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Frequently Asked Questions

The Best Nest Box is a high-quality roll out nest box that can greatly increase your productivity and enjoyment of keeping hens.  The features of the Best Nest Box enables convenient collection of clean and unbroken eggs.  To learn more about what a roll out nest box is, click here.

The construction and materials of the Best Nest Box are of the highest grade.  The fit and finish is second to none.   The early version of the Best Nest Box was introduced in 2003 and was the  first community style roll out nest box on the market.  There have been many imitators to come along over the years, but the Best Nest Box still stands as the highest quality nest box on the market.    To learn more about how the Best Nest Box is made, click here.

Best Nest Box has thousands of satisfied customers.  You can read many of our past customer reviews by clicking here.

Recommended number of laying hens for each box size-

Things to keep in mind-

  •  Farmers and those involved in larger production settings will often use the large box for more hens.  This may result in hens having to wait for room in the nest box before laying, but for some this is acceptable.
  • If there is a chance you may be growing your flock in the future, it may be worth it to get a larger size box than your current flock requires.
Included in the price of every nest box we sell is the nest pad you need to start using your box right away.  Many customers purchase one or more additional nest pads for convenience when cleaning their nest pad.  For example, if you have an extra nest pad, you can remove the nest pad from your box to soak it (click here for info on cleaning the nest pad) and simply put in your spare while the one is being cleaned.

A roll out (also called a rollaway) nest box has a floor that is sloped with a specific angle, which causes eggs to roll away from the hens to a collection area.   

Benefits of the roll out feature-

  • Clean and unbroken eggs- eggs roll away from the laying area to a collection area where hens can not access.  This keeps the hens from getting the eggs dirty from their manure and other dirt that they can track in.  It also keeps the hens from cracking and/or eating the eggs since they do not have access to them after the eggs roll away.
  • Easy collection- All the eggs roll away to a common area that is accessed through a door.

The sloped floor is one of the most, if not the most, important components of a roll out nest box.  A precise floor allows eggs to consistently roll out to the collection area.  The Best Nest Box's sloped floor is formed by highly experienced individuals producing a consistently precise sloped floor in all directions.

A community style nest box does not have any walls or dividers in the laying area.  The laying area is one continuous open space.   This differs from divided nest boxes that have walls/dividers between the spaces where hens lay.  Divided nest boxes are often referred to by the number of spaces(also called "holes") that the nest box contains- 4-hole, 8-hole, 10-hole, etc.  In  divided nest boxes, chickens often try to crowd each other out in the individual spaces.  You can often have a particular space that becomes a favored place where multiple hens will cram in while leaving other spaces empty.  A community style nest box helps alleviate this issue.  In fact,  many commercial egg operations use community style boxes.  The Best Nest Box is a community style nest box  and was the first community style roll out nest box to hit the market in 2003.

Best Nest Box invented the reversible feature of the roll out nest box in 2014.  This feature allows the customer to easily configure the Best Nest Box with the egg collection area in the front or rear of the nest box to best fit their situation.  Front or rear configuration is chosen during assembly, but can be changed at any time after assembly if desired.  You could even change it back and forth between front and rear if your coop design changes over time.

Front roll out is a popular configuration for many customers.  In this configuration, customers often hang the Best Nest Box on a wall inside their coop or run. 

A common use for the rear roll out configuration is to mount your nest box on a wall with the egg collection area protruding out a hole in the wall so it can be accessed without going into your coop.

Visit our customer photo gallery to see examples of the Best Nest Box in both front and rear roll out configurations.

The vinyl curtains that cover the opening of the nest box give the hens a sense of a safe "nesting" area where they can lay their eggs.  Our curtains have a V-shaped opening cut in them to allow easy access to the laying area by the hens, but still allows the curtains to be large enough to block a signficant amount of light and provide that inviting nesting space to the hens.

Some folks feel the V-shaped opening inhibits the hens from using the nest box when the nest box is first introduced to the hens and they are learning to use it.  If your hens are having trouble acclimating to the nest box, you can temporarily tape one (or use a manget) of the curtains to the roof to create a larger opening.  However, it has been our experience and working with customers who have had flocks with problems getting used to their new nest box that the issue is always something other than the curtains.  See our training tips for more info.

Ultimately, we feel the V-shaped opening is a good balance between accessibility and the sense of sense of safety and security for the hens.

The Best Nest Box® uses a dual floor system to provide the optimal material for each area of the nest box.  This design keeps your nest box cleaner.

AstroTurf® nest pad material in the egg layer area

AstroTurf® nest pad material is specifically engineered for laying hens.  It provides a comfortable, inviting, and hygienic surface to encourage hens to lay.  More information about the nest pad material can be found at the AstroTurf® website.

Galvanized wire mesh in the egg collection area

The material in the collection area of the nest box (where the eggs end up and are collected from) is galvanized wire mesh with 1-inch square openings.  This material allows debris that hens bring into the nest box (dirt, manure, hay, straw, feathers, etc.) to fall down and out of the nest box rather than accumulating in the collection area and causing an unclean environment for the eggs.

