What do you use in your nesting boxes? Straw, hay or wood shavings? Also why and what are the pros and cons to each? Getting ready to set up our nesting boxes for the first time.
Straw, hay or wood shavings in nesting boxes?
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I love a little DE and pine shavings over that. No bugs than The hens seem to like it.
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I use pine shavings. Sometimes they stick to the eggs. But I like that for the boxes.
I use a combo of shavings and straw on the coop floor combined with Dry Stall.
I use shavings for the floor and nest boxes, with some DE sprinkled over it.
The down side of straw is that it mats once it gets wet, it can also harbor mites (etc.) in the hollow stems.
Since hay is a food source I, personally, don't think of using it as bedding (way too expensive) but I've heard of people who have.
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I think it really is a matter of preference. Yours or the hens. Our hens will not use a nest box if it has shavings. Don't ask me why. Maybe cause they like to make a nest, they really do hollow it out, throw out half the hay or straw, build it to their liking. They will look for the nest boxes with fresh straw, or, we can use hay and even grass clippings from mowing and they like that too.
Will they eat the straw or hay bedding? Can that block their crop if they do? Should we do half the boxes in hay and half in shavings? We have both and farm so there is lots of hay. The floor of our coop is shavings and we free range them.
Mine eat the seeds in the straw. They prefer it to food actually. I have never had a crop problem from straw.
My coop is dry so it doesn't mat.
They would prefer straw over anything...........everywhere. But I do use shavings in the boxes.
From what I understand.......drystall is the same as DE.....and I can't find DE here. I get the food grade DryStall.
Don't get me wrong. I always have food available....but if I take fresh straw in there....they couldn't care less about the food. Keeps them very busy and happy.
DE is diamtamaceous earth (sp?). I did notice this morning when I gave my filly her hay they went nuts in it and scratched it all over the place. My filly was none too happy about that! lol. Thanks for all of the advice.
i switched from straw to shavings and like it a lot better. My hens like to roost in their boxes:rant
so it is much easier to clean that way, and refill. Not sure what they prefer as they have used the boxes just the same with both.