It was a beautiful weekend. One with sunshine and white puffy clouds in the blue sky.
Do you like to do it yourself? I do. I hate spending money on something I feel I can build myself. Especially anything that is going to be used for messy animals such as our chickens. Plus I really love creating things on my own. So when I searched for nesting boxes and saw hundreds of ideas, I finally decided I wanted to build my own. Our hens aren’t laying yet but it would be nice for them to have a good place to sleep. So that is what I worked on this weekend with R. I had planned to pant the coop because it desperately needs a touch up and I wanted to add some girly touches to it, but there was rain forecasted Sunday and I didn’t want to risk ruining my paint job. So I decided to postpone that for a sunny weekend with no rain predicted.
We headed to Home Depot which is like R and I’s happy place. We love Home Depot. Tools, wood, outdoor stuff, what DIY person wouldn’t love it??!! Of course we got distracted before we even reached the lumber department and ended up with some lavender, a fountain kit that R wanted and some succulents/cacti that I ended up putting in mason jars as fun indoor plants.
Once to the lumber department, we debated what kind of plywood to use for our nesting boxes. After much debate we decided on sanded pine plywood. We wanted something we could drill screws into or pound nails into so we went for a little thicker. We had Home Depot cut the plywood sheet three times for us so we could fit it into my car because we forgot to bring the truck. Whoops. It really wasn’t expensive. We already had the tools we needed, so we just got some nails, screws, plywood, semi-gloss paint and some wood glue just in case. Really inexpensive!
Because we don’t have a huge run for them yet (another DIY sunny weekend project), we brought the ladies into the yard for some free ranging fun. We have a great fence that goes all around our yard and lots of tall green grass with bugs to find. Arya (youngest dog) did a great job at keeping an eye on them. I had to reprimand her a few times for herding them just for fun (not hurting them just herding them) but she seemed to understand that her role was to watch them. They loved exploring the yard in a big flock. They stuck reasonably close to the shop but got brave a few times as they headed towards the front of the house. But each time they strayed too far Arya brought them back closer again. She sometimes is a great dog!
Back to the nesting boxes. We didn’t follow any plans at all. We roughly decided to make them 9 inches tall x 12 inches long x 12 inches deep. We used a sex-link to measure at first (she was not happy about it) but we also had to make them bigger because the sex-links aren’t done growing yet. The doors to our coop are 12 inches tall and 18 inches tall, so we wanted them to be easy to clean and move around the coop if need be. We decided to make two in one type deal. We measured them 24 inches long, added a divider in between, made the sides and back 9 inches tall and added a 2 inch piece in the front so their nests won’t fall out. We started off with nails but realized they were splitting the plywood and moved to screws. Easier to control and back up if need be. Once the power tools came out, especially the whine of the saw, the old lady dog decided it was time to go back inside and watch from the safety of her doggy door.
I sanded down each piece to make it smooth. The last thing I need is a chicken injured or myself injured by splinters. My favorite tool we have is our sander. That thing is a ton of fun! I painted it all by myself while R worked on a fountain project. I am pretty proud of the finished product. It is a bit rough, you can see where we had some cutting issues a bit and moved off our lines but it is still super cute! I don’t think the chickens will notice the flaws at all.
I am not sure if you can see, but there is glitter all over the front. I decided to glamour it up a bit and told R it would definitely help egg production. Who wouldn’t want to lay eggs in this fabulous set up??
As a bonus I used a few spare pieces to make a good roosting bars. I had made a few out of branches but the chicks are already out growing those because they like to keep their feet flat more than curled. I just sanded the heck out of a long piece of plywood about 4 inches wide and added legs. I used semi-gloss paint on both the nesting boxes and roosting bar for cleaning purposes.
I still have plenty of plywood left over to make more nesting boxes and a few more roosting bars. They both were really fun projects!
R also made a fountain for me out of old planters I had lying around. It turned out very pretty with lights and now sits on the front porch as a peaceful thing to turn on when we BBQ or eat dinner out there.
I also got in some beautiful pictures with my DSLR of the sunset and of the puffy storm clouds rolling in Sunday evening. It was a really great weekend full of sunshine, fun projects and lots of laughter. I always seem to be happiest when I am working away on a DIY or riding my horse or just getting to spend time at home on a sunny day.
I wasn’t ready for Monday though. It somewhat helped that my hyacinth finally bloomed beautiful pink flowers this cloudy Monday morning.
What DIY projects have you completed recently?