Some nest boxes on the market have nest pad material that covers both the laying and collection areas.  The Best Nest Box uses nest pad material in the laying area, but transitions to galvanized wire mesh in the collection area.    There are benefits to both approaches.  But here at Best Nest Box, we find that having wire mesh in the collection area offers the best overall experience.Benefits of wire mesh in collection area,

  • Allows debris (manure, hay, straw, dirt, feathers, etc) a way to make it out of the box by falling through the 1-inch square holes in the wire mesh.
  • Provides a more hygienic collection area since nest pads have lots of crevices for debris to get trapped.
  • Wire mesh is quicker and easier to clean than a nest pad.  Nest pad material has a lot of hard-to-reach surface area that is more difficult to clean.
  • Wire mesh is more durable than nest pad material.  Frequent shaking and cleaning of nest pads may result in tears and the need for replacement sooner.
  • Here's a video of a farmer using another manufacturer's nest box which uses pad material in the collection area. The farmer mentions "collecting the poop".

Benefits of nest pad material in collection area,

  • In dusty environments (like stationary coops), dust on the wire mesh can leave dust lines on your eggs when they roll on to the mesh with their "bloom" (a moist protective layer that eggs have when they are laid).  However, this problem can be alleviated by quickly wiping your collection area with a moist towel daily after egg collection or less frequently as-needed.

We sometimes get asked if there is some type of barrier between the laying and collection areas of the Best Nest Box to prohibit the hens from accessing and cracking/eating the eggs after they have rolled away.

Our box does have a piece of angled metal (3 5/8" depth) to make it more difficult for the hens to access the collection area.  We do not have a curtain or other barrier because our testing (using video cameras) revealed that such a barrier does not stop the hens from accessing the collection area.  They simply push right through any curtain.  Also, a curtain or other barrier can negatively impact how eggs roll away by slowing down and sometimes stopping the egg before it's left the laying area and made it in to the collection area.

After installing the Best Nest Box the hens will often start using it right away with little to no intervention on your part.   However, there are situations where some or all of your hens might not use the nest box without some training on your part.  Don't be alarmed, this is not uncommon and can be addressed.  Chickens are simple creatures and introducing something new, whether it be our nest box, another manufacturer's nest box, feeder, waterer, etc may not always result in the desired out come right away.

Below our some tips and suggesting on getting your hens to use the Best Nest Box.  These tips are mostly just temporary until your hens become accustomed to the nest box.  If you need additional help, don't hesitate to call.  We've helped many customers successfully train their hens to use the Best Nest Box.


  • Make sure your nest box is tucked away in a darker and quiet area of your chicken coop.
  • Recreating the setting of the hens' older housing can also make them adapt quicker. 
  • Keep your hens in their coop for most of the morning as that's when most of egg laying occurs.  By doing this, you will be able to get the best odds that your hen will lay eggs in their nest boxes rather than somewhere outside. 
  • Use bedding inside the nest box. Block off egg tray to keep the nest box full.
  • Remove old nesting boxes.
  • Use a magnet or tape to secure a red curtain or curtains to the top of the nest box roof.
  • Make the "wrong place" laying areas uncomfortable.  (scraps of fence or boards)
  • Scatter corn after nightfall in the "wrong place" laying area.
  • Place birds you see nesting in the "wrong place" area directly into the box.  (If the hen wants to jump back out, close the roost bar.)
  • Add light to dark corners of the coop.
  • Place "wrong place" eggs directly into the nest box to discourage other hens from laying there in the "wrong place".  (Bad habits get passed onto other hens.
  • Place a piece of the hens old laying nest box set up inside the new box.
  • Place the new nesting pad on the floor, so the birds will get used to the new material.
  • Use cardboard inside the new box to create a small divided section.
  • Totally close off "wrong place" laying areas.
  • Place a hay bale in front of the nest box or make a ramp up to the roost bar.
  • Lower the nest box or place it directly onto the floor.
  • Install hot wire 3" up from the floor around the coop perimeter.  (For farmers with large flocks)

Again, these tips are temporary and can be discontinued after the chickens are trained to use their new box!

AstroTurf®, the manufacturer of the nest pad material, recommends soaking the pad in water with a mild soap (like hand dishwashing soap).   A good way to do this is to roll up the nest pad and put in a standard 5 gallon bucket, fill it with water and soap, and let it soak for a day or two.  After soaking, gently rinse the nest pad to remove any debris.

Using a pressure washer is not recommended because it may cause unneccesary wear on the pad resulting in tearing.

The Best Nest Box has a moveable perch bar (also called a roost bar) that can be rotated in to one of two positions.  In the down position, the nest box is accessible by the hens and the hens will often use the perch bar to help them gain access to the nest box by first hopping on to the perch bar and then walking into the nest box.

When the perch bar is rotated up it blocks the opening of the nest box in such a way that the hens are not able to enter the nest box.

