Nest pads are used as a hygienic alternative to other nesting amendments. Straw, peat, and litter all work as nesting substrates, but hold more dirt and debris than nest pads, and often don’t allow eggs to roll out of the nest so easily, which can result in cracks and damage.
Nest pads are designed with a synthetic plastic that is stiff enough to create a surface on which eggs can easily roll, but it will still provide cushion as it falls from the hen and is transported to the egg collection area. Similarly, the raised surface allows dirt, debris, and manure to fall below the surface so they can’t cling to the egg as it dries.
Because of the regular use, nest pads tolerate a lot of wear and tear, and will have to be replaced.
Every 5-7 years. This can vary depending on breed of bird, cleaning method, and house environment.
How will I know?
When the pads develop flat spots that prohibit an egg from rolling smoothly on its own to the egg belt, the pads should be replaced.
How can I clean them?
Either in place with a portable power washer or removed and laid flat and washed with a hose. Apply a disinfectant after washing and prior to the next flock for improved biosecurity.
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