Hay changed egg taste?!

I'm new here, and quite new to having backyard chickens. We started off with wood shavings but found the chickens would move them too easily and the eggs would break on the bottom of the nesting boxes. So we opted for hay this time, which has definitely been better in terms of making good nests, but the eggs laid into the hay now taste and smell very strongly of the hay! It's quite unpleasant.

Has anyone else had this happen? Should we go back to wood shavings?




Nov 16, 2015
Northern CA
My chickens haven't started laying yet so I wouldn't know but I do know that their are other options. I have been looking on mypetchicken for some for myself. They have turf liners, hay(but it's like fake hay), and some other things. I think it's under the nesting box section if you want to go look.


8 Years
Aug 29, 2012
Never heard of that. Is the hay damp?

I use hay but it's a cut up type like you put on the garden. They move it just like the shavings though. What I ended up doing though was we had an off cut of marine carpet so cut a square out and put that in the bottom then put my hay on top. They still move the hay but the carpet means they are still laying on something soft for the eggs and being marine if I need to I can just take it out and hose it off.


May 26, 2015
Central Wisconsin
If you are asking if the taste is somehow bleeding through the shell of the eggs after being laid in the nest,, not very likely. However, chickens will nibble and eat things in nest boxes and hay is something they will eat. And it is true that everything a chicken eats will slightly flavor the eggs,, usually very minimally to not be noticable. However, strong tastes will be much more noticable.
I would have to wonder about the quality of your hay. Good quality hay has a nice sweet smell and taste and should not be adding a bad taste to your eggs.
It's just a regular bale of hay from the stock feed place, kept dry, and smells very sweet - strong, but in a pleasant way. Just not as pleasant in/on the egg. Peculiar.

I had also wondered if it might be because I've treated them to too many sunflower seeds lately, not sure if that leaves a weird taste?
Yep, I noticed initially after hardboiling.
We've since had some that smelled and tasted fine. I'm going to test the "too many sunflowers seeds" theory by wth-holding them for a week, then giving them the same amount I had been for another week to see if that makes a difference.

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