My pullets are now about 16 weeks old. Time to install some nest boxes!
(Full Disclosure: The Mister did most of the cutting and assembly for me! I don’t have much skill with power tools.)
First, I found 4 empty litter buckets like this:
I took the lids off and had The Mister cut access holes. Then I screwed the 4 buckets into a 4×4.
A frame of 2x4s, a hinged plywood roof, and viola! Nest boxes! All the materials were on-hand, so this project didn’t cost a dime!
After this picture was taken, I used the smaller pieces of the hinged lids to make a lip on the front, to keep the hens from kicking their nesting material out. I also put hay in the buckets, but the chickens ate it all pretty quickly… silly birds.
Now I can collect eggs without walking through the poop in the run!
How do YOU use repurposed materials around your property?
Rain continued to fall for much of Sunday, but during the dry times I worked on my chicken coop and run. The run itself is constructed with heavy wire pig panels. It will certainly keep large predators out, but it won’t keep the chickens in! Over the last week I lined the run with deer netting to keep sparrows and crows out, then with heavy poultry wire to keep the chickens in. I mounted a gate to serve as a temporary door, but The Mister is going to build me a better door that will fit the opening properly.
The chickens were VERY happy to go out to their new space! It’s about six times larger than the outdoor brooder they’d been living in. They’re running around, stretching their wings, and chasing down ants. Their entire run has a plywood roof, which keeps the entire area about 10 degrees cooler than the rest of the yard! Right now they’re using a 4 gallon galvanized waterer, but soon I’ll mount the 5 gallon nipple waterer made from a kitty litter bucket.
Moving the chickens out of the brooder also meant that the ducklings could move into that brooder! The six ducklings have been living in the house (in a brooder, of course) for the past three weeks and they smell awful. Poultry and waterfowl have a unique talent for stinking up an entire house.
Now all of my birds are safe, have more space, and are out of my dining room!
We have no cats – I’ve sworn them off after a few bad experiences. I’m open to the possibility of a barn cat in the future, but no more indoor cats, thankyouverymuch.
My parents have cats, though, and they save empty litter buckets for me since they’re so darn useful! I use them to store feed ingredients and homemade laundry soap, as small trash cans, and now as a chicken waterer! I bought some poultry nipples on ebay, had The Mister drill some holes, and screwed the nipples in. The waterer is upside down here — the red nipples are the bottom and the chickens drink from those.
There’s been a fairly large fire in my region of the desert this past week, which is a big part of why I haven’t been posting. We haven’t been evacuated, but it’s a possibility. A news article I read says that the fire now covers 6000-8000 acres and still isn’t contained at all. I can see the flames from my back door, especially at night. I’m not gonna lie – I’m worried. Today has been extremely windy.. the fire is still almost 40 miles away, but it’s just a stretch of flat, dry desert with extremely flammable brush. Thoughts/prayers are very much appreciated.
In other news, we brought home some ducklings a few days ago. There are six 5-day-olds and two 8-week-olds. They are mallards and are just beautiful. More pictures to come when I’m not posting from my phone!
The sun was setting and the moon was rising as I trekked out to paint my chicken coop. It’s been too hot to paint during the day, and I can’t go out while the kids are awake anyway.
I’m really excited for the supermoon tomorrow night. It should be beautiful, especially with our lack of city lights! I only wish we had a telescope.
I got the inside and outside of the coop painted. Once we get the roof and door finished, we’ll be ready for the chicks to move out of their brooder.
The sun had been down for over an hour by the time I finished, but the moon was bright enough to paint by. I played music and relaxed while I painted. It was a wonderful and relaxing moment at the end of a hectic day!