What is the best bedding for nest boxes?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by BWchicken, Nov 12, 2009.

  1. BWchicken

    BWchicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2009
    What should I put in the nest boxes? I see that many use "straw" but what kind? The only kind I've seen local is really stiff wheat straw, is that what most use? Does anyone use regular pine shavings? The nest boxes are dry inside the coop but I figure whatever I put in them will end up scattered outside the coop so I wouldn't want to use anything that molds or mildews easily. Also wondering if something stiff like wheat straw might hurt them if they ate it. My 12 soon-to-be-laying girls are all bantams. I want to give them a good place to lay their eggs, I'm just not sure what material I should (or shouldn't) use. I appreciate any advice!

    Last edited: Nov 12, 2009
  2. RevaVirginia

    RevaVirginia Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 26, 2009
    Reva, VA
    I have the same sort of quandary when I think of my chickens comfort and safety. Personally I think the best bedding would have to the the Tempurpedic mattress but I feel I may be stretching things a bit so I used both straw and pine bedding that I bought at TSC and let the chickens decide which is better. Good luck with your quandary. [​IMG][​IMG]
  3. theFox

    theFox Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 21, 2009
    Standish, Maine
    I'm using pine shavings over a piece of indoor/outdoor carpet.

    The girls rearrange the pine shavings as they lay and the carpet is both easy to clean and quite good at acting as a cushion.
  4. Rock N' Faverolles

    Rock N' Faverolles Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 8, 2009
    I have used both pine shavings and oat straw. Both seem to work pretty well for me, but I will say the hens seemed to scratch out the shavings easier than the straw.

  5. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

    Aug 13, 2007
    North/Central Florida
    I prefer long needle pine straw over anything.

    But what I typically use is Bermuda hay because I can get it when I want it whether it's been rainy or no.

    I've tried pine shavings, but the birds scratch around in them so much the eggs are often covered which leads to a greater chance they'll be missed when my daughter gathers them.

    I've also tried shredded paper, but it tends to mat down too much.

    This spring I'm going to experiment with mixing some cedar shavings into the hay to see if they will deter fire ants. They can be a dang nuisance in the south.

  6. fordmommy

    fordmommy Dancing With My Chickens

    Jul 16, 2009
  7. bantamsrus

    bantamsrus Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 10, 2008
    Charlotte, MI
    I use shredded paper--the girls don't pick through it, it's free [​IMG], and you just burn it when it's dirty (we live in the stix and have a burn barrel) [​IMG]

    I get mine from work--we have tons of it!
  8. rhoda_bruce

    rhoda_bruce Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 19, 2009
    Cut Off, LA
    Well I also use my shreaded bills and junk mail. But the girls would move them around and drop the eggs on the wooden bottom, so today I lined the bottom with outdoor carpeting, which I intentionally left some of the paper under the carpet for added cushion. And then I shreaded my 7 year old electric bills to give them some fresh stuff. I don't burn the old shavings, however. I put them in the compost pile.
  9. ace6175

    ace6175 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 9, 2009
    I use the dried grass clippings from our lawn, just fluff it up a bit after I collect the eggs. Eventually it ends up on the floor and I add more. We collect 15 bags this summer. And it's all free (except for the bags, which I will use again!)

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by