Question Chickens throwing straw out of nesting boxes problem

Mark

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May 27, 2012
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Has anyone come across hens throwing or raking their straw out of their nesting boxes? And if so, how did you solve it?

This has only started with my hens in the past 2 months and it's really annoying me! I fill the nesting boxes with nice clean straw and the next day it's all over the floor :mad:

Our boxes do have a lip at the front to hold the litter in but I'm thinking I may have to slide in some 4x2 at the front to make the side higher so hopefully this will stop the boxes being emptied.

I'm not sure if it's some hens or all that have started doing this and I have no idea why they would want to nest on a hard surface. The main problem of course is the eggs are not as protected and some are breaking because there's no padding in the box.

Open to suggestions :)
 

Jason

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Jun 29, 2014
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They often do this from time to time. Sometimes they will keep the hay/straw in with no problems other times they would prefer nothing. I think your best bet is if it is really annoying you, is to increase the lip size. It is completly natrural for a chook to to scratch around abit prior to laying, they lay once comfortable. It just so happens they throw everything out in the process:facepalm:. Mine tend to get a bit of a circle in the hay and it could stay like that for weeks. So the eggs are actually being layed on the hard surface. We loose maybe?? an egg a week, but they dont throw the hay out. :)

Not sure if that helps, but good luck.
 
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Mark

Founder
Staff member
May 27, 2012
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Bellmere, QLD
www.selfsufficientme.com
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Sub-Tropical
They often do this from time to time. Sometimes they will keep the hay/straw in with no problems other times they would prefer nothing. I think your best bet is if it is really annoying you, is to increase the lip size. It is completly natrural for a chook to to scratch around abit prior to laying, they lay once comfortable. It just so happens they throw everything out in the process:facepalm:. Mine tend to get a bit of a circle in the hay and it could stay like that for weeks. So the eggs are actually being layed on the hard surface. We loose maybe?? an egg a week, but they dont throw the hay out. :)

Not sure if that helps, but good luck.
Thanks Jason it's nice to know this behaviour does sometimes happen to others also. I can handle losing an egg every now and again that's no problem. As you say, I have increased the lip around the front of the boxes and it seems to have worked! However, I wanted to give it a few weeks before I claimed to have permanently solved the problem (and it's been two weeks).

I will post a few pics soon to show the results (might even make a video out of the footage I took) but essentially I increased the lip on the nesting boxes a good 3 inches or more (increasing the lip overall to about 6 inches) by tacking on some garden edging around the front of the boxes. So far so good... I think :think:
 

JoshW

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I was using straw and my chooks were doing the same. I switched over to wood shavings (dust extracted) and they were so much happier. No more kicking out the bedding. Apparently straw, being hollow, is a haven for mites etc.
 

Lucas

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Mark do you mulch the straw?
If not be careful cause mites like the hollows in the straw
cheers