Curtains On the Nest Box? Oh Yeaahhh!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Grace11, Sep 14, 2012.

  1. Grace11

    Grace11 Songster

    May 5, 2011
    Some of my 19 pullets have been chasing the lowers of the pecking order out of the nest boxes. I dont have enough boxes yet, but thats being rectified. There are now 5 for them and 4 more getting fixed and will be in tonight/tomorrow.

    I am using plastic storage boxes tipped on their side and bolting a short board across the bottom lip of the crate so as to keep the straw/hay/what have you in. Eventually they will be in a 3 X 3 configuration but for now they are all on the ground and will have a "landing board" placed in front of those in the upper tiers.

    I made 2 curtains yesterday and placed them on 2 of the boxes and left the other 2 as was (just to see if they liked it). The vote for the whole days egg laying was wings down the curtained boxes. [​IMG] [​IMG]ALL eggs laid today were in the curtained boxes. I already curtained the uncurtained ones and added one more box and will have the others ready by midday tomorrow.

    Since these plastic storage crates have a "lip" on them, I used it to advantage to bolt the keeper board and the curtains onto the crate. The kind I had needed a 1 1/2 inch long bolt and I also used a washer with each bolt and of course a nut. The width of the lip will determine the size of bolt one would use. I used 2 giant size jeans I got at thrift store for 4$ total. The legs alone made 4 curtains, the first cut off with the hem meant a little less sewing on those pieces since the hem was the attachment point for the curtain at top of crate. I hemmed around so there wasnt any raw edges visible from outside and sewed 4 long skinny "troughs" for cutting though them up the curtain so they werent solid, they were in like 4 pieces hanging down after cutting. The troughs were where I cut between the lines of sewing to keep the fabric from fraying much after being cut. I made a slightly larger "hem" on those that were cut higher up the pants legs so there was a nice wider part to bolt to the crate at the top. I used an extremely sharp knife edge scissors to cut a tiny hole in that wider hemmed part, push the bolt thru it with a washer to cover the fabric hole and placed the bolt in the drilled hole I had predrilled. Do NOT try to drill a hole thru the fabric, it just winds the fabric up and may get one hurt. Don't ask.

    The rest of those large jeans made the rest of the curtains with judicious cutting and sewing, some were a little wonky from being cut from the crotch area, but they are chickens, they dont care!

    The board across the bottom was attached much the same as the curtains, drill hole thru board and lip and attached with a similar arrangement of bolt/washer/nut. (4 bolts per board and each curtain) I used a rather thin plywood I had scraps that were suitable after a bit of trimming with a jigsaw. I am going to try one with a piece of one of the boxes lids instead of the wood. I think that might work very well and be easier to cut, but may not be up to the weight of a big BO standing on the edge making up her mind if she wants in or out.....

  2. Cool! I've thought about this before because the ducks like to bother my girlies in their boxes, and I thought it might also help with my *stupid* dog who likes to eat eggs. I'll definitely get out the sewing machine and try it sometime.

    Thanks for all the great info too! :thumbsup


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