Destroying Nests

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Hootenchickens, Feb 26, 2017.

  1. Hootenchickens

    Hootenchickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 22, 2016
    Our hens keep knocking all the woodchips out of their nests resulting in a lot of cracked eggs being laid on bare wood. It was never a problem with our first batch of hens but now it's never ending. Any ideas how to stop this behavior?
     
  2. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    It's natural nesting behavior - so it isn't really something to stop, but rather something to manage from a design perspective so they can have their natural behavior but the nesting materiel stays in the nest -- if you post some photos of your nest boxes we can better advise how you might accomplish this.
     
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  3. peeper89

    peeper89 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    may be they dont like chip try soft like shavings straw hay this give cushon and they nestle in
     
  4. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    Young layers seem to do it more than those on their second and third season. Make sure your boxes have a good lip on them. I use a mix of hay and shavings. I form a circle with the hay and put the shavings in the middle.
     
  5. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    Agreed that it does subside or at least become more controlled with maturity. I do shavings as a base layer to the whole nest floor then a layer of nice grass hay on top of that, putting a little "dish" to the hay layer when I am freshening it.
     
  6. song of joy

    song of joy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had this happening a couple of years ago. It was really annoying to find the mess of cracked eggs in the nest box and have to clean everything out.

    I purchased some "standard nesting pads" from QC Supply. I put a nest pad in the bottom of the nest box, add about an inch of pine shavings, and then add a bowl-shaped layer of hay. Even when the hens scrape down through the hay and pine shavings, there will still be the soft landing area of the nest pad when they lay an egg. I haven't had any problems with broken eggs in the two years I've used these. Well worth the investment!
     
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  7. Hootenchickens

    Hootenchickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 22, 2016
    Thanks everyone! I added a larger lip and put hey over the woodchips in a bowl shape. Seems to be helping. No cracked eggs today! Woohoo!
     
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  8. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    Good to hear, no more scrambled eggs unless you want them that way.
     
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