What goes in the bottom of the nesting box?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by NewChickmom2016, Dec 1, 2016.

  1. NewChickmom2016

    NewChickmom2016 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 25, 2016
    We have our first laying pullet- 4 eggs in the last 5 days! Our nesting boxes are on the outside of the coop- the bottom is wood covered in vinyl flooring. We put pine shavings in both boxes- nice and fluffy but not too deep. Dottie kicks the shavings out or at the very least away from the middle where she lays. The last 2 days I have been near the coop when she laid and both times heard a clunk as the egg hit the bottom of the box. No broken eggs so far- but I am wondering if I should put something else in the bottom.

    What do you use? Thinking maybe sand? Or I have seen plastic "grass" mats at our local Daiso store - like this- but a bit less "grass" http://www.shindigz.com/Plastic-Grass-Mats/p/GRSPLM-GRE
    I was thinking hay- but have heard crop impaction can result- and don't want to chance it.

    Any guidance would be greatly appreciated!
    thank you!
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    I really like grass hay. You could try putting a larger lip on the nest box so that the hens can not kick out the bedding.
  3. NewChickmom2016

    NewChickmom2016 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 25, 2016
    Yes- was thinking that the lip is too low- my husband made the coop from pictures- not a plan. We knew the 12"x12" size- but did not realize they would kick stuff out!
    Do you have any issue with grass hay? Will need to look into that.
  4. azygous

    azygous Flock Master

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    Here's another tip to help keep nesting material in the box so you don't lose the cushioning for the eggs.

    Recently, I redid my nest boxes with a higher lip at the front, about six or seven inches, and I angled it in toward the nest at about 45 to 50 degrees. It's worked splendidly to keep nest material (I use pine shavings) from being kicked out.
  5. NewChickmom2016

    NewChickmom2016 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 25, 2016
    Wow- that seems quite high- our box openings are 12" high- how tall are yours? Would the girls have an issue jumping through a 6" high opening?
    thanks for your help!
  6. I only use pine shavings....An old lady I know uses either Rubber shelf liners, or cuts feed bags to lay under the shavings....

    A bit higher lip will help......

    My Nest boxes........

    Yes, that is straw also in the pine shavings....I had to stop using Straw...My one Pullet was tossing the straw out.......

    Last edited: Dec 2, 2016
    1 person likes this.
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Newly laying pullets are the worst, they will tear up the nest like mad the first few times they lay then they usually knock that nonsense off.

    I like to shove a flake of straw in my 14x14x16 nests, then 'bowl' it out a bit in the middle.
    I have a 10" diameter entrance hole placed so there's ~4" lip in the middle front, holds stuff in good.
    They still scratch down to bottom in the middle, but around the edge stays thick for cushion.
    I'll also fluff it up a bit to fill the middle back in when bare bottom of nest shows.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2016
  8. NewChickmom2016

    NewChickmom2016 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 25, 2016
    Chickens Really- thanks for the pic!
    Aart- thanks for the info- Hubby is adding on to the lip tomorrow- will be 4" when he is done.
    hope that does the trick!
    thanks all!
  9. Your welcome and good luck with the nest boxes...........

  10. GC-Raptor

    GC-Raptor Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 26, 2016
    Connecticut, U.S.A.
    I use compacted straw. A coworker lost his flock from moldy hay. [​IMG]GC

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