Saw dust in nest boxes : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Can saw dust(from saw mill) be used in next box for my hens. I know it seems like I have a million questions, but sorta new at all this finally found a place to get real answers. Thanks

-- Lesa in Va (, February 18, 2002


If it's clean, dry and not moldy (especially not moldy) it ought to work fine. A lot of folks use sawdust (I use pinestraw). Probably ought to avoid black walnut and cedar but anything else ought to work ok.


-- Alan (, February 18, 2002.

Alan, can you not use cedar shavings in nest boxes? Why?

-- Debbie T in N.C. (, February 18, 2002.

You might pick-up off flavor in eggs.

-- Tim (, February 18, 2002.


I've used sawdust before and it worked fine for me. As long as it is clean and dry when yu put it in the nest boxes, you shuldn't have any trouble.

One of the great things about this forum is that for each of your million questions, you'll get at least a few answers.

-- Murray H. Herrick (, February 18, 2002.

I would think sawdust might cause a problem in the lungs when inhaled. I use Coastal grass hay.

-- ~Rogo (, February 18, 2002.

I have used the large cedar shavings that come in bales (not dusty at all) for several years after the hens got Northern Foul Mites one winter, have not had any parasite problems since using them, and no off odor/taste eggs either.

-- Annie Miller in SE OH (, February 18, 2002.

I use dry grass clippings!They work great and the price is right. Johna

-- Johna (, February 18, 2002.

We've tried sawdust (actually shaving) in our nest boxes but the hens all scratched it out when they did their "nesting". We have found that straw lasts a bit longer before they kick it out too . They don't really seem to care if there is bedding in there or not as the empty boxes are used just as much as the full ones, in fact the empty ones are often the favorite spots. But it might be worth a try.

-- Trisha-MN (, February 18, 2002.

We too, have used cedar sawdust for several years and love the smell when we first put it in. Since doing that we have yet to have a case of mites or any other pests. No flavor/taste difference in the eggs. No ammonia smell in the henhouse even after a long cold winter.

-- Marie (, February 19, 2002.

I use wood shavings that I get for free from a man that cuts wood for craft work. It works great, the ducks and chickens do fine with it, and tend not to scratch it out of the nest as they did with straw. It's easy to clean out and goes in the compost pile.

-- Duffy (, February 19, 2002.

In reading the above answers you can see why it's often best to speak in generalities concerning most things chicken. There's a never ending debate about the use of cedar shavings/sawdust. If it works for you that's OK and if you think you shouldn't use it that's OK too. Close observation of your animals will let you know if the cedar is going to present a problem. As one poster noted above you don't even *have* to use any bedding in the boxes at all. I've had hens that seemed to prefer empty boxes too though I insist on using bedding anyway since it cuts down on the number of broken or cracked eggs. I've used long needle pinestraw for years now since it's free off of my property and seems to repel mites.


-- Alan (, February 19, 2002.

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