Thursday, January 29, 2009
My Favorite Inside Nest
An Easy to Clean Nest Option
My favorite inside nest is made of clay and sits unattached to its wire frame. The wire frame is a particularly good design as it holds the nest out from the cage wire thus mimimizing excrement deposit on the side of the cage. It also keeps the nest level and secure so chicks are less likely to fall out of the nest.
Since the clay nest is not attached to the frame, you can easily remove the whole nest whenever necessary to check hatching chicks or band them while leaving the frame in place in the cage. When the chicks age, the nests invariably become soiled. I simply remove the soiled nest and replace it with an identical fresh clay nest and clean nest pad. The chicks and the hen are much cleaner as the excrement on the used nest that will soil their bodies and feathers has been removed.
In this clay nest, I use a thick felt nesting pad that I purchase from ABBA products. It fits in so snug that I do not need to glue the nest pad to the nest. When the nest pad becomes soiled, I wash them in the automatic washer and dry them in the clothes dryer. Some of my nest pads have been washed numerous times.
Interestingly, as the fertile eggs begin to develop in the clay nest, I notice a reassuring warmth radiating from the nest like a little heater! The eggs are being mantained at a warm temperature even when the hen is off the nest.
I purchased these clay nests from Orchid Tree Exotics who I think have gone out of business. If anyone knows who sells these clay nests and wire frames, would you please send us the information as a comment to this post.