Egg Laying Pads?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by LittleHouseDreams, Nov 13, 2008.

  1. LittleHouseDreams

    LittleHouseDreams In the Brooder

    Aug 21, 2008

    My hens are 12 wks old now and I will be putting a nest box (that we make) in their hen house soon. Do you all suggest egg laying pads and if so why? I saw them at a hatchery site and they look like doormats.

  2. dancingbear

    dancingbear Songster

    Aug 2, 2008
    South Central KY
    I didn't know they made egg laying pads, and I probably wouldn't buy them, unless they were very inexpensive. I have padded the bottoms of nest boxes with sheets of cardboard, and have been trying to think of something better. It have to be something easy to clean, that the hens won't pick apart, and sturdy enough they won't rip it to shreds. I bet old doormats would be just the thing, cut down to fit. I bet I can scrounge some up for free.

    I have had problems with eggs getting broken in the nest. The hens tend to push all the straw or wood shavings up so there's a nice little dish shape, but they keep going, and make a lovely, soft, straw "bowl" with a bare, hard, wooden bottom. Then the eggs get broken sometimes. Oak is hard on eggs. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2008
  3. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator

    Sep 25, 2007
    I bought some nest box pads last year; they are durable and clean easily - look sort of like gray astroturf, but longer "blades" on them. But - I found them online at a commercial manufacturer - I inquired about them, and was told they could send samples. So,I got them for free. They no longer do this.

    So, for my newest coop, I went to Home Depot and bought a few feet of indoor-outdoor carpet and used that. The thickest selection they had. It was 2' wide by something like 10' long, so I got several pads from it, and I believe I paid less than $10 for the whole roll. So far, it's working out great, and it can simply be hosed off to clean if it gets dirty (I put shavings on top). I cut several spares, so if they get dirty I can just pull it out & replace quickly.
  4. sunnychooks

    sunnychooks Songster

    Jul 21, 2007
    I've used the pads in my boxes for about 3 years. I have two sets so that I can clean one while they use the other (I really didn't have to get two sets because I don't have to clean them that often). There have been no problems with broken or very dirty eggs since I started using them. I really like them and I don't use any other type of nesting material in the boxes. The chooks lay directly onto the pads. You could do something like Wynette did and find a similar material elsewhere, but I would recommend some type of pad because they're clean and easy.
  5. LittleHouseDreams

    LittleHouseDreams In the Brooder

    Aug 21, 2008
    You've all been very helpful. Thank you.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: