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Cracked eggs.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by wonkyflock14, Oct 16, 2014.

  1. wonkyflock14

    wonkyflock14 Out Of The Brooder

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    I have 3 nesting boxes for my 5 hens. They're wood and built based on specs I found here. My problem is that they kick whatever is in the boxes out until it's just wood, as a result I get cracked eggs sometimes. I started with pine shavings and those were kicked out in no time (I do have a ledge on the front of the boxes to discourage this). I switched to straw, and no matter how many times I rearrange it, they kick it around so that it is like a typical bird's nest: straw in a circle around the outer edge of the nesting box and wood in the center.
    Is there any way to discourage this behavior?
     
  2. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Get some indoor outdoor carpeting and cut some squares to fit in the bottom of the nesting boxes. You can buy them but cheaper to just buy a foot and cut your own.
     
  3. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    X2 on put something softer in the bottom of the boxes under the shavings/hay. Carpet, cardboard, rubber matting, etc. I like 4-6" or more lip on the boxes, with wood shavings and a little hay, they usually don't get down to the bottom.
     
  4. wonkyflock14

    wonkyflock14 Out Of The Brooder

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    I have read about putting carpet down, but it was strongly discouraged by people as it would be a good place for mites/parasites to hide. On the other hand, with cardboard (which sounds like a good idea) I think it would just be a matter of time before they scratched that to heck and back too. I can be out near the coop when one of the girls is in a box to lay and I can hear them scratching the wood every few seconds.

    Could this be because they're relatively new at laying? Like, maybe the past 6 weeks or so for the one who has been laying the longest, and the last layer has only layed 3 eggs, one was soft, misshapen, etc.
     
  5. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    I would really try making the nests deeper and using more bedding. I use mostly heavy cardboard boxes as laying nests, I've never actually had a chicken scratch the bottom out, do have deep nests and a lot of bedding in there... I just toss the boxes every couple of months since I find that easier than cleaning them, lazy person that I am. If you use carpet or rubber matting etc, you can just clean it/ disinfect occasionally with the rest of the box when you switch the bedding. Pullets often are more into rearranging the nesting boxes, but some older hens are just as bad, does seem to be an individual bird thing.
     
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    I very much agree with making the nests deeper so they don’t scratch all the bedding out. I solved that problem myself by adding a couple of inches to the lip. They will form a round nest in there like a bird’s nest. They are birds.

    About any place in your coop is a good place for mites to hide. Any crack in the wood or anything else, shavings, straw, anywhere tiny things can get out of the daylight and hide. It may be harder to clean but carpet is not going to be any more dangerous as far as parasites go than anything else.
     
  7. wonkyflock14

    wonkyflock14 Out Of The Brooder

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    Ok, thanks you guys! I will try a deeper nest and see what kind of rubber I can find to lay in the bottoms. :)
     
  8. maryellen21

    maryellen21 Chillin' With My Peeps

    We added lips to the nesting boxes so when they scratched the hay it didnt get flung in the coop and stays in the nesting boxes. I also put curtains up on each box to give them more privacy and molded the hay inside like a birds nest. , mine rarely scratch around the box once they are in them, i put between two to three inches of clean straw i get at tsc.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2014
  9. wonkyflock14

    wonkyflock14 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks Maryellen, I think I will check how tall the lip on the nesting boxes are to find out if making them taller is feasible. Maybe I should try molding fresh bedding into a nest shape, too and see if that helps.
     
  10. maryellen21

    maryellen21 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Our lips are two inches taller then the box edge . Here is a pic of them before the lip edge was added.[​IMG]if that helps .
     

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