Nest Boxes; why do we make a sitting hens job so difficult?

So interesting. If you keep your birds at the balcony in cardboard boxes with sand and wood savings as a nest, with no garden, would a luffa sponge buried in a pot with grass allowed to grow on it, could be used as a base ground? Or their nails will be tangled?
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I have no idea. It's worth a try. Proper soil is very hard to beat.
Fascinating, pertinent information, lovely writing. A pleasure to read.
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Shadrach
Thank you for reading and rating the article.
My flock has no rooster and I am unlikely to ever have a hen incubate eggs. That doesn't mean I am not curious about the subject, especially after reading various hatch-a-long threads and discovering that incubator success rate is a lot lower than I'd realized.

Thank you for this article Shadrach. It really illustrates that natural is best and satisfies my curiosity.
Shadrach
Shadrach
The hatch rate failure using an incubator is an interesting subject.
Very interesting i think I'll have to give this a try in the future!
Shadrach
Shadrach
I wondered if you had tried anything out?
Just binge read all of your articles. Gave me so much to think about...so much new information! Thank you!
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That's some binge read ;) Thank you for reading them.
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Shadrach
Thank you for reading the article.
Very nice work @shadrach.
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Shadrach
Thank you. You might also like this. I've read you commenting on something similar a while ago.
https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/the-egg-song-it%E2%80%99s-not-about-the-egg-it%E2%80%99s-an-escort-call.74386/
Great read
Shadrach
Shadrach
I'm pleased you enjoyed the article.
Shadrach
Shadrach
Thank for reading the article.
Great observations and very well written! I especially appreciated the focus on natural behavior, and using it to improve keeping techniques.
I too would be interested in reading your book. What topics will you cover?
Shadrach
Shadrach
I'm pleased you found the article interesting.
The book is a bit strange as chicken books go. It's base around the life stories of the chickens here and covers behavior rather than 'how to'.
There are some of the stories here:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/shadrachs-stories.1263724/
Will be earmarked for the future, when I find a Roo to breed my hens.
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I've got just the rooster for the job.
Thanks for reading the article.
The 'bowl' shaped nest - a basic and frequently overlooked reality. Well observed and written.
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Shadrach
Thanks for reading the article. For many I expect this type of nest isn't practicable but I found it interesting to observe what the hens preferred given a choice.
Thanks, Shadrack! This article has prompted me to change the design of my nest boxes when I do my shed to coop conversion this spring. Anything to make my chickens lives more natural and enjoyable.
Shadrach
Shadrach
Hello DobieLover.
I'm pleased you liked the article. I
Thanks for a great article! As a newbie, I was wondering what the best nesting materials were. Your observations and conclusions make very good sense. I really appreciate you taking the time and sharing this information. I just put together a nestbox condo - 3 in a row - built with plywood. I think I’ll find some shallow containers (maybe dish pans) to fill with a piece of sod a few inches thick, and put one of these in each box. Mahalo for all your help!
Shadrach
Shadrach
Thanks for reading the article. Good luck with the pan and clod of earth idea.
It makes so much sense to try and replicate what hens would do naturally! Thank you so much for this informative article. Please let us know when you publish your book!
Shadrach
Shadrach
Thank you. The book is going very slowly but I intend to contact all thos e who have expressed an interest when its finished.
Thanks for putting your observations down. It has caused me to re-evaluate how I let the hens sit on eggs, and your points are well made. I see know I never thought to put all my observations into one thoughts process about what would work better. Thank you for doing that!
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Shadrach
Tanks for reading the article. If you try the method out let us know how you got on.
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Shadrach
I'm pleased you liked the article. Thank you for reading it.
This has been a very interesting read. I have been trying to figure out a good isolation coop for my broodies coming next spring and I own a bottomless, hinged top 'coop' that is ideally sized for a hen to be able to walk about and do her thing while sitting so I think I will use this on bare ground in the enclosure (has mesh buried 6 inches below the decomposed granite base) so she can build to suit, her own nest! Thank you for taking the time to write this article!
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I'm pleased you liked the article. I've just been trying to build a simpler version of the nest box in the article that I can put in a run. Thankfully the hens have given up on the broody bit for the year I hope, so I'll have time to think a bit more about it.
I would like to introduce a similar system that I could use in a coop.
Thanks for this article and your insight. I really like that you experimented with different things and shared your experience and observations. I've been looking for a reason to ditch the nest boxes and I'm more convinced it's the right thing to do.
Shadrach
Shadrach
Thank you for reading the article. The type of nestbox for sitting hens I describe in the article isn't practical for many people. However, the way the hens and rosters behave when making a nest is common to all chickens I think, so anythig that can be done to avoid the hard bases we have come to accept as normal must be a good thing for the hen.
Thanks! This all makes good sense!
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Shadrach
Thank You
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