Nesting materials

Minky

Crowing
Nov 4, 2017
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Ok, so here is a question....

For those who use hay/straw in their nest boxes.. How often do you replace it? Do you have a lot or a little.?
I find that my hens like to pull out the material I put in.
But then I find them laying eggs in or under the goats hay mangers....
They drive me nuts.
So then I fill some and leave some almost bare. (they are wood)
But I still get the feeling they would lay more if I just built them hay mangers to lay in.
LOL

For those who use wood shavings- how often do you replace/refresh shavings?
I hate shavings but maybe the hens would like better... I dunno....
 

Frenchen1

In the Brooder
Aug 19, 2016
5
6
37
I have good luck using Bermuda Grass hay. It gets changed a couple of times a week, or more if the eggs get dirt or poop on them. It is not as coarse as straw, and the chickens seem to love it. They only pull out a little. To save money, we use the hay that falls on the ground around our stacked hay, if it is clean.
Otherwise, we use a flake or two off a bale A little goes a long way. Our nest boxes are upside down plastic storage tubs, lids on, with a U shaped opening cut in one end. They are easy to clean, and work well in our mountain climate of Southern California.
 

ChickNanny13

Crossing the Road
7 Years
Jun 23, 2013
8,998
12,773
967
The Big Island/Hawaii
I use shavings, never ever changed it until I switch out flock. I sprinkle a mix of DE, Sevin & Poultry Dust at the start and every few months mix the shavings with my hand/arm to feel if I feel any crawlies & to fluff up the shavings :fl I do dust the girl with DE mix monthly and they are confined👍🙏🤞
 

imnukensc

Crowing
May 22, 2017
1,633
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SC Midlands
Haven't changed nest box materials in three years. Added to but never changed. I use a combination of pine shavings, pine straw, grass clippings, and mulched leaves.
 
Sep 12, 2018
113
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I use straw they like it and you can twist it into a nest and they cannot kick it out. Ive also used the plant inserts and they love that its like coconut fiber or something it goes in the hanging flower baskets.
 
Sep 12, 2018
113
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96
I use straw they like it and you can twist it into a nest and they cannot kick it out. Ive also used the plant inserts and they love that its like coconut fiber or something it goes in the hanging flower baskets.
You also dont really every have to change those but for straw I change it like 1 time every month unless they make a mess or break and egg or something. I also put chicken herbs in it to keep away bugs and keep it smelling nice.
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
Premium Feather Member
Jul 3, 2016
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I use wood shavings and replace 1-2x a year. Really doesn't need to be replaced unless it becomes soiled. I pad the bottom of the boxes with folded feed bags, so even if they kick most of the shavings out (which happens over time) there's still decent padding in the box, and it's easy to replace the padding and contents if there is a broken egg (just pick up the feed bag and toss the whole mess).
 

Minky

Crowing
Nov 4, 2017
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Ontario
I use wood shavings and replace 1-2x a year. Really doesn't need to be replaced unless it becomes soiled. I pad the bottom of the boxes with folded feed bags, so even if they kick most of the shavings out (which happens over time) there's still decent padding in the box, and it's easy to replace the padding and contents if there is a broken egg (just pick up the feed bag and toss the whole mess).
Love the idea of using a feed bag under it all. I have been saving in a big stack for 3 years.... so I have lots! yes once in a while I get a big mess of yolk since I have an egg eating chicken...
o also have access to tons of pine needles and leaves so I will try those. Thanks for all the responses!!! All very helpful.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
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For those who use hay/straw in their nest boxes.. How often do you replace it? Do you have a lot or a little.?
I find that my hens like to pull out the material I put in.
What do your nests look like, good front lip 4-6" high?
Pics would help here.

I use a ~2" thick flake of straw crammed in tight then bowled out a bit.
Change as needed. Have vinyl liners(one extra) to make changing out a soiled nest fast and easy. I might change them out a few times a year. Only newly laying pullets destroy the nest while 'learning'. The circular entrances really help hold bedding in:
full
 

Minky

Crowing
Nov 4, 2017
1,486
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Ontario
I love the look of the circles, too! I do have a lip, yes, but its maybe 2-3 inches.
I will do circles next time, or maybe even add a it to the fronts. I am surprised your hens don't mind the 2x4 right up against the box. Mine don't like the double nest box I have with the 2 x4 right up against the boxes, but prefer the row of 5 where the 2x4 is about 6 inches away from the boxes.

I like the liner idea. I am trying to pinpoint all the egg eaters in my flock.... there is a lot of gooey straw with no egg shells...
 

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