My Girls are driving me nuts.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by audrey02026, Jul 25, 2011.

  1. audrey02026

    audrey02026 Chillin' With My Peeps

    416
    6
    111
    Mar 25, 2011
    Dedham, Ma
    They will be 19 weeks this thursday and I have been putting a straw/hay mix it's chopped up and I was told this would be better than straw for the nextboxes. Anyway I have been putting it in the nextboxes for the last few weeks but they keep scratching it out and all over the coop. The problem is I use sand in my coop and just scoop out the poop once or twice daily. When they scratch the straw all over it makes it harder to clean and I have to keep throwing out the straw with the poop and refreshing the nestboxes. Anyone know why they are doing this? Is it possibly a good thing like maybe they are interested in the nest boxes. The do have very large combs and waddles and they are quite red so I know they should be close to laying. I should mention that they free range most of the day. I ususally let them out about noon time and let them go back on their own at night so they get plenty of scratching time out of the coop.
     
  2. Sassafras

    Sassafras Chillin' With My Peeps

    544
    1
    121
    Jan 16, 2011
    N.H.
    It is their instinct to scratch up the "nest" and make a hole to sit in. Mine throw the shavings out. I am thinking of putting in a square of carpet of something under the shavings.
     
  3. ddmiddle7

    ddmiddle7 Chillin' With My Peeps

    256
    2
    111
    Mar 8, 2011
    Indianapolis, IN
    Do you have a board across the front of the nesting boxes? This helps in preventing them from scratching out the bedding. They may not be purposely scratching it out, just trying to get a "nest" made. I put a 1x3 board across the front of the nesting boxes and usually they will jump from the roost to the board then climb on into the nesting boxes.
    Here is a picture of what I did to my nesting boxes to prevent them from scratching out the pine shavings:
    [​IMG]
    If you can tell the board across the bottom is now higher then the nesting box framing. I don't notice them kicking any of it out of the boxes. If they still do it, try using pine shavings. Mine seem to really like them and I have seen them in the boxes moving pieces all around them with their beaks getting the shavings in just the right place! Not to mention I have read that straw and hay can bring in mites which you don't want, since they are hoollow providing them with many many places to hide.
     
  4. savingpurple

    savingpurple Chillin' With My Peeps

    432
    0
    109
    Apr 2, 2011
    NW Ohio
    Yes, mine make a hole, and push out some shaving, but I use shavings in the coop, so it's no big deal. I added shredded paper to the nest boxes too. They seem to really like that, as strange as that seems. I have endless supply of shredded paper, so it all work out well.

    Good luck, and hope you get some eggs soon!!!
     
  5. audrey02026

    audrey02026 Chillin' With My Peeps

    416
    6
    111
    Mar 25, 2011
    Dedham, Ma
    I'll try the board across the boxes as well as the savings. Shavings are easier for me to get anyway I just thought that Straw was what I was supposed to use.....Thanks to everyone for replying.
     
  6. juliawitt

    juliawitt Chillin' With My Peeps

    368
    8
    121
    Aug 9, 2009
    I am very careful about using stray or hay for that matter, in my coop or run. My husband put down alfalfa hay one winter. I ended up with a hen with a compacted craw. So, only shavings for my girls.....
     
  7. dbounds10

    dbounds10 Chillin' With My Peeps

    631
    5
    131
    Mar 15, 2011
    Fort Worth, Tx
    I have the same problem, I use sand in the coop and I DO have a board across the boxes. Still the kick every single shaving out of the boxes and it makes it extremly hard to clean the sand. I took all the shavings out and just put sand in the nest boxes but I am hearing that they wont like that cause they cant make a "hole" to nest in.

    Anyone have any thoughts on the sand in the boxes vs trying to keep the shavings out of the sand floor? [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  8. audrey02026

    audrey02026 Chillin' With My Peeps

    416
    6
    111
    Mar 25, 2011
    Dedham, Ma
    Yeah looks like the hay/straw mixture was a bad idea. I'm interested in what people say about the sand I would love to just do that.
     
  9. christina1982

    christina1982 Out Of The Brooder

    99
    0
    39
    May 25, 2011
    Louisiana
    I have the same problem! I had to redo the nesting boxes with a board on the side to prevent them from making a huge mess lol. It did work but now I have another problem. They move all the hay to the side and sit (not eggs yet, they just sit lol) on the board. Someone said to put a piece of carpet down. Mine are all around 20 weeks.


    Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2011

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by