Nest box filling ?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Rennie, Jun 8, 2010.

  1. Rennie

    Rennie Songster

    Oct 28, 2009
    Derbyshire, England
    What do you use to fill nest boxes ?..Or what would you say is the best thing to use ?

    ..Im trying hay and shavings but they just seem to either play in there and pull it all out or eat the hay ...

    Is there anything i can do to stop this or should i just keep filling them up as im doing..(in theory wasting my nesting stuff) .. Only one of my hens lay eggs at the minute but not very often .. The others just seem to use the nest boxes as a playground, Will this stop when others start laying or im i doomed for ever lol
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    How big a lip do you have on the nesting box? It needs to be at least three inches and 4 or 5 inches is better. Otherwise they will scratch the nesting material out as they are arranging the nest.

    I've used wood shavings and straw by themselves, and currently have both in there. One lady on this forum uses Spanish moss. Straw is probably better than hay since straw does not have the seeds in it for them to eat. Or if it is Alfalfa hay or maybe clover hay, they may actually enjoy eating the hay. It doesn't really matter that much whether it is shavings or straw as long as you have a big enough lip on it.
  3. bethandjoeync

    bethandjoeync Songster

    Mar 21, 2009
    Iron Station, NC
    make sure there is a lip on the end of the nest box and it will be easier to keep everything inside. I personally switched from straw to newspaper "straw". for us, the straw wanted to harbor mites more frequently so we had to dust the nests more often. I have tons of newspaper around this place, so I started tearing it up into long strips. I emptied out the nest boxes of the straw and dusted the bare wood, then laid a few layers of untorn newspaper (for padding) then a huge pile of shreds. they get flattened pretty easily but everyone seems to be ok with them and it makes me feel good that i can reuse something! good luck!
  4. Rennie

    Rennie Songster

    Oct 28, 2009
    Derbyshire, England
    I do have a lip on the nest box but its not that size ..its probably about 1 1/2 inches high ..I guess i should try and make it higher and see if it helps ..
    At the minute im trying just shavings to see if it helps with the mess problem

    I like the newspaper tip too Ill try that ..

  5. darkmatter

    darkmatter Songster

    Jul 10, 2009
    I use raked up pine needles with fresh green juniper bush trimings. It's free and the juniper greens keeps the nest boxes parasite free. I just wear gloves and pull off handfulls of juniper buds etc. I've had several broody's raise chicks in this mix---no health problems.

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