Bedding for nests??

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by skyblues22, May 11, 2010.

  1. skyblues22

    skyblues22 In the Brooder

    Apr 15, 2010
    I really don't know what to do about bedding for the nests,,,,,,I hear that straw and hay are not good choices as they hold in moisture and bacteria,,,I hear that cedar shavings are not good for their respirtory system,,,,so I guess regular pine shavings is best???? Any helpful information is greatly appreciated, or even past experiences..Hope to hear lots back!!!!!
  2. BrownEggFan

    BrownEggFan Songster

    Apr 25, 2010
    Central PA
    I tried pine shavings, but they just seemed to get scattered around when my hens tried to form a depression in the middle. I got some clean wheat straw from a local farmer and I haven't had any problems with bugs or moisture. The roof of my coop overhangs the hinge area on my nesting boxes so I haven't gotten any rain in there, but your design may be different.
  3. JanetSmithery

    JanetSmithery In the Brooder

    May 11, 2010
    Eugene, OR
    Granted, I don't even have a coop yet, let alone laying birds, so I have no first hand experience of this whatsoever. However, my friend who got me into this whole chicken mess swears by long-shredded newspaper in the nest box. She doesn't like it anywhere else in the coop, but thinks it makes an excellent nesting material. Apparently it's just absorbent enough for the nest, and easy to grab and change with the long shreds.
  4. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

    Aug 13, 2007
    North/Central Florida
    Hay and straw are probably the two most common nest materials there are. They work fine so long as you keep them dry. If your nest box leaks I'd fix that because no matter what you use you'll have problems.

    I use mostly pine straw, but have used hay many times when the ground was too wet to rake the straw.

  5. elmo

    elmo Songster

    May 23, 2009
    I use lidded plastic totes for nestboxes, put in a bit of poultry dust on the bottom, then a layer of pine shavings. In the summer mite season, I empty the bedding weekly (the plastic totes make that easy because I can carry them over to our composter and dump), then put in fresh poultry dust and pine shavings.

    I tried apen shavings once, but the hens hated it.
  6. SunnyChic

    SunnyChic Keep The Sunny Side Up

    Mar 7, 2009
    Quote:I use plastic bins, too. Mine are the open stacking bins with a lip on the front. I put DE in the bottom and use the fine (small) pine shavings. This is one of my broody hens using one:

  7. boondocker

    boondocker Hatching

    Dec 15, 2008
    Allen is pine straw the thick bed of dried pine needles under the trees. I have huge amounts of them. Here in the northeast they are shorter needles around 3 inches. Local farmers
    here sale timothy hay at 1.50 a bale and wheat straw at 3.50. Wood chips from TSC are not very cost efficient tho. I have to check with a old sawmill friend of mine as he used to chip his edgings for bedding.
  8. triggfamily5

    triggfamily5 Songster

    Mar 30, 2010
    Moorcroft, WY
    I use either straw, pine shavings or a combination. I have hens that won't use one or the other, and some will go broody with one or the other, so I try to offer a combination.
  9. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

    Aug 13, 2007
    North/Central Florida
    Yes, pine straw is just the dried pine needles that fall off the tree. Don't know how well the northern species will work for nest litter, but seeing as how they are free what can you lose by giving them a try?


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