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Iguana Nesting Boxes

How To Provide An Iguana Nesting Box

Iguana Nesting Boxes

Female iguanas dig burrows in which they lay their eggs. In captivity it is an absolute necessity for you to provide this location for your female. Not providing this location is not only irresponsible on your part but it could actually be fatal to your iguana. (Egg Binding - Dystocia)

Iguana nesting boxes do not need to be elaborate. They simply need to provide your female a location where she can dig a nest site for her eggs. Below are several different methods for creating egg-laying sites for your iguana. Some of them are very simple to put together and others are more elaborate. Deciding which method is best for you will depend upon your budget, time and the space you have available.

If your intent is to hatch the eggs you may want to consider heating the egg laying box to make it more inviting. Directing a light or ceramic heat emitter at the entrance will help to raise the temperature slightly.

Sterilite - Rubbermaid Totes

This is a very simple method for creating a space saving and budget friendly egg laying box for your iguana. Sterilite and Rubbermaid totes make great laying boxes. All that is required from you is to cut an entry hole into the side of the tote with a razor blade or soldering iron. (The soldering iron will melt an opening.) The hole should be 5" in diameter. If you have an exceptionally large iguana you can go larger. You want to make the opening near the top because you need to leave space for the substrate. You also need to keep in mind that the iguana is going to be digging, so having some wall below the opening will help keep some of the substrate from being kicked out.

If your hole is to high for the iguana to reach unassisted you will need to place a step in front of it or create a ramp that leads up to the opening.

Sterilite Nesting Box

Kitty Litter Box

In relation to simplicity and aesthetics, this is the ideal solution for many people. Contained kitty litter boxes [1] are already built for use. By simply adding the substrate and placing it in the enclosure you have created an instant nesting site. Because of the design of these boxes you will likely find yourself cleaning up substrate that has been kicked out during the digging process. It is a small price to pay though for such a quick and simple fix to your iguanas needs.

Kitty Litter Box Nesting Box

Trash Can Nesting Box

If you have the space to build this it would make for an ideal nesting box. You will need a square trash can that you can lay on its side. (The round trash cans would roll or would need to have a frame built around it to hold it in place.) The covers on these cans are typically pretty good and stay on without assistance though you could use a bolt and nut or some duct tape to hold it in place if it is loose. As with the tote described above you will need to cut a hole in the lid. It is best to cut the hole as high as possible so that you have plenty of plastic beneath the opening to keep the substrate in.

Trash Can Nesting Box

Build A Box

If you are talented enough to build your own egg laying site then perhaps this little project will be of interest. The suggested size for this iguana nesting box is 4' long, 3' wide, and 2' tall. [2] You can make the box larger if you like but you shouldn't go much smaller as the conditions will become cramped.

The image below shows what you are trying to create. For instructions on building this iguana nesting box please view our Building An Iguana Nesting Box article.

Nesting Box


The best substrates you can use are either sandbox sand, soil or a combination of both. (Sand is preferred as it is easy for the iguana to dig in and poses less a threat as a medium for fungus.) Once moist these substrates are easily diggable and can hold their shape. This makes them ideal for egg laying boxes for iguanas.

You will need to add water to you substrate in order for it to be of use. The goal is to get the substrate wet enough so that when you squeeze a handful of it, it holds it shape but doesn't drip water. That would be the ideal consistency and is what you should be aiming for.
When filling your egg laying box try to have at least 1/3 of the box full of substrate. If you can comfortably have it half full that would be great. Keep in mind that sand and soil weigh a great deal, especially when it has been moistened. It would be in your best interest to fill the container where it will be resting as once its full it will be extremely heavy.


Author: Richard Brooks
1. Image Of Kitty Komplete Jumbo Litter Box
2. Hatfield III, James W.. Green Iguana The Ultimate Owners Manual. Dunthorpe Press, 2000. (p.627)