As anyone who keeps hens knows, they are very particular about which nesting boxes are suitable for laying eggs. Cluckingham Palace has multiple nesting boxes but not all are used. Some are apparently just “no good!”
This is the preferred nesting box.
It has been the favorite from day one and there have been many times when more than one girl has wanted to use it.
In a pinch this one is also acceptable.
Marigold demonstrates here.
But these nesting boxes, which were built into Cluckingham Palace from the beginning and are pretty standard nesting boxes…
.. have NEVER been used. They are just NO GOOD! Why? My first flock refused to have anything to do with them. I hoped perhaps the new girls would use them, but no. They agreed that this was NO place to lay an egg.
Originally they were separated into three boxes. They were smaller than the perfect nesting box so I took the dividing walls out. I thought that might make them more comfortable. But even when the other nesting boxes were occupied, no one ever laid an egg here. Blossom once laid an egg on the floor underneath…but even she wouldn’t consider using these nesting boxes.
Do not ask me why. Hens decide things and that is that. Two flocks have rejected these boxes. There is obviously something wrong with them. But what?
For years I have been reading that some people hang curtains in the nesting boxes. It gives the hen privacy and to be honest, looks adorable. I thought about it more than once, but I couldn’t see how it would make that much difference. There are no curtains on the “perfect” nesting box so they didn’t seem like a solution.
But, winter is coming and I had already decided to hang a curtain on the door to the outside run. It lets a lot of cold air into the coop and a curtain would help.
So I cut a towel and hung it. It is tied back for now until they get used to it. The idea is you close it slowly so they realize they can walk through it. By winter it should help keep drafts out.
Lucinda models coming in through the curtains.
How adorable is that? So I decided to go ahead and make curtains for the nesting boxes. Even if they never used them, it would still look cute.
I had towels I could cut…
..and this curtain rod is very simple to install. So why not?
Tie them back with a bit of lace and voila! I loved it. But would they?
Marigold has finished molting and is laying again. She checked them out.
“Are those curtains? For us?”
“This is nice.”
Blossom, who is the only other girl laying at the moment, liked them as well.
I have found eggs in these boxes every day since I hung the curtains. Apparently, curtains is exactly what they needed. Now, at long last, these nesting boxes are suitable for laying.
Chickens are the most amazing creatures!