Nesting box and cracked eggs

M Scott

In the Brooder
Apr 8, 2017
29
7
47
South Missouri
I started out with pine shavings in nesting box and the chickens kick most of it out. Put in natural laying mats with paper backing and they dig that all out of the way to lay eggs on wood. My eggs are getting cracked. What mats can I get that will stay in place and protect the eggs??? Thanks
 

Ol Grey Mare

One egg shy of a full carton. .....
7 Years
Mar 9, 2014
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Can you post your nest boxes? It may be s matter of changing them (ie increased lip) vs changing the bedding. I use shavings under a layer of grass hay.
 

WesleyBeal

Chirping
Nov 28, 2016
230
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Douglas County, Minnesota
How large are your nests? and how deep?

I get broken eggs fairly often, and have been blaming it on my nests being too small. Of course, if the nest is too big, more than one hen will try to climb in at once, which can also lead to broken eggs.

I use straw, pine shavings, and whatever else I'm using as bedding at the time. Even if there's a lot of it, too much walking around on top of the eggs will result in them breaking.
 

M Scott

In the Brooder
Apr 8, 2017
29
7
47
South Missouri
Layin
14954792286451531286142.jpg
14954792286451531286142.jpg
g boxes.
 

IZZYBELLA

Songster
7 Years
Jan 11, 2013
512
168
156
Maine
Can you tell if they are cracking when they drop being laid, or if they are getting stepped on? I use pine shavings or straw. They always make a nest so that it goes to the wood anyway. If I notice a little crack where the egg has dropped from the chicken, I take it as a sign that the egg is a little weak and I give them some oyster shells for calcium. I haven't figured out what to do with overcrowding in the nest boxes... it seems regardless of size or number of nest boxes, they all want to lay in the same one and it doesn't matter if someone else is in there!
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
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Southeast Louisiana
Yes, try raising the lip a couple of inches to see if that will keep more bedding in there. I think that is the problem. It's not the bedding you are using, we use all kinds of different things. It's almost certainly that it is getting scratched out. I'll mention a couple of other things though to consider.

How thick are the shells on the eggs the hens are laying? What do the cracks look like? Are they small holes like maybe the eggs are hitting nail or screw heads sticking up? When the hen lays the egg she stands up so the egg falls a bit.

Could it be toenails puncturing the eggs? Hens walk on the eggs when they get on and off the nest. If the shells are thin it's possible the toenails could punch through.
 

M Scott

In the Brooder
Apr 8, 2017
29
7
47
South Missouri
Can you tell if they are cracking when they drop being laid, or if they are getting stepped on? I use pine shavings or straw. They always make a nest so that it goes to the wood anyway. If I notice a little crack where the egg has dropped from the chicken, I take it as a sign that the egg is a little weak and I give them some oyster shells for calcium. I haven't figured out what to do with overcrowding in the nest boxes... it seems regardless of size or number of nest boxes, they all want to lay in the same one and it doesn't matter if someone else is in there!
They are cracking when they drop. I was watching.... Chicken stalker
 

M Scott

In the Brooder
Apr 8, 2017
29
7
47
South Missouri
Yes, try raising the lip a couple of inches to see if that will keep more bedding in there. I think that is the problem. It's not the bedding you are using, we use all kinds of different things. It's almost certainly that it is getting scratched out. I'll mention a couple of other things though to consider.

How thick are the shells on the eggs the hens are laying? What do the cracks look like? Are they small holes like maybe the eggs are hitting nail or screw heads sticking up? When the hen lays the egg she stands up so the egg falls a bit.

Could it be toenails puncturing the eggs? Hens walk on the eggs when they get on and off the nest. If the shells are thin it's possible the toenails could punch through.
No nails out screws sticking up. It's when the eggs fall that it cracks. Is there mats that I can stick to bottom? That they won't scratch out? Under bedding?
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
Premium Feather Member
Jul 3, 2016
15,873
30,482
1,052
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
My Coop
Here's something to try - take an empty feed bag (paper, plastic, doesn't really matter) and fold it so it fits in the bottom of the nest boxes. Then add your nesting material. It provides an extra layer of cushion and the chickens can't easily dislodge the feed bag while scratching at the nest. I have not had any cracked eggs since I added the feed bag.
 

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