Hay or Shavings

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by mtstringer, Jul 17, 2011.

  1. mtstringer

    mtstringer Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 3, 2011
    All I was wondering if I should have hay or shavings in my nest boxes. My hens haven't started to lay yet but I think soon. I have put them in the boxes to get used to them and the last two days there has been shavings moved around to a circle down to the wooden bottem of the box. I have golf balls in there but am wondering if I should have hay in the box instead of shavings.


  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I've used shavings, straw, and hay in the nest boxes. They all work. Don't beat your self up overthinking it. Just make sure there is enough of a lip to keep them fron scratching out the bedding, golf balls, and eggs when they start those. I use about 5" for the lip so I can get enough bedding in there to cushion the eggs after they rearrange the bedding.

    They will rearrange the hay just like they do the shavings. What you use in there really doesn't matter that much. They all work.
  3. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    I like straw. Hay or straw is our choice here as it makes a "nest" that they can't scratch out. There is talk of impacted crops caused by dry hay being eaten but my experience is otherwise. Second year chicken owner and never had a problem, can flip over nest as they get dirty. We use straw because it can go to the compost after without fear of seeds getting into the garden.
  4. 14chickmama

    14chickmama Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 6, 2011
    I use both. Shavings then hay on top! [​IMG]
  5. Norchello

    Norchello New Egg

    Jul 17, 2011
    I have only been keeping chickens for 1 year & made the mistake of using straw as bedding. I think this is one reason why the coop became infested with red mite who can live in the straw shafts. [​IMG] I've changed to using several sheets of old newspaper covered over with wood chippings (dust extracted) - now the mites have gone (I also creosoted the pen). I'm not going to use hay incase the mites return - I'm not sure if its acts the same as straw for red mites. I'm now very happy with my system - I can just roll up the newspaper & empty out shavings easily. I personally think they don't need hay as my chickens are quite happy laying in the egg box as it is. Hope this helps:)
  6. babyrnlc

    babyrnlc Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 30, 2011
    Tulsa, Ok
    Quote:Me too!! Unless I am out of shavings, then I just use hay!
  7. 14chickmama

    14chickmama Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 6, 2011
    Quote:Me too!! Unless I am out of shavings, then I just use hay!

    Aww. I'm glad I'm not the only one. Lol I want my girls to be comfy cozy!! [​IMG]
  8. Darlasmum

    Darlasmum Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 2, 2009
    La Crescenta, CA
    I found hay gets awful messy if it rains. I am sticking to sand and shavings.
  9. ChickenAl

    ChickenAl Diagnosis...Chicken-Headed

    Jun 5, 2011
    Putnam cty, NY
    Pine shavings. Easier for them to organize the nest the way they like it, and it has remained clean and dry.
  10. GableBabble

    GableBabble Ninja Chicken Herder

    May 27, 2010
    We use both. I have also used shredded news paper (please do not ever try this.... *facepalm*) I have hens who like the shavings more and will actually rid their box of straw, and some who are the opposite.

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