Eating Pine Shavings

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by anthonyjames, Sep 17, 2010.

  1. anthonyjames

    anthonyjames Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2009
    Port Washington, WI
    So I have 40 hens and 7 roos that I have out on pasture and they free range within 3/4 of an acre inside electric netting. I have made nest boxes that are hanging about 7 inches lower than the roosts so they don't sleep in them.

    But I fill them with 3 inches of pine and I can come back that evening to collect eggs and 2/3rds of the pine is gone. Not on the ground or in the hoop house tractor. Gone. So to me they are eating it.

    What to do?

    Their set up is like this:

    You can't see the nest boxes because they weren't in yet at this time. But you will get the idea.
  2. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    Change over to hay/straw? I seriously doubt they are eating that many pine shavings, but it is not unheard of. Ingesting their nesting materials can lead to crop impaction issues, so I would be keeping an eye on that.

    Good luck.
  3. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I doubt they are eating that quantity of pine shavings if they have feed. I imagine it is getting trampled into the ground. It is typical of them to scratch it out of the nests. Maybe try straw or hay.

    Cute I was posting while CMV also was, but she thought of the crop impaction problem, and I didn't. Good thought. Check the crops in the mornings to be sure they are empty.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 17, 2010
  4. Pet Duck Boy

    Pet Duck Boy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 12, 2009
    Orlando, FL
    Can rodents be carrying the shavings away to use as nesting material? Mine eat pine shavings, but only here and there and ONLY after I put in a fresh layer.
  5. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    I use pine shavings, and it gets compressed as they sit and walk on it. I am amazed at how I think I've filled the place up, only to have to add more later. Sometimes I do wonder if they are eating it up.

    Make sure they have grit available, or some pebbles in your soil! They say free ranging, they'll find grit. But I always offer it anyway.

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