A few months after we started raising chickens, I saw a coop with a valance over the row of nesting boxes in one of the myriad of chicken magazines I subscribe to. I thought - what a cute idea. So I googled 'chicken nesting box curtains' and got over 140,000 hits! Wow! Who knew such a thing even existed ?
I do a fair bit of sewing so I decided to make some for my 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!
Over the next few years, the curtains have been ripped down and new ones put up. It only takes a few minutes, I usually just staple new ones up, although this spring I did install a 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!
|~spring 2013 curtains~|
But back to that first year I put the curtains up....at 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.
So imagine my surprise when I read in the current issue of Practical Poultry magazine that nesting box curtains actually have a function ! Not only do chickens prefer the most private, darkest areas they can find to lay their eggs, the curtains can actually encourage a broody hen, and by blocking their view of the eggs once they are laid, even partially, can help curtail egg eating.
I feel vindicated. It appears that my decision to dress up the coop a bit wasn't purely for MY enjoyment after all.
Each spring when I clean out the coop I rip down the old curtains (although being fabric they technically could be washed - but no thanks, I'll just staple up a new set each spring !). I just got this spring's curtains up last weekend. The girls took to them immediately.
Now if I can just find a valid reason for having bows on the nesting baskets....