Monday, February 15, 2010

Nest boxes....

I've been reading about Callie's adventures over on Chickens on the Porch in regards to nesting areas for the chickens and thought I'd put up a picture of what we are using.
My husband did a google search for nesting boxes and after looking through a couple of ideas came up with these.

They are 12" x 12" with a roosting bar on the front. There is a lip on the front of each of the boxes to help keep the wood chips in the boxes instead of all over the coop floor. The roost bar is so the girls can jump up and then get their balance before entering the boxes.

We use pine wood chips from our local feed store for the bedding inside the boxes. It stays cleaner than straw in my opinion and the girls just seem to like it better. We use straw in the rest of the coop and the run.

Sadly, for the time being, the girls are confined to the run and in good weather, I will carry them over to the fenced in back yard to get some free ranging in. I can't just let them out because we don't want them to wander over to next doors property.

The plan is to enlarge the run this year which will double its size so I can divide it and do rotational chicken grazing until we can get fencing up behind the coop. With enlarging the coop, I will be able to plant grass seed, clover, or other green matter on one side while the girls have access to the other side to scratch around. This will also serve well on days when we can't be around to keep an eye on things and the girls will still be able to get out for fresh air and exercise and be safe. As time and money permits, we will slowly put fencing in so they can truly free range.

The hubsters and I are looking into purchasing a compact tractor for doing chores around the homestead. We've been on the fence about it for a long time, but, have pretty much come to the conclusion that it would be worth the investment. We have a lot of projects around here that would benefit from having a tractor, that's for sure! So, we're off to the local John Deere dealer today to see what they have. We also have a Kuboto and New Holland dealer in the area which we will check into also over the next week or so. If any of you happen to have a tractor and have any input it would be greatly appreciated. This is a learn as we go kind of deal....scary. I'll keep you posted on the progress.

Enjoy your day! We have another 3 - 6" of snow on the way.... yikes!


  1. That's a great looking coop! I love it.

  2. Love the nest boxes and coop. Hope you find a tractor you really like. Thanks for the kind words. I still haven't got out to the coop to do any building.

  3. I love the look of your chicken coop and run. Hopefully, I'll be able to venture into chicken territory one of these days. Do you heat your hen house in the winter time?

  4. Your nest box and coup are great! Hope you had a fruitful day looking for a suitable tractor. I have some friends who have a smallholding and often use a small tractor on their land - I'll see if they have any tips for you Toni, and get back to you soon.

    Hope the snow has stayed away?

    Jeanne x

  5. Thanks for the kind words everyone.
    The hunt for a tractor has been narrowed down and I'm still a little weak in the knees about the price!

    Thomas - I do not have heat or light in the coop and the chickens have done well. You may need some heat where you are located, but, I'm not sure.

    Once again, thanks for the kind words!