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This straw nest is typical of a style seen in many rural houses up to
the 20th century. It is 45cm (18 inches) high and would have housed a
single laying hen. It was a safe night-time home for the valuable hen
and a convenient place for the housewife to collect eggs. With minimum
effort, the housewife could ensure that the chickens produced more than
enough eggs to feed her family. Surplus eggs were sold at the market or
preserved for later use. Egg money was an important part of the
household income. Hen's nests raised ensured the protection of the hen
from foxes and the eggs from vermin. This nest was made by the renowned
craftsman, Ted Kelly of Ballintogher, Co. Sligo.