keeping straw in the laying box


9 Years
May 5, 2010
Central Indiana
Well, I have tried HARD to keep straw in the nesting boxes. The girls keep kicking it out on the ground (as they search for treats below the straw-so they think). I cannot figure out how to keep the straw in there long enough for them to leave it alone. I have not had any broken eggs yet from them dropping them out on the wood part of the box, and they are using the box EVERY day!! -- therefore, should I be concerned? I just figure that if it looks like a nest, they may use it more/increase production/feel happy!
Try putting a strip of wood across the front raised up just enough so you can still clean dust and small stuff out underneath it, about 3 inches wide should help.
I did that.. and there is about 1/2" between the strip and the bottom -- enough of a gap that they 'thrust' the straw out. I may need to just build a 4-sided box??

It is frickin hilarious to watch them. As SOON as I put it in there, they go to town and straw is flying. I am wondering if they are telling me that they just do not like it. However, they do peck into it suggesting they are just thinking food awaits below.
Hey Emys, that's really smart! We have the strip across the front but it's all the way down so there's no gap...a pain to clean out. We'll take your idea next time.

To the OP, we put in shavings instead of straw, they seem to like that better....

Edited: actually I just read your second post and thought some more about it. It's not that they don't like straw, mine love pick through for wheat seeds. Straw is food & entertainment, that's why they go after it. I actually pitch a flake of straw into the coop on winter days for them to tear through.
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Some of that rubbery shelf covering, a couple of layers, under the straw might help soften the fall of the egg when laid. Mine don't scratch it out but they scratch it aside and occasionally I find a broken egg (often uneaten.)

Some of my nests are open topped plastic storage bins. You could try a cardboard box -- lots of people use them exclusively -- open at the top.
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One of mine is finally laying. It seemed at first they would get in them scratching around. I was having to refill them. Now that one of them is actually laying in the box's I'm not having to refill. Guess they now figured out they need the box's to lay in. Who knows? Crazy chickens.

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