If you want to
keep your cabinet
walls cleaner and be able to easily take the complete nest from the
cabinet without too much fuss, you could try this.
Plastic nest pans can fit into a margarine or yoghurt container; they fit even better into the container used for Chinese take-away. In the bottom of the container you put some sand or stone to weigh it down, and a little water (enough to just wet the sand) to create humidity which the hen likes. If you have a mite problem you can also place a little insect powder or vasaline (petroleum jelly), on the inside edges or bottom of the nest pan.
I always remove my nest, at 9 days to test for eggs that are clear, and also if I top up young birds when a mother isnít coping. I do the same when ringing and when cleaning the cage just before the young leave the nest. This is at about 24 days and you need to be careful that the young donít decide to jump or fly.
Another advantage of the movable nest, is that if your hen decides to build anywhere else, you can easily shift your nest to accommodate.
For nesting material, I cut Hessian into 100mm (4Ē) squares and then pull apart; I just put this through the wires or in a wire container hung outside. When the nest is near completion, I provide old hessian type carpet underlay, teased out like cotton wool. Donít use cotton waste material as this will catch around legs and cut off the circulation etc...
Author: P Ailwood - Published 10/10/03