What do you put in the nest boxes?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Theicequeen, Jul 20, 2010.

  1. Theicequeen

    Theicequeen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My girls should be getting ready to start laying and all i have in the nest boxes right now is the shavings but i was wondering if that was ok or should i have hay or straw in there too? if i put hay or stray will they eat it? if they eat it will they get sick?
     
  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

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    The wood shavings are just fine. I put hay in my nest boxes because it's soft, and I had gotten some real cheap, and now they get upset if there's no hay in their nest boxes.....

    Chickens usually don't eat straw, but they will nibble at the hay, and it won't make them sick, BUT....

    I would stick with the wood shavings because what you use first, is what they will get used to.
     
  3. BellevueOmlet

    BellevueOmlet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I use straw and my brother uses wood shavings. We both have happy chickens that like like their nesting boxes so it does not seem to matter.
     
  4. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

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    Wood shavings really are best; they can eat hay and get crop impaction from it (do a search on here...there are many folks who have done surgeries & found wads of balled up hay blocking their girls' crops). Straw is okay, but if you ever have a parasie (mite) issue, it can cuase problems in that the shafts of the straw are hollow, so mites can crawl inside to hide when you clean - so, you will want to make sure it's changed often & remove every little piece if you ever have a parasite issue. They should be super happy with lots of dry, fluffy shavings! Hope you get that first egg soon...it's SO exciting!
     
  5. TurkeyMountainChickens

    TurkeyMountainChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I use shavings, too. They work great.

    Don't forget to also put in a fake egg to get them used to the idea of laying in the nest box! I use wooden ones that I bought at the craft store. Many people use golf balls, too.
     
  6. Theicequeen

    Theicequeen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    ha ha ha i have heard of the golf ball thing,lol. I will have to get some to put in there. I also have heard of the impacted crops and that was a main worry of mine about using straw or hay. So thank you for your answers i will stick to shavings. Cant wait for our first egg!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  7. 33yardbirds

    33yardbirds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We use straw and picked up wooden eggs at the craft store, maybe I should have used golf balls since I have buckets of them. [​IMG] No, Iwant eggs, I have enough golf balls. [​IMG]
     
  8. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

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    Oh, if your nest box is wooden - think might think about adding a nest pad of sorts underneath the shavings. I use a really thick piece of carpet runner that I got from Home Depot - sells by the foot, and I just cut it down to the nest box size. That way, if they clear a little "hole" in the shavings as they're moving about, the egg won't crack when it falls.
     
  9. Theicequeen

    Theicequeen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wynette interesting , do they pee and poo in the nest box? if they do does the carpet get real bad smelling?
     
  10. Hecate

    Hecate Out Of The Brooder

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    I have several aromatic herbs growing in my garden (rosemary, lavender, basil) and like to add several sprigs to the nest box weekly. It helps keep pesky bugs down and keep things smelling fresh.
     

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