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What makes the best nest?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by jloftin60, Nov 16, 2008.

  1. jloftin60

    jloftin60 In the Brooder

    Oct 24, 2008
    DeRidder, LA
    What do chickens prefer to lay eggs in? I've heard they like the square boxes that gallon milk is carried in.
  2. basicliving

    basicliving Keepin' the sunny side up

    Mar 20, 2008
    Shenandoah Valley, VA
    I'm sure you will get many answers to this. I originally tried empty pails of kitty litter. Too small - they hated them. We ended up building nest boxes that are about 16 inches wide and 16 inches tall. I hung curtains 2/3 of the way down. They love it. Most took right to them and the few that didn't I placed in the boxes when they started nesting, and they got the idea. Today all use the nest boxes except the first that started laying when we originally had the kitty litter pails. But she's spoiled and I give in to her. She has her "special spot" in the coop corner, and I just haven't tried to break her of it yet.

    I use pine shavings on the coop floor and in the nest boxes.

    Hope this helps.

  3. panner123

    panner123 Songster

    Jan 15, 2007
    Garden Valley, ca
    I use milk crates with pine shavings. They are easy to clean, just pick them up, take them outside and put in the garden. You are not always digging in the nest box with your hands trying to keep them clean. Plus the eggs stay cleaner.
  4. CK Chickadilly

    CK Chickadilly Songster

    Sep 11, 2008
    West Michigan
    We just built laying boxes. They seem to like the straw, I put alot in there & the Banties especially like the way they can make a nice deep nest in it & hide while laying their eggs! You can barely see their little eyes peeking out [​IMG]
  5. I use the milk crates with straw or hay. I've used the shavings before and did not like them.
    In fact, I put shavings in 2 nest and straw in the others and they hens always layed in the nest with the straw.
    But honestly...no matter what you put in them, they will use them (most of the time)!
  6. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    We have started out with plastic organizing bins that walmart sells. They are 18" x 21". We mounted two 2 x 4s about 2 inches apart running from one wall to the other in the coop and attached the plastic bins to the 2 x 4s with screws. The girls took to them right away.
    However, we are realizing that the girls are going to get too big for these nests (I have LF brahmas) so before too long we'll be removing them and going to kitty litter pans instead. Walmart sells a type of litter pan that has three sides all the same and one side that's much higher. I'm not sure what the purpose is for kitties, but I think they'll be great to allow the girls to climb in and with the high side shielding them from view of the rest of the coop they'll have a little privacy. [​IMG]
    Tried shavings in the nest boxes, like hay much better. The girls make their little hollows and the eggs stay cleaner.
  7. MrsChickendad

    MrsChickendad Songster

    Jun 18, 2008
    Lennon, Michigan
    We cut the tall grass in the pasture, dried it and use it for nest boxes. It's very soft, keeps them warm and easy to clean and the best part----FREE! One big pitchfork full will fill all ten nest boxes.
  8. BayCityBabe

    BayCityBabe Songster

    May 1, 2008
    We use milk crates. My friend cut them at an angle & built me a shelf that the crates slip into. All the girls picked the bottom crate when they first started laying. Now they all favor the two top crates. I line the bottom of the crates with T-shirt scraps and fill with straw.
  9. ginbart

    ginbart Crowing

    Mar 9, 2008
    Bloomsburg, PA
    I have nesting boxes and milk crates. They mostly use the boxs with the straw in. I have some with shavings in but mine don't like it. My EE layed her first egg in the milk crate today with the straw. Around here straw is a little less expensive.
  10. jloftin60

    jloftin60 In the Brooder

    Oct 24, 2008
    DeRidder, LA
    When you say straw, are you using Pine Straw or grass (hay) straw?
    How far off the ground should the milk crates (nest) be?

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