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Best filler material for nesting/egg boxes

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

Hello smile
I'm new to the forum as of today. 
My first few posts have been in response to games...not really serious chicken buisness...

We've had chickens for 3 years now, all Easter Egg chickens (gotta love those blue and green eggs!)

On the floor inside the coop we use shavings, and inside the boxes we have used either shavings, hay or shredded paper.  We've seen Pro's and Con's with each.  Now we are using mostly shredded paper (trying to reduce reuse recycle) as a bonus my husband and I can both get bags of the stuff from work.

We collect eggs once a day (afternoon/ evening) when we go out to check water, food and clean bedding.  It seems like I cant keep the nest clean enough to keep the eggs clean.

Here's the question:
What do you find to be the best material to keep eggs clean in the nesting boxes?
Any help would be greatly appreciated smile

Stone Echo Chick
Animals include: Flat Coat retriever, 23 Easter Egg Chickens, 1 Happy Roo, 2 Teen Boys, 1 College bound girl and a Husband...more animals to come....
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Stone Echo Chick
Animals include: Flat Coat retriever, 23 Easter Egg Chickens, 1 Happy Roo, 2 Teen Boys, 1 College bound girl and a Husband...more animals to come....
Reply
post #2 of 20

I keep shavings in my nest boxes. They like to scratch around and settle in before they lay. the shavings gives them a nce soft bed to fluff around in.

LF Blue/Black/Splash Orpingtons - Appleyard Ducks - Geese - Bronze Turkeys - Dairy Goats - Fiber Sheep + eleventy hundred more animals
My Etsy Shop
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LF Blue/Black/Splash Orpingtons - Appleyard Ducks - Geese - Bronze Turkeys - Dairy Goats - Fiber Sheep + eleventy hundred more animals
My Etsy Shop
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post #3 of 20

Hi, I am new to the forum too. I have been raising chickens for a few years now too. I also noticed this problem having poop in the nesting boxes. I went in one night to check on the hens and noticed that they were sleeping in the nesting boxes!!And one nesting box was directly below where they were roosting so poop was falling in to it. So now I have the nesting boxes off the floor with cinder blocks and made the overhang of the roosting area wider. Now I have clean boxes no matter what material I use.

"Listen to all the teachers in the woods. Watch the trees, the animals and all the living things--you'll learn more from them than books."
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"Listen to all the teachers in the woods. Watch the trees, the animals and all the living things--you'll learn more from them than books."
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post #4 of 20

I have a mix, shavings and hay. 
I originally used only shavings, but one day noticed one of my hens got OUT the nest box went over to one of the bales of hay we have in the coop, started picking out pieces and putting them on her BACK (?) I figured she wanted to make a cozy nest with them - so I threw in a handfull and so far thats how we do it, nice layer of shavings and a couple of handfulls of hay....
My eggs are generally pretty clean - right now I have 5 dozen in the kitchen....  I keep the dirty ones for myself, and the others are going to be sold/given away - I have less than a dozen ones dirty - by dirty some just had a little smudge on them.

Everything I say is fully substantiated by my own opinion!
BYC member #4418
http://cherylmercer.blogspot.com/
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Everything I say is fully substantiated by my own opinion!
BYC member #4418
http://cherylmercer.blogspot.com/
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post #5 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunnysidecluckers 

So now I have the nesting boxes off the floor with cinder blocks  Now I have clean boxes no matter what material I use.


I have one nest box on the floor, and its the favorite box.  The other is raised off the floor on a wooden crate - my nest boxes are the lazy mans box.....

I don't think it matters if they're on the floor or not.  Mine sleep on the roost.  They spend time in the nest box, but only to lay.

Here is a pic of the one box I have raised off the floor.

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z162/Mikcher/IMG_2337.jpg

Everything I say is fully substantiated by my own opinion!
BYC member #4418
http://cherylmercer.blogspot.com/
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Everything I say is fully substantiated by my own opinion!
BYC member #4418
http://cherylmercer.blogspot.com/
Reply
post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 

We converted one of the stalls in our barn to be the "Winter coop"  The boxes are way off the ground with a wide ladder of perches leading up to them.  Even though there are perches and bedding on the floor, the chickens (and the Roo) will bunch up together to sleep hanging out of the boxes... Im sure this adds to the poopy bedding.  The dirty eggs are making me crazy!

Any suggestions on getting them to sleep outside the boxes?

Stone Echo Chick
Animals include: Flat Coat retriever, 23 Easter Egg Chickens, 1 Happy Roo, 2 Teen Boys, 1 College bound girl and a Husband...more animals to come....
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Stone Echo Chick
Animals include: Flat Coat retriever, 23 Easter Egg Chickens, 1 Happy Roo, 2 Teen Boys, 1 College bound girl and a Husband...more animals to come....
Reply
post #7 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by StoneEchoChick 

Any suggestions on getting them to sleep outside the boxes?


Cover them/close them (the nest boxes) before they go to bed at night, and open them up early in the am for egg laying.

You can fill them with something like boxes or anything just so that they can't get in.

Make a nice big fat roost - long enough for all of them, and with a fat/wide enough board that they can cover their feet when they squat down on it to sleep - put them UP on the roost at night time if they don't get on up their - for the first few days.

Here is a pic which shows the bottom "step up" for my roost
http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z162/Mikcher/IMG_2092.jpg

My roost is only about 4 feet off the ground, they can actually FLY up to it.


Edited by Wildsky - 2/15/08 at 5:59pm
Everything I say is fully substantiated by my own opinion!
BYC member #4418
http://cherylmercer.blogspot.com/
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Everything I say is fully substantiated by my own opinion!
BYC member #4418
http://cherylmercer.blogspot.com/
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post #8 of 20
Thread Starter 

OOH good idea.  THe roost you showed looks very much like what we have in the coop already.
I'll try covering the boxes tomorrow night.  Can't wait to see if it works.

Im already comfy and dont feel like getting dressed to walk on the icy road to barn tonight!
Thanks for the good idea.
smile

Stone Echo Chick
Animals include: Flat Coat retriever, 23 Easter Egg Chickens, 1 Happy Roo, 2 Teen Boys, 1 College bound girl and a Husband...more animals to come....
Reply
Stone Echo Chick
Animals include: Flat Coat retriever, 23 Easter Egg Chickens, 1 Happy Roo, 2 Teen Boys, 1 College bound girl and a Husband...more animals to come....
Reply
post #9 of 20

Hey Wildsky!! Cool idea for nesting box!! I think I just might steal that idea from you..lol

"Listen to all the teachers in the woods. Watch the trees, the animals and all the living things--you'll learn more from them than books."
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"Listen to all the teachers in the woods. Watch the trees, the animals and all the living things--you'll learn more from them than books."
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post #10 of 20
Thread Starter 

Ok so, I leaned a square of plywood across the box openings.   
The girls (and boy) MOVED the wood in order to sleep in the boxes.
I will have to find something heavier, or resign myself to changing the bedding everyday. 
I am really tired of cleaning a dozen poopy eggs everyday.

Stone Echo Chick
Animals include: Flat Coat retriever, 23 Easter Egg Chickens, 1 Happy Roo, 2 Teen Boys, 1 College bound girl and a Husband...more animals to come....
Reply
Stone Echo Chick
Animals include: Flat Coat retriever, 23 Easter Egg Chickens, 1 Happy Roo, 2 Teen Boys, 1 College bound girl and a Husband...more animals to come....
Reply
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