Nesting, nesting, one two three

If you’re the super anal-retentive type you might have noticed that in my last post I talked about re-doing both the chicken run AND the coop- and then proceeded to only show you the changes made to the run. Yes, I did that on purpose. If a post starts to feel too long I try to break it down for you. I don’t want to be bored writing it, and I definitely don’t want you to be bored reading it! So this is PART 2 of the chicken update=)

Like I mentioned previously, our four new hens are already laying eggs. When Mark built our chicken coop ages ago he created nesting boxes in the little attic space with a little triangular latching door so that we could reach right in to collect the bounty.

BEFORE:

It was a super-cute & practical way to use what otherwise would be wasted space- there was just one problem. The new chickens didn’t have the same respect for his craftsmanship that I did! During their first night in the coop one of the new hens ignored the cozy “nesting loft” and laid an egg on the floor and then proceeded to eat it. When Mark discovered the horrific carnage that resulted (eggshells gone wild!) he was majorly pissed off. You’d think the chickens had personally insulted him. So yeah, Plan A didn’t go over so well!

Plan B involved two 2×4’s, a sheet of plywood, a couple hinges, and some late-night (and most likely neighbor-irritating) sawing & hammering.

AFTER:

Despite the fact that I am completely biased, I can still tell that this is ridiculously clever! Mark framed the box top and bottom with the two by fours and then cut the plywood to size and attached it on top of the frame. He still plans to add some basic weather-proofing by finishing off the corners and putting something waterproof on top, but that’s not priority right now because it’s never going to rain ever again. Seriously, the high temp for tomorrow is 108. 108! Kill me now. The nesting box measures 24″x18″ and a divider on the inside separates it into two separate rooms for chicken-business.

(yes, that is chicken poop in there. those dang birds have no respect for quality carpentry!)

The lip on the edge keeps any laid eggs from rolling out of the boxes and smashing on the floor below. He raised the boxes up off the main level of the coop to discourage the hens from sleeping in them. We added a couple of plain golf balls to each nesting box to encourage the chickens not only to lay in the appropriate spot, but also to not peck at their eggs (can you tell the egg-eating incident was traumatic? I still don’t think Mark has fully recovered). Apparently when chickens peck at the golf balls and nothing happens, they realize how pointless it is to go around pecking at white orbs, and start leaving any and all white orbs alone. Chicken psych 101.

(this size of nesting box is perfect for a full-grown regular laying hen like our new ones)

(this is the view from inside the coop. Mark is planning to add a third roosting bar at some point to accommodate our growing flock)

Nesting Box Budget Breakdown:

  • $5- 2 2″x4″x8′ boards at $2.50 apiece from Lowes
  • $12.50- 1 3/8″x4’x8′ plywood panel from Lowes
  • $3- 2-pack of galvanized metal hinges

TOTAL: $20.50

Do you like it as much as the Henriettas, Butch, Gooseys and Camos seem to?

xo,

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