Do you use nest mats/pads?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Sueby, May 16, 2019.

  1. Sueby

    Sueby Chirping

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    I think I'd like to try one, hoping to eliminate shavings stuck to the eggs.

    What ones do you use? Ones made of natural material or plastic ones? Do the chickens like them or are they just gonna lay in a corner of the coop in the shavings anyway? Lol
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

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    I use both the excelsior mats and the plastic ones that look like astroturf.
    They both have their advantages. The plastic ones are washable. Apparently the excelsior ones are more comfortable because I get hens go broody on those but not the plastic ones.
    If the excelsior ones are thick enough, even if you have a broken egg, you can just pull off the egg and a bunch of the excelsior and keep using them.
    Sometimes a hen will scratch up the excelsior making a mess of it.
     
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  3. A.M. Eggs

    A.M. Eggs Songster

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    I use a "spiked mat" under my wood shaving in my nesting boxes to prevent cracks and allow the hens to sit and still be comfortable when the wood shavings have been kicked out by Dot (eye-roll). Some people use straw or hay in their nesting boxes. The "spiked mat" is plastic and is washable. The reason why I call it spiked is because it has little flattened spikes on top for support.
    upload_2019-5-16_8-37-38.jpeg
    https://www.goldenest1987.com/egg-n...er-hen-egg-nest-plastic-pads-nesting-box.html
     
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  4. Sueby

    Sueby Chirping

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    Thank you both! I ordered the excelsior mats because they were cheaper to test it out with the girls. I think I'm going to open up another nest box and see how they like it.
     
  5. jthornton

    jthornton Crowing

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    My Coop
    I use a carpet runner with some foam under it so it's a bit softer when they stand up and shoot the egg out. Mine is a roll out nest box.

    JT
     
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  6. Cindy in PA

    Cindy in PA Crowing

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    I used the ones that look like astro turf for a few months. I now use them under chopped straw, because especially when I have a broody, they start to stink in the summer. Even after washing them, they have an odor.
     
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  7. Sueby

    Sueby Chirping

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    So I got the excelsior mats in, the girls were not all that keen on the change at first. Boy did they bitch up a storm. :gig But they got over it eventually & each layed an egg in the box with no shaving stuck to it! I expected at least one layed in the run in protest, but I was wrong.

    I had to cut the mat as my big box (the favorite) is wide but not deep - man those are not easy to cut!

    Thanks for all the replies - I'm happy & I think the girls will get there. LOL
     
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  8. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

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    They are definitely not easy to cut.
    Many of my nests are slightly larger than the 12X12 standard mats but what is weird is that hens take right to them in some buildings and in others they tear them up.
     
  9. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

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    I just installed a couple roll out nests but am having trouble getting the hens to use them. I've only found one egg in them. I have carpet runners in mine but not the foam padding. I just don't think they go in them and they lay in the corner where they have always laid. I even blocked that space off and they started laying in another corner. The nests are fairly dark so I've considered adding a light across from the entrances. I just put fake eggs in them. Since they are roll outs, I had to glue string to the wooden eggs to keep them in the hen portion of the nest. Any suggestions?
    I'm thinking of moving all the hens from that building to another with floor level nests and swapping the hens from that building to the one with the roll outs.
     
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  10. Shadrach

    Shadrach Roosterist

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    My Coop
    I've tried all sorts of things to try and replicate a natural nest.
    I have two small coops with live earth floors and attached runs now and these are preferred by the hens.
    In some of the living coops there are nest boxes and earth floors aren't practicable.
    I found that Horse Stall Matting (pimple side up) works well.
    https://duckduckgo.com/?q=rubber+ma...all_Mat/Horse_Stall_Mat_Corner_Shot_Large.jpg
    It's not so much cleanliness that's been the issue for me, it's leg strain due to the hen not being able to get a proper grip on a hard floor. I still use straw in the nest.
     
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