Nest bedding; hay or sawdust?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by xoeab, Sep 16, 2008.

  1. xoeab

    xoeab New Egg

    5
    0
    7
    Sep 16, 2008
    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!
     
  2. sred98

    sred98 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 18, 2008
    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
     
  3. trishok8

    trishok8 Chillin' With My Peeps

    166
    0
    129
    Feb 18, 2008
    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.
     
  4. skyfires

    skyfires Trying to hide

    351
    0
    129
    Jul 19, 2008
    The Ozarks of Arkansas
    By the way [​IMG] [​IMG] 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 !!! [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  5. ravenfeathers

    ravenfeathers Chillin' With My Peeps

    401
    9
    121
    May 23, 2008
    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.
     
  6. Opa

    Opa Opa-wan Chickenobi

    9,572
    378
    326
    May 11, 2008
    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: Sep 16, 2008
  7. skyfires

    skyfires Trying to hide

    351
    0
    129
    Jul 19, 2008
    The Ozarks of Arkansas
    Opa is very correct on that one. Always use Pine,,,,Thanks Opa for that tip,,,,,, [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  8. ravenfeathers

    ravenfeathers Chillin' With My Peeps

    401
    9
    121
    May 23, 2008
    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.
     
  9. vfem

    vfem Yoga...The Chicken Pose

    7,325
    15
    264
    Aug 4, 2008
    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: Sep 16, 2008
  10. Their Other Mother

    Their Other Mother Chillin' With My Peeps

    757
    1
    151
    May 1, 2008
    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.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by