Hens tearing up nests

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Kathi D, Mar 28, 2009.

  1. Kathi D

    Kathi D Out Of The Brooder

    May 19, 2008
    My year-old hens have suddenly started tearing up the nesting material in their laying boxes, taking it out of the nests, and scattering it around the henhouse! What do you make of this behavior? They are leaving the nest boxes bare!
  2. 98 gt

    98 gt a man of many... chickens

    Jan 14, 2009
    Marshville NC
    mine do that too, they are making it to their liking... ilet them, but add a little straw every couple of days... let them do what they want and they will lay eggs for you where you want them too...
  3. Chicken03

    Chicken03 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 20, 2009
    Western Pa
    Yeah mine do that too. They take all of the straw out of the boxes. I don't know why they take it out. Sometimes one of the chickens will put some back in.
  4. Kathi D

    Kathi D Out Of The Brooder

    May 19, 2008
    Those silly girls! Mine have always scratched around in the nests, arranging things, but not until lately have they (don't know how many are doing it) completely taken the nests apart! Today they had everything out and the eggs I collected were all poopy and dirty. I put more nest material in. I guess I'll just have to keep up my maintenance campaign as long as they are rearranging the "furniture."
  5. SussexInSeattle

    SussexInSeattle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 6, 2008
    Every now and then I pull out all the stuff in the boxes and lay in fresh shavings as a base and new Orchard Grass Hay as nesting material.

    The only problem I seem to have is with one goofy Black Australorp who is hellbent to lay her eggs on bare wood of the next box bottom so she digs everything off to the sides of the most popular box. What this does is to really P O the older hens and they go use the other nest box options that I have for them. (6 total for 9 hens, 3 nice wood hand built boxes, one small dog airline crate, one 5 gallon bucket and one dark rubber tote.) Today I got 4 eggs in that old rubber/plastic tote that I have lying on it's side that nobody used to use and now it is becoming the most popular spot in the barn! I think it's because Oprah hasn't found it yet!
  6. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    I live in Florida. I use spanish moss in the nest boxes because it is so abundant here. I have an edge on the front of my nest boxes which is about 4" high. They do pick at the spanish moss but can't get it out of the nest boxes.
    1 person likes this.
  7. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    I use pine shavings and they have it all out of the most popular boxes every two days, so I continue to put more pine shavings in. If I allow it to get down to bare wood, I end up with cracks in the eggs.
  8. Kathi D

    Kathi D Out Of The Brooder

    May 19, 2008
    Well, I guess it's nice to know that my girls aren't that unusual! Now the only question is what took them so long!
  9. onthespot

    onthespot Deluxe Dozens

    Mar 29, 2008
    Riverside/Norco, CA
    i use old plastic dog crates for nesting boxes, easy to clean, free, find them put out with people's trash... ventilated along the top, and I cut a piece of wood from old dog ear fencing planks to go across the front of the box and put the bermuda hay bedding behind the six inch board. They might kick out a little, but most of it stays there. I don't pick up what they kick out at first, so if they are just looking for stuff to play with they play with whatever got kicked out and leave the stuff inside the box alone. After a while they quit kicking out all the bedding and I change it when it looks like it needs it.

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