Ok, so maybe you’re looking at your screen right now and thinking, “Curtains in a chicken coop?”, but I promise you, they do have a reason! Not only that, but for y’all who enjoy a good DIY project (myself included!), these are perfect for your coop. You can go all out and sew up some fancy curtains and hang them from a rod, or you could rough it and use old feed bags stapled to your boxes, but no matter what you choose, they all serve the same purpose: privacy.
What’s the need for curtains?
When a chicken lays an egg, it’s quite stressful. A hen always searches for a safe, secluded place where she won’t be disturbed to lay her egg. Of course, you want your chickens to lay their eggs in the nesting boxes that you’ve provided, not in a random bush in the woods, so making the boxes as comfortable as possible is key. Herbs in the boxes is a good idea, as the herbs make a more relaxed environment. Also, making sure the boxes are the right size is important, so that way the hen can comfortably move around. The curtains help to provide the privacy needed for a hen to comfortably lay her egg. They hang over the boxes to provide seclusion from the “predators” the hen is trying to hide from, while keeping her relaxed. A relaxed hen lays quicker and less stressfully, which is a good thing. Getting your hens in and out of the boxes allows for less or no nesting box quarrels, along with more exercise time for the hens.
Of course, you probably could buy curtains from a store, but I think it’s easier to make your own. The curtains can be made from old feed bags, fabric scraps, old towels, clothing, or any other material you may have lying around. For easy cleaning, you can hang them on a curtain rod, or simply staple them to the boxes.
If you have a hand with sewing, these curtains I made will be good for your coop as well. It’s an easy hem along the sides to keep the curtains from fraying, nothing to crazy! You can hand stitch them or machine sew, whichever is better for you. If sewing isn’t your thing, using the fabric still is an option, but the fabric will fray, and I worry about the chickens pecking parts of the fray and accidentally eating some.
To start, I measured how long my nesting boxes were (all the way across), and then the length downwards. My dimensions happened to be 39 inches across and 12 inches down. After the measuring part was over, actually making the curtains was pretty simple. After cutting out your fabric, there’s an option between hemming the edges, but I choose not to. It’s not the most necessary, as we’re making curtains for a chicken coop, but if you want the most durable curtains, doing a little hem (hand-sewing and machine both work) would be a good option. After that, I laid out my fabric and measured 11 1/2 inches (the size of each of my individual nesting boxes, which is about the average size of nesting boxes) and cut halfway (5 3/4) to make an opening, repeating three times as I have three nesting boxes on each side of my coop. What this does is it allows for the “tied” curtain look. Not only does it look cute, but it allows you to open the curtains all day and close them at night, or just for looks.
Next comes the sewing part, but it’s extremely simple. I sewed on a small 3 1/2 inch fabric strip with a snap on it to allow the curtains to close. I sewed the strip in the middle of each curtain an inch in, then sewed on a snap on the edge of the strip and on the back of the curtain so that way you can snap the strap onto the curtain. Repeat this on all the curtain flaps. This step is optional, but as I mentioned earlier, it really makes it look cute ans serves a purpose.
After your curtains are cut (and sewed if you chose that step), the last step would be to staple them in your coop. If you want to be fancy, go all out and make the curtains so that way they can hang on a curtain rod! The rod would make it easier to wash the curtains, but the easier way defiantly would be stapling!
I hope you and your chickens enjoyed this easy DIY, and I would love to see pictures of your nesting box curtains on Instagram, so be sure to tag me @dancingwchickens! Happy chickening!
Dancing with Chickens