Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Backyard DIY Part 3- Chicken Nesting Box

Part 3 of my DIY Weekend involved building a nesting box. I left this to last because I had put qa lot of thought into how I was going to build it. 

When I first bought my block, it had not fences and people would often dump rubbish on it. Usually cans, wrappers and the occasional random item. One day I discovered a wooden drawer a passer by had gifted me with. Whilst old, it is in perfect condition, so I kept it to use for a project. I was thinking it'd screw some wooden legs on it and make it into a planter box. 

My dad then suggested that I should use it as a nesting box. The drawer is so old, any toxins in the wood would be long gone, so perfect and safe for chickens. 

I cut four thicker lengths of bamboo about 40cms long to make corner posts, four long lengths for 'beams' and floor 'stabilisers' and four short lengths for 'beams' and floor 'stabilisers'. I then assembled inside the drawer, as show above to ensure all the pieces fit. Several had to be trimmed to ensure they were the correct length. I then drilled holes in the ends and connected all the pieces with zip ties.

Next I drilled holes along the top and bottom pieces and inserted thin pieces of bamboo the entire length of the box. Unfortunately I didn't take a photo of this step. The thin lengths of bamboo gave additional support to the structure.  I planned to weave very thin pieces of bamboo through the supports to create something like a woven basket. I wove about half of the rear wall before deciding that it was too time consuming and I couldn't get a tight enough weave. I then considered using rags and doing a cloth weave, but I didn't want to waste my cleaning rags. Then I remembered that as a kid, my neighbours and I used to make huts out of branches with paperbark woven between the branches. I thought that the same technique could be used for the nesting box. And it did.

The completed nesting box is a little messy-looking but I like it. And the chooks seem to like it too.

Chooks exploring their new equipment

All three DIY projects in the coop. 

The girls roosting on the nesting box,
one chook is in the nesting box. 
Now all I have to do is wait until the girls are old enough to start laying and there will be fresh eggs to be enjoyed.

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