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Coir as nesting material?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by chameleon, Feb 5, 2017.

  1. chameleon

    chameleon Chillin' With My Peeps

    I live in a small town and really struggle to find straw or hay (and most supplies for a backyard flock actually). I can get lucerne (alfalfa?) but it's expensive, and I've tried wood shavings but the chickens scratch through it and it all gets kicked out of the nest boxes. I was searching through our local farm supply store and found coir. Has anyone tried it before, could it work? I'm getting four 1year-old layers next week and I'd like to make the coop as comfortable for them as possible.
     
  2. SunHwaKwon

    SunHwaKwon Overrun With Chickens

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    That should work fine. You could also use pine needles, if you have those readily available.
     
  3. chameleon

    chameleon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks! We don't get much pine around here, but I'll keep an eye out for whatever I can find.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2017
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Wonders if your nests have an adequate lip on the fronts?
    Should be 4-6" high to keep bedding and eggs in the nest.
    Of course newly laying pullets can tear about any nest bedding apart and fling it all over...haha!

    I would think that coir might be too dusty...but maybe there are different forms of it,
    the only I've seen is finely chopped, sold in compressed blocks, and wetted for soil amendment.

    Can you post a pic of it?
     
  5. chameleon

    chameleon Chillin' With My Peeps

    I can post a pic tomorrow. It's the full strands straight from the coconut, not processed in any way. I thought it might work because it forms quite a thick soft matt that's difficult to pull apart. The lip is about 5 inches I think, but I'll measure it tomorrow too. The hen that scratches everything everything apart is a very feisty bantam around 4 years old, maybe the new hens won't be so destructive.
     
  6. chameleon

    chameleon Chillin' With My Peeps

    [​IMG]
    The lip is 4 inches. I'm going to build propper nest boxes soon so I'll make it a bit higher next time.

    [​IMG]
    Close-up of the coir.
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Ohhh, now I see, thanks for pic...not sure that is available here.
    Looks like great nest bedding, probably doesn't spearate easily so harder to scratch out of nest.
    Let us know how it works out
     
  8. chameleon

    chameleon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks, I will. I get my hens on Thursday, can't wait!

    ETA: It's usually used for growing orchids here, I found it in the gardening section of the store.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2017
  9. chameleon

    chameleon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Small update: The guy never turned up with my layers, but I made a new nest for my very scratchy broody, and so far the coir is working really well, she hasn't been able to scratch it out at all. It also insulates very well and is quite soft so it seems to be nice and cozy too.
     

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