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Aromatherapy for chickens! Fresh or dried herbs in your nesting boxes not only work as insecticides, but also have anti-bacterial properties, and can act as natural wormers, anti-parasitics, insecticides, rodent control, stress relievers and laying stimulants. Here is a partial list of common herbs and flowers and their beneficial properties:

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Features of a Good Bird Nest Box: This infographic has tons of information. Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Features of a Good Bird Nest Box: This infographic has tons of information. Cornell Lab of Ornithology

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British Trust for Ornithology - DIY instructions for small hole nest boxes ideal for blue tits and great tits

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Nice Nest box One nesting box for every 2-4 hens. Size: Nest boxes should be big enough for your hen to stand in comfortably. Usually 12 x 12 x 12 inches is adequate, but building bigger is usually a good idea.

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Size: Nest boxes should be big enough for your hen to stand in comfortably Nesting material: dry wood shavings over straw. Often a roost bar or step is added in front of the box to give the hen a place to jump to before entering the nest box. Also a "lip" is added to the front of the nesting box to keep the bedding material in place make sure they aren't too high for the hens but not higher than the roosts or you'll have hens sleeping inside the nest boxes.

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Nesting Boxes with wire bottoms....like this, but make removeable bottom? It's just too darn cold for the babes here in early spring

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They will help a laying hen feel safe and relaxed while she is sitting, and calm a broody hen, as well as repel rodents, flies and other parasites. Broodies have a tendency to get mites and other bugs since they dont get out to dust bathe often, if at all, and the warm, dark space underneath them is a breeding ground for parasites. The herbs safely and naturally avoid that.

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