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Chicken Coop Curtains "Pretty with a Purpose"

Hanging curtains in your chicken coop isn't just pretty, it can also help to keep your coop warmer in the winter - or cooler in the summer.

When you live in cold climates, keeping your chicken coop as warm as possible in the winter (without using actual electric heat, that is) is critical. 

Chickens are fairly cold-hardy, but once the temperatures start to dip into the single digits, they appreciate some warmth in the coop, especially at night while they are sleeping.

Eliminating drafts in the coop is crucial, as is adding some nice warm, insulating bedding on the floor like straw.

Some people choose to insulate their coops or stack straw bales along the walls. Hanging drapes over the little door the chickens use can help keep drafts out during the day.

But one thing many chicken keepers forget about is the windows.

Chicken Coop Curtains "Pretty with a Purpose"

Rule of thumb is that 1/5 of your chicken coop walls should be comprised of vents or windows. This is to provide adequate ventilation to the coop, especially in the summer, and also to allow the sunlight in to help warm the coop in the winter.

But did you know that structures, like houses and coops, lose a large amount of heat through the windows? Single-paned windows, which is what most chicken coops have, lose considerably more heat than double-paned windows like most of our homes have.

So your coop is likely losing between 10-30% of the body heat that your chickens are generating overnight while they sleep through the windows.

Side note: ten chickens produce the same amount of heat as a regular 100 watt  light bulb.

So, of course letting all that body heat just escape through the windows is not optimal. Optimally, you want sunlight to stream in through the windows, warming the coop all day, and then to capture that heat from the sun as well as the chickens' body heat inside the coop at night.

So what's the solution?

Coop curtains, of course!

Heavy "drapes" made of wool or thick towels are best. But any type of fabric that you can pull shut across the windows in your coop at night is going to be beneficial and help to keep the coop - and your chickens - warmer.

They don't have to be fancy. But that never hurts!

I love these buffalo check curtains I made for the coop this winter. I still need to back them with a second layer to make them even more effective at insulating the window area, but for now they're better than nothing.

And I love these curtains rods I found with teeny clips to clip the fabric to. This makes it super easy to un-clip and launder, or discard and replace, the curtains when they need cleaning! 

In fact, I used the same rods on my girls' nesting box curtains.

If you live in a cold climate, I highly recommend covering the coop windows at night. You can even just use an old towel hanging on two nails - trust me, your chickens won't care!

And if you live in a warm climate, then curtains that you can pull closed in the summer to block the heat of the sun  and keep the coop cooler are also a good idea.

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