Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Nest Box Curtains

If you tell your friends that you are making curtains for your chicken nest boxes you will get a very funny look.  If you tell the lady at Hobby Lobby that you are purchasing fabric to make nest box curtains for the chicken coop you will get an even funnier look.  It all left me feeling a little like maybe I AM the crazy chicken lady.  :)
I still have some painting to do.  But here are the "Fall" nest box curtains.

But honestly they serve many beneficial purposes to the chickens and to me.
1. Curtains "hide" your broody hens.  We all know that what one chicken does the rest of the chickens soon want to do.  None of us need a coop full of broody hens.
2. Curtains provide a dark and private space.  Chickens love to hide their eggs and this helps them feel like they can hide.  Our nest boxes happen to be pretty open so I felt that the curtains would be very helpful in our coop.
3. Chickens often peck at other hens during the laying process.  This is called "vent pecking".  The curtains again hide the process making pecking less of an issue.
4.  When we open our nest box doors from the outside of the coop the chickens sometimes become a little startled.  The curtains have certainly helped so the chickens feel less unsure when those doors are open.
5. I wanted to hurry and get these curtains made before 5 new Cuckoo Marans Pullets arrive at our Hen House next week.  When our first 7 pullets came they liked to have little slumber parties in the nest boxes.  Of course they can leave quite a mess when they "roost" in a nest box overnight.  Now that I have the excelsior nest pads in my boxes I wanted to discourage the new pullets from hanging out in there and making a mess.

So...SEE!  Not entirely crazy after all.  :) 

I may tack back the corners of the nest box curtain openings just until the girls get the idea of the nest box curtains.

It was really a fun day of sewing.  I enjoyed making these curtains and am looking forward to making the Christmas curtains. 

If you would like to make your own, I have created a little graphic showing how I made mine.  Your measurements will vary slightly but hopefully this little pattern will help you get started on your own nest box curtains.  I have 6 nest boxes so the following pattern is for 6 openings.

Remember, you can click on the pattern above to see a larger version.  And you are welcome to right click on the picture and save it to your own computer.  Please let me know if you have any questions.

This last picture is just a view of the top sewing.  I have my curtains hanging on a very narrow curtain rod so the sewing along the top is for that rod.  Many people making next box curtains just staple the curtains to the top of the nest box area.  Because of how our coop is constructed that wasn't as easy for me to do.  The curtain rod worked very well.  And I will be able to easily remove the curtains and wash and store them for next Fall.

Do you have Nest Box Curtains in your coop?  I would love to see pictures.
Are you planning to make Nest Box Curtains?
Be sure to drop by our Facebook page to chat with me and show me pictures.

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