April 26, 2008 at 1:55 pm #242967
Hi everyone, I have another question, yet again:confused:
I have had my chickens for 8 weeks and they have not yet laid an egg. I have had a few difficulties along the way, the latest being that they all have a cold. I have tried all the natural remedies but have now had to resort to antibiotics. Anyway, now that the story has been set, I was wondering how often I should change the nesting material in the nest boxes (want to encourage visits for the first egg) and do I need to keep buying straw for the nest boxes or can I use sugar cane mulch.
RussellApril 26, 2008 at 2:07 pm #338325
Shredded newspaper is cheap and works just fine. I use that in the nest box and a mixture of newspaper and peastraw in the pen.
You shouldn’t need to change the material in the nest boxes too often, cos they usually don’t poop on their eggs.
I’m sure your chickies will get the hint eventually. You could try putting a plastic egg (even a BOUGHT 😮 egg) in the nest to give them a clue.April 27, 2008 at 3:17 am #338326
WhenI had hens I always used dry pine needles as they are supposed to discourage poultry bugs. I changed them when they started to look tattyApril 27, 2008 at 4:34 am #338327
If sugar cane mulch is dry and not splintery, it sounds fine.
I use cut bracken when I can’t afford straw, its high in potash and when the chicken house needs cleaning again (usually every 2 weeks for mine) its broken down and mixed with lots of nitrogenous manure and its wonderful for compost making.
But then, our largest harvest of produce from our patch of land here at the moment is bracken! This will slowly change as I get more and more ideas of how to use it. If you don’t have bracken, there may be something else local, abundant, cheap or free that would work.
Kirsty, I think (?) used sugar-gum (eucalyptus) sawdust in hers and it deterred mites, which is another great idea. I’m slowly collecting sawdust from our woodcutting area to try it. Pine chips might do this too.
Whatever it is, if its dry, absorbant, non-toxic and recyclable it will probably be alright. Just make sure your chooks don’t eat too much of whatever you choose.April 27, 2008 at 9:17 am #338328
I change the nest box once every two weeks. I use shredded paper and I mix a handul of sulphur into the paper to deter any lice or mites. Seems to work well.
I would not think you need to change the nest material until they have started laying,because they are probably not using it yet.April 27, 2008 at 9:40 am #338329
We use hay. Our neighbour has a huge hay barn and there’s always plenty of loose stuff on the floor which we ‘recycle’. It goes on the floor of the chicken coop and in the nest boxes.
The chooks seem to like it – they have a great time scratching through it.April 27, 2008 at 10:08 am #338330
Whatever I put in they scratch out :confused:
I am currently trying rice hulls :shrug:April 27, 2008 at 10:53 am #338331
i use woodshavings. i wouldn’t use straw because lice etc like to live inside. having said that, my girls have had more than their fair share of parasites. :confused:
i have a chook that likes to poo in the nest, so i change it about weekly (and throw out poo-ey bits daily). otherwise, whenever it looks a bit thin and uncomfortable.
love the idea of pine needles…April 27, 2008 at 12:36 pm #338332
Thankyou all for the suggestions. I will look around for an alternative to the straw I am using because it sounds like it harbours some unwanted pests.
RussellApril 27, 2008 at 12:46 pm #338333
We use sugarcane mulch of the type that is baled with twine and not wrapped in plastic. Works fine, goes straight onto gardens or the compost when we are finished.
We throw in some garden lime or sulphur regularly to discourage things that bite.April 27, 2008 at 11:32 pm #338334
when I had my chooks we used nothing but saw dust from a local business. I cleaned out their pens everyweek wit fresh saw dust and put the old on the garden.
I never had any problems with lice or other nasties. I was told to give them bacon fat to make them lay. I got all of it from our local butcher as her threw it out.April 28, 2008 at 12:07 am #338335
Hi Robyne :wave:
I was told to give them bacon fat to make them lay.
It is a little known fact that in the wild, chooks that have not started to lay will collectively round up and attack a wild pig to ensure that they get plenty of bacon fat :geek:
Go the chooks :metal:
Regards, Doc 😉April 28, 2008 at 12:09 am #338336
Pullet the other one Doc 😆April 28, 2008 at 7:16 am #338337
that’s a fowl jokeApril 28, 2008 at 7:51 am #338338
I go to the stockfeed/pet store they sell straw there and also the sell bagfulls of stuff that falls of the bails.. I get a huge back of the left over straw for a cheaper price;;; Lasts me ages…. Donna..
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