Will chickens try to eat cardboard as nesting box bedding?

Bryce Thomas

Songster
Mar 21, 2021
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Gilbert, AZ
I have a shoebox that I want to throw away but im low on nesting material and wanted to know if I can cut up the cardboard box into small pieces 1 by 1 inch across squares to use a bedding, I just dont want the chickens to eat the cardboard pieces
 

Bryce Thomas

Songster
Mar 21, 2021
721
684
191
Gilbert, AZ
They won't eat the cardboard, but you should try pine shavings instead.
ok. do I just cut it large enough that they cannot eat it? they are silkies aka bantams and 1 inch by 1 inch pieces of 1.5 inches by 1.5 inches is big enough that they can throw them around but cannot actually eat it
 

Outta Here

Songster
May 17, 2021
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My chickens eagerly ate and tried to O.D. on the styrofoam insulation panels in our garage door. They were fanatics about it, pecking holes in the solid panel to eat the kernels of styrofoam! So to keep them from killing themselves, we had to add a foiled layer to cover the panels. Then I caught them picking at a piece of cardboard under the tractor to catch oil! They are free range with excellent organic feed, so they aren't trying to fill a nutritional deficiency. Maybe mine are part goat, but I'm not sure I would trust chickens with cardboard.

Can you gather some dry leaves or other vegetation? That's free, too...
 

SueT

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
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May 27, 2015
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Another nesting material idea is dried grass clippings.....They might eat that too, but that’s what I use. However, in the favorite nest, they’ve kicked about everything out completely and lay their eggs on bare wood!
 

Outta Here

Songster
May 17, 2021
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This was written to gardeners wanting to use cardboard as mulch. All those chemicals might not set well with chickens if they imbibed.

"DO NOT USE CARDBOARD {for mulch} The glue today are POLYMERS (plastic), not cornstarch, you can't eat it. Today, cardboard is treated with retardant chemicals: termite retardant, moisture retardant, flame retardant, roach retardant, food spoilage retardant, water retardant, heat retardant, fire retardant and ant and other insect retardant."

Yikes!
 

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