nest box with no nest?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by creative.hortic, Mar 2, 2011.

  1. creative.hortic

    creative.hortic In the Brooder

    Oct 16, 2010
    my girls have just started laying and they share one box, no problem, but they always kick out all the bedding!! I had pine shavings, and they scratched them out, so then i put straw in there thinking i needed some padding for the egg.....but they kick that out too!!! and yesterday i had an egg that cracked on the bare floor...luckily no one pried it open and ate it.
    why are they doing this and what should i do?
  2. BeccaOH

    BeccaOH Morning Gem Farm

    Oct 3, 2008
    east central Ohio
    Yes, it can be a problem. Does your nest box have a lip on the opening to help hold material in? Can you cover the bottom with cardboard or that foam draw liner to help? I haven't done either of those, but it might help. I refresh the shaving regularly in my boxes, but they do have lips on them that seem to help hold the shavings in. My hens sometimes scratch the shavings over into the corner so they can lay the egg on the bare wood. [​IMG] Sometimes there is just no pleasing a hen. [​IMG]
  3. creative.hortic

    creative.hortic In the Brooder

    Oct 16, 2010
    thats exactly what they are doing! getting down to bare wood..and all the trouble my husband went thru building that lip to keep it all in!!
    i will try the padding, just afraid they will eat it
  4. dretd

    dretd Songster

    Apr 14, 2009
    Ft Collins, CO
    I have nest box with only shallow lip so it doesn't hold anything very well. I had the same problem too.

    I cut an old yoga mat (1/4 dense foam) to size and put that on the clean wood bottom. The straw seems to have too short a stem and is very slippery. I have had good luck with clean, non-moldy horse quality hay (besides, that what is on my barn). I take a small flake, maybe 1.5-2 inches thick, place it in my box then press and mold out a nest area to get them started. They will jump in and turn around until they get the shape they want.

    It needs to be freshened every 1-2 weeks as they will kick out some and eat it too. If you start with a flake then the stems are already compressed together and seems to hold together better, vs tossing handfulls of loose hay in.

    I rarely have any cracks since using this method in the nest box. Good luck.
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2011
  5. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    If possible, put a larger lip on the nest box to resolve the problem.

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