A Lizard canary hen on the nest, nothing unusual about that. Now take a closer look: the nest is on the floor. Why some hens do this I don’t know, but I trust their instincts.
Every year I have a few hens that decide that they know best. They don’t want to use the nest pan fixed to the side of the cage; they want to be on the floor. I have three choices:
- Insist that I know better. I can place the nest and dummy eggs in the nest pan, and hope that her maternal instincts will get the better of her personal preferences.
- Leave well alone, but that will make it impossible to clean the cage over the next five weeks.
- Compromise and create a nest in a glass dish on the floor. The hen will build her nest where she wanted it, but I can move it, complete with eggs or chicks, when I want to clean the cage.
The dishes I use are glass ash trays, the type you used to see in pubs. Cheap, hygienic, heavy and toughened. They stay put, and I don’t have to worry about potential breakages. I use Pritt Stick to hold the nest liner in place; it’s water soluble, and easy to wash clean after the chicks have left the nest.
Conclusion: a happy hen and if the hen is happy, I am happy.
Addendum 13 May 2016:
Dave Allen has sent me photos of the floor pans he describes in the comments below. A different answer to the same problem. It’s always interesting to see other people’s ideas.