I think it really is a matter of preference. Yours or the hens. Our hens will not use a nest box if it has shavings. Don't ask me why. Maybe cause they like to make a nest, they really do hollow it out, throw out half the hay or straw, build it to their liking. They will look for the nest boxes with fresh straw, or, we can use hay and even grass clippings from mowing and they like that too.
Will they eat the straw or hay bedding? Can that block their crop if they do? Should we do half the boxes in hay and half in shavings? We have both and farm so there is lots of hay. The floor of our coop is shavings and we free range them.
DE is diamtamaceous earth (sp?). I did notice this morning when I gave my filly her hay they went nuts in it and scratched it all over the place. My filly was none too happy about that! lol. Thanks for all of the advice.
i switched from straw to shavings and like it a lot better. My hens like to roost in their boxes
so it is much easier to clean that way, and refill. Not sure what they prefer as they have used the boxes just the same with both.