You'll want to keep the hens from roosting or sleeping in the nest box at night to keep them from dirtying the nest box excessively with their manure.  You can keep the hens out at night by rotating the perch bar up and prohibiting access to the nest box.  A good time to do this is at egg collection time.   Once the hens roost for the night, you'll need to rotate the perch bar back down so the hens will have access to the nest box the next morning.

To help automate this task, Best Nest Box sells an electronic device with a timer called a PerchPopper which automatically opens the nest box at time of your choosing.  You simply close the nest box when you collect eggs and let the PerchPopper open then nest box at a time after the hens roost for the night.  The PerchPopper is a custom engineered agricultural-grade product.  More information about the PerchPopper can be found by clicking here.

Please visit our heating solutions page for information on how to keep the eggs in your Best Nest Box from freezing in the winter.

Orders typically ship within 1 to 3 business days after they are received.

During peak periods (spring time), shipping may be delayed.  During these times and if we are experiencing delays, the amount of shipping delay will be clearly displayed on the applicable product pages.

Local pick-up is available.  We are located in Northeast Ohio.

Yes, we ship to Canada and other international locations.

When shipping to Canada and other international locations, UPS collects a customs brokerage fee prior to delivery.  This fee is the responsibility of the customer and is above any cost that you've already paid for the products and shipping.

In addition, your home country/region may charge you taxes for the transaction.  If that is the case, UPS will also collect those prior to delivery.

Since our products are Made in the USA there is no additional import duty for Canadian customers.

Current UPS brokerage fees for Canada are listed on their website.

Please contact us if you have any further questions.

The PerchPopper is an agricultural-grade electronic device that conveniently keeps your Best Nest Box cleaner by keeping your hens from sleeping and dirtying the nest box at night

Here's how it works-  When you go out to collect the eggs or any time after your hens are done laying for the day, rotate the perch bar up into the closed position.  With the perch bar in this position, it will block access into the nest box and your hen's will not be able to enter the nest box and sleep in there over night and make a mess of it with their manure.   The PerchPopper contains a strong magnet that will hold the perch bar closed until a specific time that you choose.  Any time after dark, but before your hens wake the next day will work.   At this time, the magnet will release the perch bar automatically and it will rotate down so that your nest box will be open and ready for your hens to enter the next time they are ready to lay.


  • Runs on only 2 AA batteries lasting over a year
  • Magnetic latch allows one-handed operation
  • Agricultural/rugged constructions

Battery life has many variables, like quality of battery and climate to name a couple.  However, the PerchPopper is engineered to use power efficiently and typical battery life is a year or more. In Ohio, the 2 AA batteries used to operate the PerchPopper will last for 16 months.

At our research farm, just to be safe we change our batteries every 6-months when daylight savings begins and ends.

The PerchPopper is engineered to use power efficiently and the two AA batteries typically last over a year(more info on battery life).  Because of the long lasting battery life, the convenience of having no wires to fuss with, and the portability benefit of having no wires for those that move their coops, we only offer a battery-powered PerchPopper.  We simply don't see any real benefit of having a plug-in version.

The PerchPopper is designed to work with a single Best Nest Box.  We have had customers use one PerchPopper to automate the perch bar opening on multiple Best Nest Boxes by linking perch bars together and purchasing extra spring assemblies for the linked nest boxes.  Although customers have been successful using a single PerchPopper on multiple nest boxes, this is not a configuration that we support, due to the custom nature of this type of setup.   There are customer photos of this type of setup on the PerchPopper product page that you may find helpful.

The PerchPopper is a reliable device and you should expect many years of service from it.    However, like any any mechanical/electronic device, it needs to be set up correctly to work optimally.  

The most common reason customers have issues with the PerchPopper failing to release the perch bar and open the nest box is because they have tightened the hinge bolts/nuts of the perch bar too tight and the springs which pull the perch bar down after the magnet releases the bar can not overcome the friction of the over-tightened perch bar.  The instructions that come with the PerchPopper describe how to tighten the perch bar hinge bolts/nuts to allow for proper operation.

If your PerchPopper is failing to release the perch bar,  try doing this test to see if your perch bar is falling quickly enough-  hold the perch bar in the closed position with the catch plate close to the magnet, but without touching the magnet.  Let go of the perch bar.   It should fall quickly as demonstrated in the following video-

If the bar does not fall away quickly and immediately after releasing it, loosen the hinge bolts/nuts until it does.

One final note, you'll want to make sure you have good batteries as well.

Contact Best Nest Box if you need any further assistance.

The PerchPopper and it's included parts are designed to work seamlessly with the Best Nest Box.  We have had customers adapt it to work with other manufacturer's and homemade nest boxes, but we only support and guarantee it's functionality with the Best Nest Box.

The ChickenGuard automatic coop door is a reliable product and has given thousands of customers years of trouble free service.  If you do happen to experience any issues with your door, ChickenGuard has excellent customer phone support.  ChickenGuard can be reached at 855-383-0430.