Nest bedding; hay or sawdust?

xoeab

Hatching
11 Years
Sep 16, 2008
5
1
7
PA
We just built nests and were wondering if it would be better to use hay or sawdust (The same as the coop floor).
Thanks!
 

sred98

Songster
12 Years
Jan 18, 2008
2,090
12
201
Oklahoma
No real experience here...this is my first time, too, but I just "borrowed" some of my horses' bermuda hay and put it in a tub for my 2 girls yesterday. They played around in it, so we'll see what happens!

Shelly
 

trishok8

Songster
11 Years
Feb 18, 2008
166
0
129
Scituate
I use pine shavings. I think hay can get a little messy when it comes to clean up. With the shavings, you can almost sweep the "poops" right up and compost them.
 

skyfires

Trying to hide
11 Years
Jul 19, 2008
351
1
129
The Ozarks of Arkansas
By the way
I have used both in my hen house and coop. I have found that wood shavings seem to work best for me. Easier to clean out, and a lot less messy. Plus they smell nicer with wood shavings. Try to find a wood mill or wood cutting place in your area. This way it keeps cost down. I get a pickup truck load for 5.00. That lasts around 8 months. Make sure you use around 3 inches in depth for best results. Remove soiled areas with dust pan. Scoop them out and replace with equal amount of shavings. Try some DE also. Sprinkle lightly over the wood shavings to cut down odor and mites. Good luck !!!
 

ravenfeathers

Songster
11 Years
May 23, 2008
401
11
121
vermont
i like hay in the nest box, but i haven't really got a good reason why. it just feels right. also, the hen has a lovely time moving individual strands to get it just right.

i think if i had nest-poopers, i'd prefer sawdust, though.
 

Opa

Opa-wan Chickenobi
12 Years
May 11, 2008
9,573
468
336
Howell Michigan
Hay is not a good material to use. It isn't as absorbent as pine shavings, it tends to mold and it will retain moisture. Pine shavings are a much better choice. Sawdust isn't as good to use as shavings. Too dusty. Most farm supply & feed stores carry baled shavings. Even Walmart carries it. Don't however, buy cedar shavings, the tannic acid in it isn't good for birds.
 
Last edited:

ravenfeathers

Songster
11 Years
May 23, 2008
401
11
121
vermont
Quote:in my experience, hay in the nest boxes doesn't get damp and doesn't need to absorb moisture. i've had the same hay in my nest box for the last three months. i check it regularly to make sure it isn't moldy or poopy. if it's poopy, i replace it. i've yet to find mold.
 

vfem

Yoga...The Chicken Pose
11 Years
Aug 4, 2008
7,324
24
264
Fuquay Varina, NC
I just mowed the lawn and decided that maybe the grass cuttings would be a nice treat. I threw a LOT in the coop and run. I find them sleeping on a pile this morning and it smells nice and grass fresh. I mixed in some fresh straw with it since they love that. Everyone tells me pine shavings, I'm a straw girl....

(I throw the old straw out in the lawn... poo and all, then run it over with the lawn mower and shred it right back into the lawn... so far so good, much easier clean up.)
 
Last edited:

Their Other Mother

Songster
11 Years
May 1, 2008
757
5
151
Arizona
Quote:When we were growing up we were never allowed to give the animals any grass clippings mowed from a gas lawnmower. Was told they were toxic. My Grandpa went out and bought an electric mower. What's the scoop on this?

I put alfalfa hay in my nests and the hens eat it and then won't lay eggs there, they lay in the horses feed bin with just a smooth plastic bottom.
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom