Lately we’ve been getting a lot of broken eggs in the nest box. We have five hens sharing one box and I think it was just too crowded. At least we hope that’s what’s going on and not that we have an egg eater.
We decided to build a new nest box for them. It’s a free-standing box that holds three nests. It took me most of Saturday to build with Rick’s help, but I think it turned out pretty well.
I started with a 1x3x8, a 4′ x 8′ piece of plywood that had an exterior finish on one side, some scrap lumber we had around the garage.
Rick was picking up more stone, so I drew the pieces I needed up on the plywood and cut them out with the jigsaw. We miraculously got the camera to work, but no one was around to take pictures of me with the jigsaw. My lines weren’t perfectly straight, but I figured the chickens wouldn’t notice.
I used some scrap pieces of 2×4 for the legs and attached them to the base.
By then the boys and I needed lunch and Rick came back with a load of stone, so I took a break. After the stone was on the ground and everyone had been fed I went back to work cutting the pieces for the interior of the box.
I was glad to have Rick around for the assembly. Some things would have been really difficult to manage by myself. Here’s the basic construction nearly complete. Just needs the last side and the roof.
I really tried hard not to over-engineer this project, as I tend to usually do. When we took down the old nest box from the side of the coop, Rick commented that it was a virtual bomb shelter for the hens. Haha. Well, this one is sturdy and I hope will be functional. See my sketch? Not too over-engineered, right?
When we originally built the coop, we placed it next to the house. And since our house is white with cream-colored trim, we left it cream-colored. But since we were remodeling the coop a bit and it’s been moved to another part of the yard now, I really wanted to paint the nest box and the chicken coop some cute colors.
While I was painting the roof and in between coats on the nest box, Rick went after some too-long screws along the inside of the box with his Dremel tool.
After the roof was attached and the second coat of paint was drying, our neighbors came home. They had left in the morning as I was setting out the plywood on the saw horses. They were amazed that I had built the box!
We set the box in the chicken yard and immediately one of the hens took notice. She tried to jump up and hit her head on the roof, which was overhanging a bit too far. Rick trimmed it back a bit and then they were able to get in without much trouble.
We intentionally made it lower to the ground so the boys could help collect eggs. The chickens are getting used to it. I was afraid at first that we’d have a revolt or that I made it entirely too small (the boxes are a cozy 11″ x 12″), but on Sunday they all hopped in (for some it took a couple tries) and took a turn. We are probably going to locate it a bit differently than it is in the picture so they can have a bit more privacy, but so far so good. Now I’m chomping at the bit to repaint the coop to match.
Did you complete any projects this weekend?
This post was part of the Food Soil Thread blog party!