Thursday, March 27, 2014

It's curtains for you, chicken!

Don't worry, it's not as drastic or blood thirsty as the title suggests.  This handsome black chicken is Brenna...she's loud, greedy, a bit bossy but quite a character.  I also suspect she might be an egg eater!  She does all the right things...sits in the nesting box, makes appropriate noises then struts about looking very pleased with herself.  But when I check the box, there's just a soggy mess and bits of shell.  What little is left of the shell is quite hard, so she's not laying soft eggs that fall apart, and anyway, there's no evidence of yolk anywhere.  I did some searching online, and the only suggestion that I thought might work was curtains on the nesting boxes. The idea is that the interior is dark so the naughty hen can't see her egg and the curtains are meant to be on the inside and hanging down a bit, hence restricting the hen's movement....if she gets up and tries to turn around and fossick for the egg, hopefully she'll bump into the fabric and be put off going further.  My nesting boxes are covered cat litter boxes, and where the lid joins the base is too low to hang the fabric on the inside, and being plastic, no easy way to attach the this will have to do.  I don't know if it works yet, as Brenna decided today she was not going to produce ! So I'll have to wait and see if this works, and maybe try to work out a way to have the curtain hang down inside as well.
Early morning in the hen house.. with Lola photo bombing from the left
 Apart from annoying the chooks in the early morning, I've done some more dyeing in a jar.  This time some red cabbage plus a few red onion skins.  I folded the cloth around a lid as a resist, and I'm hoping I'll end up with a circle on the cloth.  It's only been brewing since the weekend, so I'll give it a few more days.  I hope the rich colour lives up to it's promise and leaves a good colour on my fabric.
I've not checked the blue -with -turmeric- to -get- green  cloth yet, maybe a job for tomorrow.

I go to a sewing group once a week, where we all just work on our own hand stitching projects, knitting or crochet.  On Monday night I quickly put this little cloth together so I'd have something to do.  I cut a number of patches roughly the same size and basted them onto a background cloth. As most were from thrifted clothing, I decided to make a feature of the hems and seams. I bundled these predominantly whites and creams into a jar of weeds and rainwater and left them overnight, then rinsed and ironed them, all ready for stitching on.  A couple of the pieces were already dyed so took the colour more strongly.  If you're looking closely for that stitching it's not there....I chatted all morning and did no work at all! Never mind, I now have a little cloth all ready to start on next week.

And I finished the prayer flag I posted about last week, and a friend snapped it up right away as a housewarming gift....

It has rained heavily on and off all week and more is predicted.....lovely for the garden, as I've just planted out silver beet, bok choy and cabbage seedlings....I hope they don't drown ....and my water tanks are full and overflowing.  There's been good steady rain out to the west as well, where farmers were suffering badly from drought, so it's good all round.  I have a day home tomorrow, so at the top of my to-do list will be the pink quilt which I haven't had a chance to work on this week.

take care, see you next time......


  1. I can not wait to hear how the curtains go

  2. I think she's gone on strike Dallas....the others have continued to lay, not seeming to mind the curtains, but not Brenna!

  3. Hi Nanette, I love reading about your chickens -- keep us posted on Brenna's curtain! She's got a mind of her own, that girl. We are on the same wave-length again -- just bought red cabbage at the store... Yours looks like it's going to have a great outcome! Lastly, that prayer flag is lovely, what a nice housewarming gift it will be. xoxo

    P.S. Looks like some nice greens there on the new piece you laid out.

    1. (Just as an aside....I did it! I've ben fiddling and formatting trying to get the reply feature to work on each comment...yay!)

      I'll do a post later on my cabbage dye, it came out a pretty pale pink. Must be the lighting on the new piece, mostly tan shades unfortunately. No luck with green yet. I was happy my little prayer flag found a home, I haven't heard yet how it was received.

  4. lol love this!
    I was wondering if you could use self adheisive velcro strips to hang cloth within the entrance to the litter boxes?
    A strip stuck above the opening on the inside and then another piece, prob not adheisive, stitched onto a flap sized curtain to press in position, more like a fabric or lace even, door curtain?
    If I were you Id double sided tape the adheisive velcro as an additional back up though in that case.
    I use the adheisive velcro tape for work alot and always find it really only stays put, when I've added a double sided tape to its sticky part.
    How odd that she may be crushing or eating her own eggs!

    1. Liniecat, you're a genius, I hadn't thought of self adhesive Velcro, and thanks for the tip about adding doubIe sided tape. 'll get some today and try it. Some hens do become egg eaters, an egg might be broken accidently, especially if there's a couple of them wanting the same nest box with egg/s already in it, then they have a taste and they're hooked. Junkie hens! Some poultry 'experts' recommend culling, but I'd rather not do that.


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