Hens like to lay eggs in soft, quiet nests. Straw and hay make nice bedding for nests. This time of year, there is an endless supply of tall, green grass. I cleaned out three of the nests and filled them with freshly cut grass to see if the hens would like it as a bedding material.
They aren’t filing any complaints with the management. And their eggs look really fresh laid on green grass.
I’m not surprised. Back in 2010, Sunflower made a nest in tall grass in the backyard behind the propane tank. Chickens have an affinity for thick grasses and brush. It makes you wonder if instinct has embedded in their little brains, images of green grass which they long for, even if they are born and raised in crowded broiler sheds.
Chickens know by instinct to run for cover if they see any large bird in the sky. They will go running for shelter even if a harmless heron flies low overhead. Somewhere in their brains, is the instinctual knowledge that big things flying overhead are not good. Perhaps millions of years of evolution has imprinted images of good things as well as scary things.