Tuesday, 26 February 2013

A Privacy Matter

No not for me. For the hens.

Since the big storm nearly a month ago the hens have been funny about laying. We thought that they had gone 'off lay' until we discovered a stash in the bushes that yielded 18 eggs! Unfortunately they have changed locations for the stash since and we cannot find them again.

I was reading through some chicken blogs (yes they are out there and make for fascinating reading) and Kathy from The Chicken Chick mentioned that she had recently made some curtains for her nesting boxes.

I am a quilter, no problem. I used up the leftover backing from the Winter Solstice quilt and promptly hung them over our two boxes. They hung a little too low so I had to re-jig it.

BEFORE                               AFTER
I am happy to say that Breanna has discovered that they give her the much needed privacy and she has started laying back in there.  I can only hope that the other girls will do the same.

Oh and we had another bad storm on Friday. This time we only lost one gum tree and the wind blew for only 6 hours. You can see in the AFTER photos above that the storm had just hit only about an hour after I took the BEFORE photo.

The wind and rain changed directions are got very intense at midday. The chickens were all out free ranging and I found Silver, Breanna and Washington all huddled on my doorstep. I brought them into the kitchen (never again - the poop mess was shocking!). 

I found the new pullets - Freckles and Roosevelt - safely under the care of Bluey in the branches of the fallen macadamia tree (since last storm these have become a great place to hang out). So I managed to herd them into the chook house and lock them in.

But that left Obama still out there in the storm. In my waterproof pants, oilskin jacket and Blundstones I went out twice and called her name and searched as best as I could. About an hour later (probably after laying an egg in one of the bushes) she turned up in the carport looking like this...

Poor little scruff. A bit worse for wear and sporting gum tree leaves as a new tail.
I brought her inside and toweled her dry.

I am linking up with 'New to Me' February at Celtic Thistle Stitches. A great challenge to try something 'new' in 2013.

and 'Clever Chicks' blog hop #23 with Kathy of The Chicken Chick. (a huge linky party)

The Chicken Chick
 You can find me at #201 #203 and #212 amongst all of the recipes.


  1. Aw - poor wet hen! Flora, my pet puddleduck doesn't really like the wet weather, although she loves taking a dip in the pond! I just adore your hen-curtains - I won't be showing Flora, or she'll be getting ideas!

  2. I'm happy the curtains worked for you! It can be very frustrating to have to hunt for eggs each day. I have one hen that always lays in the strangest spots. Maybe she needs a pretty curtain :)

  3. Poor wet chickies - love Obamas new tail though:)

  4. Huh! I never thought of curtains. I don't mind if my hens lay elsewhere in the summer because I love to be surprised by an unexpected flock of fluffy chicks. In the winter time my hens don't lay as often, so the eggs are easier to find if the hens stray. It's too cold for them to want to stray too far! I'll have to think about curtains if I get frustrated in the future though. Interesting idea.

    It's amazing, isn't it, how chickens aren't smart enough to come in out of the rain. I warned you that the silly things seem to be born with a death wish. ;) I must admit, though, that I have never resorted to bringing mine into the house. I'm not sure my cats would appreciate the company... :)

  5. Who would have thought hens need curtains? But hey - what pretty curtains they are!

    Glad they all made it through the wild weather!

  6. The curtains are a great idea--I need to try this for my girls, because they sometimes act restless around the nesting boxes. They will get in and out over and over before finally settling down. Thanks for stopping by and visiting my blog!:)

  7. This post is just wonderful, made my day :)

  8. Poor wet chickies! The curtains are sooo cute LOL
    There was a story about a similar situation on BH&G a while ago and I think Dr Harry said it was something to do with being clucky. That is what we have found, they are hoarding them so they can sit on them and when you take all the eggs they go find a new spot. We have also had problems when they are left out of the hen house for too long, I mean like weeks, and they start laying them where ever they want.
    I hope the chickies like the curtains and start laying there again!

  9. Would never have thought of curtains. Guess my grandma's hens are/were fine because their boxes are in a somewhat dark shed (they have a hole in the wall to enter their own little yard.

    I hope the storms will be over sometime. It all sounds scary and is frightening to watch by proxy.

  10. Well you certainly learn something new every day, curtains for chickens! Glad they did the trick.

    Thanks for linking up to New to Me in 2013, you are definitely having some great challenges since your move!

  11. now my bunny Colin glares at me if I go outside and he's in Poo Corner... maybe I should make him some curtains, though I'd be a bit worried he'd eat them! How cute are your chickens!

  12. Hooray! I made my first nest box curtains nearly four years ago out of burlap (what a mess) and the pretty ones evolved shortly thereafter. I'm so happy to know that this simple trick was all your hens needed to get back to work!

    Thanks for the shout-out and for sharing with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop this week!

    Kathy Shea Mormino
    The Chicken Chick


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