Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Alternative To Hay: Nest Box Filler

I occasionally find myself working part time at the lovely Umlauf Sculpture Gardens & Museum. Like many office spaces, the Museum goes through some paper and I'm lucky enough to have access to their shredder - or the results of their shredder, at least.

Straw isn't sold around here, and I hate to use a giant bale of hay that could feed horses and just ends up molding in my carport... Even the $2 bags of scrap hay at Callahan's seem a waste that i can't get through in a cost effective way before they get stale. Leaves are a decent alternative, but it just doesn't seem right to scoop up dirty, buggy leaves off the ground and put those in the ladies' nest boxes.

Belina's looking so healthy lately. Look at that tall, full comb and lovely wattles! She does not, however approve of the leaves.
They are LADIES, after all! Pine shavings work alright, but again: i hate to purchase something that's destined for the compost heap, even if it is to be soft bedding for nutritious eggs first. Cedar shavings are an absolute NOT ALLOWED due to the fumes they give off: can be deadly! Other than that, creativity is welcome and the girls seem to enjoy these paper shreds just fine. They're soft, push aroundable, easy for me to clean up, and are a great alternative use for what would otherwise be wasted.

The ladies inspect and approve of the change. Happy laying, pretty hens. Molting/Winter update: Belina is being a real trooper and laying almost an egg a day, with Olive slowly catching back up. BB's still off, but she's been squatting so i predict eggs in a week. Soot, on the other hand is tail-less, tummy-less, and generally bedraggled and NOT laying.
"Queen Soot" has been showing lovely Belina much more respect lately.

This post can also be found at Simple Lives Thursdays.

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