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Benefits of Chicken Coop Nesting Box Curtains

Hanging curtains across your chicken coop nesting boxes is not only fashionable, it's also functional. Here's why you need to hang some in your coop.

A few months after we started raising chickens back in the spring of 2009, I saw a coop with a valance over the row of nesting boxes in one of the chicken magazines I subscribe to.

I thought - what a cute idea. So I googled "chicken nesting box curtains" and got over 140,000 hits!

Wait...what? Who knew such a thing even existed?

I loved the idea though and do a fair bit of sewing, so I decided to make some curtains for my chicken coop too. 

I found some pretty red floral fabric and a curtain rod and marched down to the coop with my scissors and tape measure, ready to measure and cut the curtains and then bring them back to the house to sew them up.

Long story short, one staple gun and ten minutes later, the chickens had curtains, tiebacks and all.

Soon there was a waiting line to lay in the nesting boxes!  Well not really, but the chickens did seem to like them!

Over the next few years, the curtains have been ripped down and new ones put up many, many times.  It only takes a few minutes, I usually just staple new ones up, although finally one year I did install an actual curtain rod.

The curtains looked so cute and made collecting eggs even more of a joy than it already was, which I didn't even think was possible!

But back to that first year I put the curtains that point, I believed that the curtains were purely for me. I got enjoyment out of them, the girls didn't seem to mind them... no harm, no foul.

Benefits of Chicken Coop Nesting Box Curtains 

So imagine my surprise when I read shortly thereafter in an issue of Practical Poultry magazine that nesting box curtains actually have a function - and appeared in a newspaper article written about a backyard chicken keeper back in the 1970s.

But the history of nesting box curtains dates back further than that. Turns out that farmers and old timers would hang old burlap feed bags over  the nesting boxes. Sure, floral fabric is prettier, but it serves the same purpose.

Why Nesting Box Curtains?

  • Chickens prefer the most private, darkest areas they can find to lay their eggs
  • Curtains in the winter also help to keep the boxes warmer, preventing frozen and cracked eggs
  • Curtains help a broody keep her chicks warmer after they have hatched by retaining her body heat inside the box
  • Curtains can also help discourage multiple broodies. Broodiness is contagious to some extent, and the sight of a sitting hen can trigger the urge to sit in others. Blocking the other hens view of a broody can help prevent that.
  • Curtains, by blocking others view of a hen while she's laying, can also prevent vent pecking, an uncommon, but potentially serious occurrence which occurs when others see the red, swollen vent that pops out when a hen lays her egg and are tempted to peck at it.

I felt vindicated.  It appeared that my decision to dress up the coop a bit wasn't purely for MY enjoyment after all.  But instead the curtains had an actual function. So that's why you need chicken coop nesting box curtains! 

Now, each spring when I clean out the coop I rip down the old curtains and put up new ones. I use old tea towels, leftover fabric, even old men's flannel shirts one year. Sometimes I change them out for the different seasons - putting up holiday curtains for Christmas, for example.

I just got this spring's curtains up last weekend.   The girls took to them immediately. 

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