Nesting Box bedding... straw or hay?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by mom2jedi, Nov 20, 2009.

  1. mom2jedi

    mom2jedi Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 12, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    I've seen straw used most of the time but when I was at the feed store this week, the lady told me they use alfalfa in their boxes since the birds like the leaves to eat. Is this a good idea? Or is it counterproductive since they will be distracted by eating instead of using the boxes for laying?

    So many questions... thought I'd read up on everything here before I got my chickies only to discover tons of new ones now that they're here!
  2. miss_thenorth

    miss_thenorth Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2007
    SW Ont, Canada
    I use shavings or straw. Around here, hay is too valuable for the chickens to be pooping on it. On observation of the hens while they are in the nest box, they are in there to lay, not eat. so go with whatever cheapest. i like shavings b/c I can scoop out ust the soiled area, if there is poo or a broken egg, and then just top up with more shavings.
  3. TheMotherHen

    TheMotherHen Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 10, 2009
    I use pine shavings in the nest boxes. It smells nice and it's easy to clean up if one the girls has an accident.
  4. Paraclete 2

    Paraclete 2 Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 13, 2009
    :)No doubt, the first two comments are totally accurate. Good luck with your ladies.
  5. Cats Critters

    Cats Critters Completely Indecisive

    I like pine shavings, mine always pushed the straw over to the side and broke a bunch of eggs on the bare wood.
  6. Kansaseq

    Kansaseq Prairie Wolf Farm Asylum

    Feb 12, 2009
    NE Kansas
    I think whatever you prefer is the best one for you. I've used shavings, hay, and grass clippings. All work well; it's just a personal choice.
  7. mom2jedi

    mom2jedi Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 12, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    Quote:Hadn't thought of that, good point! I think I will go with shavings then... I wasn't really liking the idea of having to buy an entire bale of straw just for nesting boxes!

    Thanks for all your input everyone else! Grass clipping would be a good idea too if I could get my grass to grow! So Cal drought has been awful to whatever grass the previous owners had in place before we bought our house. There's not a bit of green anywhere but right under the spigot.
  8. Ariel301

    Ariel301 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 14, 2009
    Kingman Arizona
    I'm putting hay in mine because I can get medium quality hay bales for less than the cost of straw bales around here. I just raked up the loose hay around the stack of bales and put it in the chicken's boxes. They're eating some of it and pecking through it and having a great time. Just waiting for them to lay eggs in it...
  9. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    I use hay because it's readily available here; cheap too. I buy a square bale for $3 - 3.50 and it lasts for months, changing out all my nestboxes once a week.

    I rarely have a dirty nestbox. When it's time for the weekly clean out, I just pick up the whole wad of hay and toss it out the door of the coop. When the chickens get through scratching through what I throw out, the cows come and eat it all up.

    Never had a problem with my hens eating it. They make nice cozy round nests out of it and get down to business.
  10. nancysmith2

    nancysmith2 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 24, 2009
    I use grass clippings. WE save them and keep them dry.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by