Preparing a nest box?

AntiqueB

Chirping
Aug 27, 2020
129
363
96
Bergen County, NJ
I am new to chickens, and am wondering what you use in a nest box. Is there some special nesting material? I've seen nesting pads; do I use those alone or with pine shavings? My pullets aren't due to start laying until January or February, but I want to be prepared!
 

Silkielee

Songster
Aug 18, 2019
385
778
161
Australia
Hi, I use straw in my nest boxes and broody coop. My chickens seem to love kicking it around so they can make a nest spot and good for composting too.
IMG20201022121207.jpg
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
Nov 27, 2012
87,869
106,158
1,737
SW Michigan
My Coop
Lots of different things to use as nest bedding.
I like straw, but have a way to neatly store a whole bale.
I buy a fresh bale every year just after they cut it,
to avoid stored straw that might carry pests.
 

KarynVA

Songster
May 29, 2020
230
577
133
SW Virginia
About a week before my pullets started laying, I lovingly prepared the nest boxes with nest pads, a sprinkling of chopped straw, a handful of dried herbs, and a fake egg in each box. Now that my chickens have been laying for about a month, I have to laugh at myself, because in my coop the boxes open out to the rest of the coop space, and the bedding gets all kicked in and out, and it all gets mixed together so the nest boxes are always exactly the same as the rest of the coop area. ☺

Silly me! Still, it was fun preparing the nest boxes with the intention of making them as nice as possible for the lovely ladies.
 

Silkielee

Songster
Aug 18, 2019
385
778
161
Australia
About a week before my pullets started laying, I lovingly prepared the nest boxes with nest pads, a sprinkling of chopped straw, a handful of dried herbs, and a fake egg in each box. Now that my chickens have been laying for about a month, I have to laugh at myself, because in my coop the boxes open out to the rest of the coop space, and the bedding gets all kicked in and out, and it all gets mixed together so the nest boxes are always exactly the same as the rest of the coop area. ☺

Silly me! Still, it was fun preparing the nest boxes with the intention of making them as nice as possible for the lovely ladies.
Yep I had the same problem, see pic in my earlier post, I added a piece of timber in front of boxes to help keep some of the straw in!
 

humblehillsfarm

Crowing
Mar 27, 2020
1,965
3,407
281
Southwestern Pennsylvania
I have used straw without issues, however straw makes the perfect hiding place (in their hollow tubes) for mites and other creepy crawlies. When I learned that info, I switched to pine shavings, which I was already using in the coop. The ladies seemed totally indifferent to the change.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
Nov 27, 2012
87,869
106,158
1,737
SW Michigan
My Coop
I have used straw without issues, however straw makes the perfect hiding place (in their hollow tubes) for mites and other creepy crawlies.
Kinda of an over-reaction.
Using straw does not automatically mean you'll have mites.
If there are already roost mites present, yes it would be a concern.
If you buy 'old' straw that has been stored in an open barn where wild birds have access, you could bring them in.
Why I......
buy a fresh bale every year just after they cut it,
to avoid stored straw that might carry pests.
 

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