Sunday, January 25, 2009
Privacy Curtain for Open-Backed Cage Nests
If Momma Isn't Happy, No One Is Happy!
The most basic instinct of the canary hen who has new chicks is to protect them from harm. This means she will sit and sit until she perceives it is safe to get off the nest to gather food and feed them. The more she is aware of people in the room and even anyone looking her way, the more frightening her environment becomes so she sits so tight even after you leave the room that the chicks fail to thrive.
In addition to taming the hen that I mentioned in an early blog post, you can greatly increase her perceived safe environment by putting a curtain over the open side of her outside nest. Some outside nests have a solid back and do not need a curtain but other brands have open plastic bars. The open back allows her to observe your coming and going and can make her fearful as she is unsure when you might pop into the room.
Her security level will go up if you make her a privacy curtain! For the curtain, I cut a six inch square piece of scrap material that is large enough to cover the nest's open backside. Then I attach a piece of elastic about seven inches long to both of the fabrics outside top corners as shown in the photo.
To hang the curtain, put the top of the fabric cover along the top of the backside of the nest and stretch the elastic piece down so that the elastic fits snugly around the bottom of the backside door as shown in the second photo. The top of the fabric and the elastic band will keep the curtain firmly in place. Having a privacy curtain will keep her from seeing aviary activity and will keep momma happy!