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How often should I change the nest box bedding?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by jjhere, Sep 21, 2010.

  1. jjhere

    jjhere In the Brooder

    Apr 29, 2010
    Smidge north of Seattle
    I have 2 pullets who just started laying a few days ago (and 2 more who aren't). I use shavings in the nest box. How often should that be changed?


  2. Knock Kneed Hen

    Knock Kneed Hen California Dream'in Chickens

    Feb 15, 2010
    So. Cal.
    I also use pine shavings for my 4 boxes and 18 hens. They're always kicking the shavings out. I throw some clean shavings off the coop floor back in after picking out any poo. I'd say I do this every 3 days. I rarely have a dirty egg.
  3. WhetzelMomma

    WhetzelMomma Songster

    Sep 8, 2009
    I use a glove to collect any poo that has gotten in the shavings overnight (they like to use them to roost too) and just add fresh stuff once in a while. So far, so good. I plan to change it completely every month or so. Haven't been using shavings long enough for the complete change yet.
  4. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    I use hay in my nestboxes, always have. My hens make nice little nests/depressions in the hay. I am adamant about them not sleeping in the nestboxes. I change the hay out once a week.
    lg2006 likes this.
  5. churchx3

    churchx3 Songster

    Mar 30, 2010
    I also use hay in my nest boxes, same hay I give my goats. The chickens form nice indentions in the hay and everyone seems to lay in the same spot regardless of how big the box is. I am fortunate because my boxes remain very clean and I change out the hay maybe every 2-3 weeks. Clean boxes = clean eggs.
  6. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

    Sep 6, 2007
    spring hill, florida
    Quote:I do this but I don't use a glove. Really. I have plenty of soap and water, and the gloves I have outside sometimes get spiders or bugs in them. Poop is better than bugs to me.

    Oh, and if an egg is dirty, I just spit on it and rub it on my shirt. I run around out there in flipflops , too, so I'm really dirty when I'm done and I have a hose and soap on my patio before I go in the house. Crazy chicken lady? Yes.
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2010
    1 person likes this.
  7. Nostalchic

    Nostalchic Songster

    I also use nice sweet smelling hay in my boxes, and add to it when it needs it. I absolutely forbid them to sleep in the next boxes, main thing. If someone does, I temporarily cover the nests with cardboard at night until the pattern is broken, which usually only takes a few days.

  8. sixinva

    sixinva Chirping

    Apr 6, 2010
    I use Straw and it stays really clean......and if thats the case, why would you want to change it...the chickens have such nice nests made in them...I only have 5 hens, 4 boxes, and they use 3 of them....They've been laying now for a few weeks or so....but i havent changed the straw yet....
  9. BethieofVA

    BethieofVA Songster

    Mar 27, 2010
    Yorktown, Virginia

    I use shavings as you can see, fluff them up regularly and check for any poop. I have been so amazed as to how immaculate the eggs are. I do add shavings every week or so, but they mostly use the end box. In fact, this pick is the only time I have ever seen an egg in any of the other two boxes, the favorite must have been occupied.

    PS= the shavings you see on the egg are not stuck to them, just laying on the eggs.
  10. jjhere

    jjhere In the Brooder

    Apr 29, 2010
    Smidge north of Seattle
    Excellent! We have 4 hens and 2 nest boxes. The 2 who are laying each have their preferred box and fortunately nobody is sleeping in them. The shavings in there have stayed really clean (eggs are so petite and clean too) so I guess I can wait a week or so. I was worried about bugs,etc. taking up residence.

    Thanks again for the words of wisdom,

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