Chickens do not like there nest box bedding?

PandaGirl

Chirping
Jan 27, 2021
71
47
53
Hey!
I know that I made a mistake because I introduced the nesting boxes to soon. I built the chicken coop with nesting boxes in it. I then put my chicken who were not close to laying into the coop. Now my chickens are 21 weeks old and some of there combs are turning red. I was getting ready for them to lay, and so I put hay in there nesting boxes. When I went out there the next morning and the hay was are over the coop. Do they not like it? Or are they want to eat the seeds? Any suggestions would help. Thanks!
 

3KillerBs

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
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Don't worry, this is 100% normal behavior for Point-Of-Lay pullets.

I had to put a deeper lip on my nests this past week because, while the adult hens were fine, the POLs were scratching the nests too vigorously and kicking the bedding out.

From this:
1026210850.jpg


To this:
1130211304a.jpg
 

PandaGirl

Chirping
Jan 27, 2021
71
47
53
So, should I just put a temporary lip on? Or just let them scratch it out? How long do you think that this will continue?
 

3KillerBs

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So, should I just put a temporary lip on? Or just let them scratch it out? How long do you think that this will continue?

You should put a good lip on your nest boxes as a permanent feature.

I had thought mine was deep enough because it was the same as the boxes in my old coop, but these boxes are larger so the POLs have more room to scratch around.
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
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Jul 3, 2016
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No such thing as introducing nests "too soon," I actually think it's better to let them have access to the nests while they're young so they can familiarize themselves with them earlier, rather than add them later and hope they notice them.
You should put a good lip on your nest boxes as a permanent feature.
x2, nest boxes should all have a good size lip, 3-4" is recommended. Or you risk eggs rolling out/being kicked out.
 

saysfaa

Crowing
Jul 1, 2017
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Upper Midwest, USA
How long do you think that this will continue?
Mine slowed down with such digging about 6 to 8 weeks after they started laying - before I redid their nest box. It is a very small sample, though.

When they dug nests in the nest box, they went down to the floor - through about four inches of bedding. When they dug nests out in the floor of their space, they went down about five inches in three places... pretty consistently redigging to that depth whenever I filled them in. The bedding is about 8-12" deep so they could have gone deeper.

So, I redid the nests to allow 6" of bedding in them (I took most of the bottom out of the apple crates I am using so the pullets can dig down further - into the box the crates are in). They don't get down to the floor anymore.

I'm sure they can make do with less depth than they want but I figure they more things I can give them that are what they want, the less stressful the other things will be.

They still do nesting activities but it is much more things like moving individual leaves of grass with their beaks than digging. It is a lot of fun to watch; they pick out one then look around as if to find the perfect place for it then tuck it in, study, shift it a little, wait a bit, seem to notice another piece that might be better in a different place. To be fair, I don't know how much is that they are more comfortable now and how much is they are older.

Hm, maybe I should measure it. It doesn't look 6" in the picture. Maybe it is just too recently done for them to get to the floor. They are using only one of the crates so far - laying has slowed a lot in these short days.

Nope, the sides of the box are over five inches so probably a nominal six inches. Then the grass mounds up between the sides of the box and the front of the crate.

Not that it really matters, I just got curious.
:oops:
 

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rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
5 Years
Jul 3, 2016
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WA, Pac NW
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Yes, above the bedding.
Mine's maybe 3" total (and more or less even with bedding level once I freshly fill it), but I also padded the bottom of the nests with bubble wrap and folded feed bags so there's still plenty of padding even if they kick out all the material. Never had an egg ousted so that amount of lip works in my set up.
 

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