This isn't just some odd I-am-too-attached-to-the-chickens quirk (although, y'know, I'm not saying that's not also true.) Putting curtains over the hens' nesting boxes actually has significant benefits.
First, chickens like to lay their eggs in a dark and protected spot. Curtains make the nesting boxes a more appealing place to lay, reducing the chances that the ladies will decide to deposit their eggs somewhere I can't find them and/or will step on them. It will also supposedly deter them from sleeping in the nesting boxes, but thankfully we haven't had that problem.
Secondly, the curtains will help prevent a couple unwanted habits: namely, vent pecking and egg eating. Yes, in the right (wrong?) circumstances, chickens will eat eggs. Curtains keep the eggs a little bit hidden, and you know the old saying - out of sight, out of mouth. Vent pecking is when chickens notice the red, inflamed vent of a hen in the process of laying her egg, and decide to attack it like the evil little feathered dinosaurs they are. Again, if they can't see this happening, they don't think about it.
|As seen at the county fair. Those 4-H kids know what they're talking about.|
I made six little individual panels, and we stapled them up in the three nesting boxes.
The white spheres you're seeing in the boxes aren't eggs - they're golf balls. Chickens like to lay their eggs where others already have, so some sources say that putting in a decoy will encourage the hens to lay in the boxes. Also, now I have three fewer of Brett's golf balls cluttering up the house.
|Brett even added handles to the box under the roost. It's getting fancy in here!|