

Some herbs like lavender, lemon balm, or chamomile will work best. 

Check out my article – Chicken roosting in trees

Wrapping Up 

Chickens will still make their nests just to lay eggs safely.

Though, they do not make the same circular nests located in high trees.

Nesting boxes, shrubs, bushes, or anywhere safe and hidden would be perfect already. 

Encourage your fowls to use the nesting boxes, so you can be at ease about the eggs’ condition.

Make sure you make their nests soft, clean, and protected to keep your hens happy and satisfied.


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