Friday, November 7, 2014

How We Turned a Square Bookshelves into a Chicken Nesting Box

We have been busy moving our chickens into a new and bigger coop because our flock has doubled in size over the summer and they were running out of room in the old hen house.  Things have been going very well and we are almost ready to move them but we needed to create a new nesting box in the new house.  So we decided to create one with the 9 piece bookshelf.
Mom and I got (2) 2x4 that were about 8 ft long and cut them in half to end with 4 legs.  We screwed them to the side of the bookshelf from the inside after pre-drilling holes because we were concerned about the shelf breaking apart.  That went great.  Supported the shelf a  little and took the nesting box off the ground.
We then cut a piece of plywood to go across the back and had it big enough to go all the way to the edges of the 2 x 4 legs so we could screw into them instead  of the skinny shelf.  This really seemed to sturdy things up.  We only put  4 screws in the back in case we have to take the back off to clean it.

We then had some 1 x 2 strips to put an edge on the nesting boxes to keep the sawdust in.  We also pre-drilled and screwed these into the 2x4 legs.  This is my kitten helper that just seemed fascinated with everything we were doing

Here it is finished with the lip on all the boxes
We knew the chickens would need some sort of ledge to get on so they could get in the top boxes, so with the left over pieces of 1 x 2 we made supports for a 4ft 1/2" dowel.  We drilled holes first with a 1/2" bit and made sure the dowels would go through
After getting all the holes drilled we attached them to the sides of the 2 x 4.  We left them long enough to hang over both sides.
Now we just added some saw dust and are going to put in some marked eggs and hope the ladies like there new nesting box. 

This whole project including the shelf cost us around $55.  The tools we needed where a drill with a bit for screwing, a bit for drilling and a paddle bit for creating the dowel hole.  We also used a skill saw to cut with but a handsaw should work.
So the supply list we used was
(2) 2 x 4 x  about 96"
(2) 1 x 2 x 8ft
(2) 1/2" 4ft long dowels
Box of 1 1/2" screws
4ft x 4ft Thin piece of Plywood (that we cut to size)
9 Hole Bookshelf from Walmart

This was really an experiment in creating. I feel like it turned out pretty awesome but time will tell if the ladies like it and if it holds up.  For now it looks really good.  We might line the inside of each box with a small square of linoleum (got some leftover) and the ladies like privacy when they are in there boxes so we might add curtains.  Also we are not sure if the lip in front is tall enough so if it isnt we will add another 1 x 2 on top of it.

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