One of the most frequent things you’ll do with your chickens is replace their nesting box material.
Well finally after years of raising chickens I officially found the best chicken nesting material that stays in their boxes for days!
I have had chickens since I was a kid and at this point I feel like I’ve tried just about all the tricks and hacks. Well just recently I bought nest liners made of aspen shavings and they are amazing!
Over the years I’ve used just about everything you can imagine. I’ve lined the nesting boxes with carpet, I’ve used straw and hay, wood shavings, etc. and the hens manage to toss it out about as fast as I fill the boxes.
For whatever reason hens cannot resist fluffing through new nesting material and so if I wanted to have clean eggs I would have to fill the boxes everyday.
And while it’s an easy task it’s much nicer not having to do it everyday!
Why You Need Nesting Box Material
No matter what your chicken nesting boxes are made of, it’s important to have some kind of filling.
Your chicken coop can have wooden nesting boxes, metal boxes, egg crates, plastic tubs, or just about anything you can think of.
Find out everything you need to know about chicken nesting boxes here.
Hens will lay eggs in just about anything, but if you don’t have any soft material inside you will end up with a lot of broken eggs.
Therefore, to have clean and unbroken eggs you will need to use some sort of nesting box material.
Unfortunately, like I mentioned above, hens love to scratch in the nesting material and they will toss out most of the material likely before they even lay their egg.
There are ways to help keep the material inside the nesting boxes such as having deeper nesting boxes, or if you are using a deep container. But it doesn’t prevent the hens from scratching in it and eventually flinging it all out.
Options for Filling Nesting Boxes
So since it’s definitely important to fill your nesting boxes with a material of some kind, here are some of the most common options:
- Pine shavings
- Cedar shavings
- Shredded paper
- Grass Clippings
- Nest pads
Of all of these options I recommend aspen shaving nest pads! But since they are something I order online on Amazon, if I run run out I use pine shavings or hay.
For awhile I had cut pieces of carpet in the bottom of each nesting box. I would then put shavings or hay on top for extra padding.
For awhile it worked great but after so long hens would break eggs and the carpet was getting gross so I eventually threw it all away.
DON’T MISS OUT: Get your free chicken coop cleaning checklist here!
My Favorite Chicken Nesting Material
Finally, after years of trying out every nesting material, I found the one I want to stick to forever.
Before I go on explaining why I love it, I know you may wonder why you would spend money on something that could be free.
And that was me. I always tried to use hay because I would just rake it up out of the barn. It was free and convenient.
Then I would use shavings which aren’t too expensive and 1 bag would last me quite awhile even though I was filling the boxes back up almost daily.
But I just got sick of broken eggs, dirty eggs, and filling the boxes all the time.
Then I Discovered Aspen Shaving Nesting Liners
So I gave in and figured I’d give these aspen shaving nesting liners a try, and I cannot believe I did not buy them sooner!
They are 13×13″ squares made of aspen shavings that have kraft paper on the bottom which helps hold all the shavings together.
So when the hen gets in the box and starts scratching around she can’t fling all the shavings out. She will fluff the material some, but since it’s connected to the paper on the bottom it stays together.
As of now I put the liners in the boxes a little over a week ago and they are still in great shape. I haven’t had to add any additional material in the boxes.
I’ve had no broken eggs, almost every egg is perfectly clean, and the eggs that are a bit dirty are extremely easy to clean.
I am going to add in some shaving on top of the liners so that when the hens scratch they mostly scratch at the shavings instead of the liners, but it’s definitely not necessary. I just figure I will extend the use of each liner.
So if you have backyard chickens and have been looking for better chicken nesting material, you should for sure try the aspen shaving liners!
I don’t recommend products that I haven’t tested and approved of, and as soon as I tried these I couldn’t help but share about them because I believe every chicken keeper will love them!
Let Your Eggs Be Clean and Unbroken
The most important reason for nesting box material is so the eggs don’t break when your hens lay.
Broken eggs are bad because then you obviously can’t use the eggs. But it also increases the chances that your hens may become egg eaters.
Hens will begin enjoying the taste of eggs and start pecking at the ones that aren’t even broke. (Which has been a problem of mine before, and it’s almost impossible to try and break them of it)!
So after trying all of the options for nesting materials such as shavings, hay, shredded paper, etc. I’ve found the best nesting box material and I think everybody will love these aspen shaving liners!
They stay in the boxes great and if they are too big you can cut them down to size!
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