Nesting Material and Egg Laying

qopt

Songster
Mar 14, 2020
94
131
106
Seattle, Washington
Hello! I just set up my nesting boxes for my chickens. I am expecting their first eggs around August/September. Before I just kept their nesting boxes empty. I’m wondering if Timothy Hay and Pine Shavings are a good nesting material? It’s what I had on hand. I am also curious if my chickens will figure out to lay their eggs in the nesting box on their own. I am not too sure what to expect. Thank you:).
 

Lady of McCamley

Free Ranging
10 Years
Mar 19, 2011
7,443
5,416
502
NW Oregon
Excellent material.

"Salt" the boxes with some fake eggs, golf balls, or ping pong balls (or toss away commercial eggs in a pinch) to encourage them to nest in the boxes (and not the garden plants, under the bushes, etc.).

Good luck on your eggs :D
LofMc
 

NatJ

Free Ranging
Mar 20, 2017
5,962
11,329
596
USA
I’m wondering if Timothy Hay and Pine Shavings are a good nesting material?

Yes.

It’s what I had on hand.

Excellent way to choose.

I am also curious if my chickens will figure out to lay their eggs in the nesting box on their own.

If the nestboxes are the only places that are cozy and secluded, they will probably lay their eggs there. But if they also wander a big area with lots of bushes, and go under the steps of your porch, and behind something in your yard--they can find lots of good nesting spots. But hens like to lay eggs where there are already some eggs. So having fake eggs can help convince them to lay in the nestboxes instead of somewhere else. (Once they get in the habit of laying in the nestboxes, the fake eggs are less important--but it's easy enough to just leave them there anyway.)

fake eggs, golf balls, or ping pong balls
Many things count as fake eggs :)
 

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