nesting box materials

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by njones, Oct 22, 2009.

  1. njones

    njones Out Of The Brooder

    May 31, 2009
    Hi, sorry this may be a really stupid question, but here goes....
    I have hay in my nesting boxes, and it seems to be disappearing.
    Maybe they are eating it? What is a good material to use?
    Something that is soft but they can manipulate into a nest?
    Would fallen leaves (Lord knows there are plenty of them here)
    work or would I have problems with leaves?
    Thanks for helping me out on this.[​IMG]
  2. scooter147

    scooter147 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 30, 2008
    Hens will generally scratch around in any material to "make a nest" and scratch it out over time, this is probably what is happening with the hay.

    I have used leaves in the past and they worked, the only issue I found is they break up and down easily and "disappear" quickier.

    Here is a list of what I have used over the years.

    1. Straw
    2. Hay
    3. leaves
    4. Pine shavings
    5. Cedar shavings
    6. Shredded newspaper
    7. Ground corn cobs
  3. njones

    njones Out Of The Brooder

    May 31, 2009
    Thanks for your response. I like the idea of shredded newspaper. Does the black print cause problems for the hens? Heard that cedar isn't good for chickens. I do the deep litter method for the floor, but wasn't sure how the shavings would work in nesting boxes.
    Any other suggestions?
  4. scooter147

    scooter147 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 30, 2008
    The ink, as far as I know, isn't a problem. I use it for years as where I use to work we shredded a lot of paper and I just brought it home.

    There are some thoughts that cedar isn't good for chickens but I use to get bags of that for free too, but I only used it in the nest boxes with no problems.

    The hens do have tendancy to work the shavings out quickier then straw or hay.

    My nesting material of choice is straw. In my area I can get bales of it for 1.50 (just picked up 4 last night, should last me until April or so). I use it as bedding and nesting material.
  5. Snakeoil

    Snakeoil Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 10, 2009
    SE Iowa
    I just use pine shavings, do you have a lip on the front of your boxs to prevent

    your bedding material from falling out? I've only added shavings once in the past

    year to mine.
  6. Marbleheader

    Marbleheader Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 18, 2009
    Marblehead, MA
    One thing to consider if you're using newspaper is composting. We plan to cycle shavings from the nest boxes to the coop, then to the compost bin BUT we dn't want shredded newsprint and ink in our compost, so we can't use it in the nests.
  7. redstars

    redstars Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 15, 2009
    south dartmouth ma
    I use pine shavings for my deep litter and my nesting boxes.
    It seems to work good, Any shavings they kick out just ends up getting added to the litter.
  8. Royd

    Royd Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 31, 2009
    Middleburg, Fl.
    Leaf litter works just fine, and is free and accessible. I am blessed with a large stand of bamboo, in the back yard, and those leaves make the most excellent nesting material.
  9. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    I've always used pine shavings but I'm thinking of getting some sort of foam to cover the bottom. Some of my hens are tall and when they drop the egg it hits either the golf ball in the nest or lands too hard on the plywood beneath and cracks them slightly.
  10. ange

    ange Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 15, 2009
    I TOO AM LOOKING FOR A ,ITER ,ETHOD FOR NOW, SINCE WE LIVE IN COLD COLD COLD UPSTATE NEW YORK AND wanted it also for compost for garden. What is pinbe wood shavings, is it saw dust? Does it matter ifd it is treated.

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