Best material for nesting boxes?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by scorwin, Sep 7, 2012.

  1. scorwin

    scorwin Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 4, 2011
    I just opened up my nesting boxes so the chicks (15 weeks old) can take a look. I put some straw in there but it seems sorting rough and pokey. Does everyone use straw?? I want them to be happy little egg layers!
  2. TheReadyBoys

    TheReadyBoys Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 2, 2012
    P.E.I, Canada
    Straw would probably be best. The hens won't mind it, and if they do, they can adjust it to what they like. Good luck with your hens!
  3. Dutch552

    Dutch552 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 12, 2011
    Hart County, KY
    My hens prefer pine shavings over straw.
  4. Mama Hen Chris

    Mama Hen Chris Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 24, 2010
    Peoria, AZ
  5. TXchickmum

    TXchickmum Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 21, 2012
    North Texas
    My hens love their fluffy towels! Each nest box has a fluffy hand towel. -no messes at all! There is no straw, hay, or shavings to fall out. The eggs are nice and clean. (does make for extra laundry, but worth it IMO)
  6. mickey328

    mickey328 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 4, 2012
    Northern Colorado
    We put a piece of plastic "welcome mat" (the kind with short plastic bristles) in the bottom of each nesting box and some straw on top of that. It works really well for us. For whatever reason they ALL use the same box and some like it nearly bare and some fill it to overflowing, lol. Whichever way they choose, there's always something for "padding" for the egg. When the mat gets gucked up we hose it off, let it dry and stick it back in there with a bit of straw, and let them "re-arrange" to their hearts' content.
  7. momgoose

    momgoose Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 2, 2012
    NE Tucson
    I use rice husks. They are small, soft, and the chickens can nibble while they are laying. Because it settles around the hen and eggs it sort of 'cradles' them. Three of my chickens lay their eggs in the same nest box and I haven't had one egg damaged despite the hens energetic 'rearranging'. The chickens absolutely love it as nesting material. I use it for bedding for new chicks too. It also makes great stuffing for dog beds (but needs to be contained in a tightly woven 'bag' inside the outer bed casing. It even dries quickly if it gets damp and as long as the chickens don't poop in the bedding, it still smells good when it dries and seems to resist mildew in the humidity.
    I get it at the local feed store, it's packed tightly and 'fluffs' alot when loosened-much like pine shavings for horses.
    OH also, because it's in a bag, it's easy to store, composts better than straw OR shavings, and I haven't noticed any dust from it. You can sift chicken poop from it using a wide toothed kitty poop scooper but it's so inexpensive and fluffs so much it's easier to just change it if it gets soiled.
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2012
  8. mickey328

    mickey328 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 4, 2012
    Northern Colorado
    Wow, never heard of that Terri. Thanks! We may have to look into that...I especially like the composting part. Straw works reasonably well for us since we really need to get a LOT of organic bulk into our clay, but the husks sound like they might work even better. We use Sweet PDZ in the coop with the straw and it dries the poo so quickly it takes a long time for any smell at all to be noticeable. I'll have to see if our feed store carries it :)

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