Hens emptying nesting box material

GuysMom

Hatching
Dec 22, 2020
5
5
5
Phoenix, AZ
Hi, I'm new here and this is my first post, so if this is discussed somewhere else please let me know!

I have five girls. Their coop has two nesting boxes, and I've never had problems until recently. In the last couple weeks, my girls have started kicking whatever material I put in their nest boxes out and laying on the wood floor. The problem is, whenever they do this, the eggs end up with tiny cracks.

I've tried the pre-cut nesting pads in two different hay/grass styles which they drag into the main part of the coop whole and in the last week I've given up on those and started putting the pine shavings in, which they kick out faster than I can seem to get it in!

Any ideas on why they're doing this other than they don't approve of what I'm giving them :) Any suggestions on other materials to try?

The cracks don't ever go through the inside "skin" of the shell so there are no leaks from the egg so I'm sure they're still okay to use. But we go through a lot of hard boiled eggs in my house and these ones with the cracks I can't do that with.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Nov 27, 2012
100,796
144,335
1,867
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
Any suggestions on other materials to try?
I use a thick tight flake of straw, stuffed into nest tight and bowled out a bit in the center.
Works pretty well, tho needs rearranging once in a while if the framing inside nest starts to get exposed..
How old are your birds, in weeks or months, and how long have they been laying?
Pics of your nests would help here.

Oh, and... Welcome to BYC! @GuysMom
Where in this world are you located?
Climate, and time of year, is almost always a factor.
Please add your general geographical location to your profile.
It's easy to do, and then it's always there!
1608655094072.png
 

GuysMom

Hatching
Dec 22, 2020
5
5
5
Phoenix, AZ
I use a thick tight flake of straw, stuffed into nest tight and bowled out a bit in the center.
Works pretty well, tho needs rearranging once in a while if the framing inside nest starts to get exposed..
How old are your birds, in weeks or months, and how long have they been laying?
Pics of your nests would help here.

Oh, and... Welcome to BYC! @GuysMom
Where in this world are you located?
Climate, and time of year, is almost always a factor.
Please add your general geographical location to your profile.
It's easy to do, and then it's always there!
View attachment 2459684

Thank you! I wasn't sure how to update this in my profile just yet!

We are in Phoenix, AZ. So it has been cooler at night but we're in the 70's during the day. Very comfortable.

My girls are all 7 months old. Same hatch date.

Speckled Sussex, Lakeshore Egger, Cream Legbar and two Easter Eggers (who are the newest to laying). Since this is a more recently developed thing, I'm wondering if the two newest to laying are the culprits.

I will attach pictures shortly to my post.
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 3, 2016
17,902
35,874
1,062
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
My Coop
x4 on raising lip of boxes a bit. Pack down nesting material a bit when you add it. For extra padding I fold empty feed bags so they fit snugly at the bottom of the box, so even with nesting material kicked out of the way there's still a decent cushion to catch eggs. Bonus is they're free, and if they get soiled in any way you can just lift them out, toss, and add a new one.
 

Ann With A Plan

Songster
Jun 23, 2020
221
690
156
N. Carolina
I believe that would be an easy fix!
I had the same problem when mine started laying eggs. I put a rubber shelf liner at the bottom of each box. But sometimes they'd scratch those out, too. I got two cracked eggs from them being dropped on the hard wood. I found some fake grass and put some at the bottom of two boxes (that's all I had). They were in there tight enough to not get scratched out. I added lips about 2-3" in the fronts to keep the straw from going out. That helped and finally they stopped scratching it all out. Now their nests look like nests. I still make sure the boxes have more than enough straw each morning, just in case.
 

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