Some cheap ideas for plastic nesting boxes are cat litter boxes, shallow plastic trash cans, milk crates, pet carries and large salad bowls. Inexpensive options made from other materials are old metal washtubs, wooden crates and 55-gallon metal drums or wine barrels cut in half.
Cost of materials for nesting boxes should be weighed against how easy they are to sanitize. Individuals raising chickens must regularly clean and sterilize the containers. Metal and plastic are relatively easy to bleach and scrub, and they do not soak up cleaners or chicken droppings. Wooden nesting boxes are porous, so they present more of a challenge to disinfect.