Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Chicken Curtains

I made curtains for the chickens. Yes, really. Stop laughing, Mom.

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!
I'm thinking about adding some little tiebacks for the curtains, but that would be because I am slightly too obsessive about the chickens.


  1. We recently added three, 1 1/2 year old hens to our already flock of six, not quite a year old Red Sex Links. At first, they didn't get along AT ALL, our 1st six chickens bullying the newer chickens, then attacking each other. That seems to have calmed down quite a bit, but we noticed that we aren't consistently getting the 9 eggs a day that we're supposed to, and I found one crushed egg shell in one of the nesting boxes the other day. I read online, at mybackyardchickens.com and ourpetchickens.com (two of my favourite go-to sites), that putting a golf ball or blown out egg filled with mustard, might deter them from eating their eggs.

    Another suggestion was to put up curtains, and a Google Images search led me to your site. I love how you've made your curtains into panels.

    Do your chickens have any trouble getting into the nesting boxes?

    Did you do anything in particular to introduce your hens to the curtains?

    Thanks for all your help and the great ideas. I'm looking forward to scrolling through the rest of your blog.

    Yours truly.

    Ottawa, Ontario

    If you're interested, Ive posted about our new chickens on my Instagram account, just follow the links below. (There are a few other posts as well if you'd care to scroll back through my account, just look for the chicken pics).

    1 ~ https://instagram.com/p/BTEhHIEjnuu/

    2 ~ https://instagram.com/p/BTTkBrWDDp2/

    Thanks again!!