what kind of bedding do you use in a nesting box?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by mommy3, Dec 1, 2011.

  1. mommy3

    mommy3 In the Brooder

    Sep 19, 2011
    Plantsville, CT
    I am trying to find out what to put in our nesting boxes. I have them closed off right now because my girls are only 10 wks old. We are using the deep litter method in the coop but am wondering what to use here. Do I use hay? Straw? What is the difference? Saw some alfalfa hay at the Tractor Store- is that what I want? Clueless here so please be specific about what you use- thanks! Only have 4 nesting boxes, and 3 girls right now- getting 4 more chicks this spring. Love some advice. Thanks everyone![​IMG]

  2. WhiteMountainsRanch

    WhiteMountainsRanch Crowing

    Jun 19, 2010
    San Diego, CA
    Don't use alfalfa, it's too expensive, plus that's critter food; it's mainly used to feed horses and goats.

    Straw is cheaper (it's yellow) and works well; straw is made to be used as a bedding material.

    I use Bermuda hay when it's on sale (even though it's meant to be food) because it's cheap and I love the way it looks and it's easy to rake up and clean. [​IMG]

    Edited to add: That's what you see in my avatar. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2011
  3. I am using wheat straw right now, but i do have some alfalfa bales i could use.
    I do give my birds flakes of alfalfa to eat, since grass around here is not growing, or green.
    I dont know if people use wood shavings (not the real fine stuff).
  4. OldChurchEggery1

    OldChurchEggery1 Songster

    Sep 27, 2011
    Pine tags. They're free! For whatever reason, the hens don't kick them out of the boxes and root around in them so much. As a test, I filled some of my nest boxes with old hay and one with pine tags. All of the eggs were in the pine tag box even though there were three other freshly-filled hay nests available. You can also use it on the floor of your brooder and/or coop. When it's been sufficiently manured, you can put it around azaleas, blueberries, or other acid loving plants as a mulch.
  5. RonB

    RonB Songster

    Aug 4, 2009
    most of the people I know ,including myself use pine shavings. works great
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2011
  6. I'm with RonB....just plain old pine shavings (I perfer the large flakes)
  7. HollyBird24

    HollyBird24 Crowing

    Nov 10, 2011
    Manitoba, Canada
    I use straw, we bale it ourselves so I have several thousand bales to choose from [​IMG] Shavings are too expensive around here.

  8. BlazeJester

    BlazeJester Songster

    Aug 2, 2011
    Midway, GA
    Try several things and see which one they DON'T evict from the nest box. My girls have ALWAYS had a blast throwing straw everywhere. I'll try pine shavings this time around and see if that works better.
  9. SadieSue

    SadieSue Songster

    Apr 19, 2010
    Tacoma, WA
    I've been using straw but just recently ordered the excelsior pads from EggCartons.com. I'm loving them so far since they stay clean and tidy in the nest box and isn't kicked out easily like the straw was. A breeder that I got a few of my hens from used them and recommended them to me. She says they last a good long time before they need to be changed out.
  10. PetRock

    PetRock Crowing

    Apr 28, 2010
    SF Bay Area, CA
    I use pine shavings. [​IMG]

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