Did you know that? It’s true. They are the new . . . whatever for the season. In the past month I have seen an article about backyard chickens in Natural Awakenings, Your Household Helper by the Post and Courier, and how to build your own coop (or tractor – no joke, they can be called chicken tractors) in Lowe’s Creative Ideas for Home and Garden magazine. A local 4-H leader even spoke about raising back yard chickens at Charleston Horticulture Society’s yearly Plantasia event a couple of weekends ago. As I don’t have any chickens, YET, I decided I would live vicariously through all of you backyard chickeners (yeah, that’s probably not a word but I am going to roll with it) and impart a little nesting knowledge I learned last weekend.
Apparently, chickens can get sick and most of the time this is due to some sort of a bug infestation – fleas, chiggers, other nasty crawly bugs. Even if you clean up your chicken, which I don’t know how you do that, you will still have a problem because the nasty bugs can continue to dwell in those cute little wood nesting boxes you made (or bought) for them. Yeah, I know, gross. Here is how you eliminate that problem though: get yourself a five gallon bucket and accompanying lid. You are going to make a nest out of it and that way when those bugs take up residence in your coop you can wash them right out of the plastic bucket.
So, here is your finished product featured below. This is what you are aiming for folks.
And here is another view:
Okay, you ready to learn how to do this?
First, you want to put the lid on the bucket, get out your magic marker and remember your alphabet.
You want to draw a U shape on your bucket. If you look at the pictures above, you can see some of the U along the portion of the bucket that has been cut.
Start drawing from the lid just forward of where the handle connects to the bucket and draw down making the bottom of your U three inches from the bottom of the bucket.
Continue drawing up to the lid on the other side of the bucket just forward of where the handle connects to the bucket.
After that, take a ruler (or anything with a straight edge) and make a straight line from the top points of your U with your marker from one side of the bucket lid to the other.
Finally, affix a piece of wood along the bottom of your bucket nest and attach it from the inside with three screws.
You still with me? Hang in there. If none of this made any sense, check out the pictures above again and ignore everything I said. You can figure out what you need to do from the pictures.
Where are we now? Ah yes, time to get out your saw. You can use an electric one or a hand held one.
That person on the left, that is a kid. If she can do this, so can you!!
Your U has now been cut out and you can either put some finishing nails on either side where you see the gentleman above drilling or you can drill or put in a screws to ensure you lid stays in place.
Now, you may be asking yourself how you keep this curved nest from rolling once your chicken hops in it.
In your coop, you want to have two beams of wood running parallel to each other that will support the bucket nest along the front and the back.
Then, you connect those parallel beams of wood with two smaller pieces of wood, making a slot the size of the piece of wood attached to the bottom of your bucket nest.
Rest your nest along the slot, making sure the piece of wood attached to the bottom of your bucket fits down inside the slot.
That’s it! You have done it! Now your chickens can nest in peace, free from chiggers and the like. Look at those ladies below stepping out! Yeah, they know they are the in thing this season!
If you found any of this helpful, let me know. I would love to hear your success stories. If it was not helpful, I would still love to hear from you as I am sure you can add a few thoughts on how to make this bucket nesting building project even easier!