Homestead Project September 8: Nesting Box

in howto •  2 months ago

So, I told y'all that I got all these buckets from work, right? I'm super stoked because there are homestead projects for these things all over the internet. I already have more planned, but this one is inspired by @hebrewhousewife with her bucket nesting boxes.

Are they nesting buckets??

I didn't know how many to go with. I have two hens that are about laying age. Or at least that's what I was told when I got them... about two months ago. I'll have six more when these little cure ones get old enough, probably next spring. I've got one egg crate and one corner of the coop structure that's set up to act as a nesting box, so I went with three more. I have more buckets if I need to make more.

Here's how I did it:

To start, I set up my air hose. That took an hour or so. I did that because I didn't want to sweep, I wanted to blow everything out the door. Instead of sweeping for five minutes, I fiddled with the setting up the hose reel for an hour. But that project is done, which is awesome.

I gathered materials, being:

  1. Three buckets
  2. A scrap 2x6
  3. A scrap 2x8
  4. Some scrap bits of 2x4
  5. Screws

Tools included:

  1. A screw gun
  2. A circular saw
  3. A grinder with cutoff wheel
  4. A bit of string
  5. A permanent marker

First, I cut the bucket lids. I used the string and marker to mark a straight line, using two notches in the bucket lids from their seals. I did it that way to make them uniform. I used the grinder to cut them.

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Next I used the circular saw to cut the boards to fit where I wanted the setup. 2x6 and 2x8 both cut to three feet. Screw the bucket lids to them spaced evenly. I used two screws for each lid. I maybe should have used three, but it works this way.

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I used screws long enough to go through the 2x6 into the 2x8 and make what'll be a little porch for the chickens. They'll appreciate it I'm sure.

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Next, I drilled in 2x4s in the place where the setup goes. They're the braces on the walls that hold it up off the ground. I put it something like two feet off the ground. maybe a bit less. I didn't measure it. I used a small piece of 2x2 to level it on one side because I got tired of moving the 2x4.

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I drilled a hole in the back bottom of each bucket. This is in case they get water in them. Not really something I'm worried about but still. Doesn't hurt to add a drain hole. The buckets used to contain a soapy water solution that we use at work for pressure testing tanks. I am debating washing it out.

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TA-DA!

All done! Now just to add hay and see what happens! I need to buy a bunch of hay. I have ideas. For projects.

What do y'all do with your 5 gallon buckets? I need ideas!

Stay relevant.

Nate

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Very nice work! Now it’s egg time!
You said you had 5 (or was it 6?) buckets, what are your plans for the other ones now?
That reminds me, we still have to add the perch on our setup as well.

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Seven buckets originally. I had four before. So three left from this trip. I am using one as a stool in the chicks' run and one as a shelter for my bluetooth speaker. I'ts been raining, and I like having a speaker with me lol

I was thinking I'd use one as a lid for the big pvc pipe feeder and one as a platform for their watering dish.

We built our nest boxes because we wanted the hallway to clean the birds before they got to the nests. As a result we almost always have clean eggs, seldom wash more than 1. Washing eggs takes off the protective coating and they do not keep as well.

Coop - laying boxes and feeders3  cropped Oct. 08.jpg

Our 5 gallon buckets are used for:

storing garden stakes
storing amendments for the garden
catching blood
sorting chicken guts
holding weeds in close set rows when weeding
measuring water for foliar spraying and mixing foliar
holding stakes with wood or concrete for road crossings for cows
holding fencing repair equipment for emergencies
holding opened ag lime for farm use
holding DE for farm use
as reservoirs for chicken waterers
as tackle buckets for deep sea fishing equipment

That's all I can think of off hand....

We have several dozens of them here....

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Wow, that looks really well built!

BTW, what do you do with your chicken guts? Last time I buried ours to keep from attracting predators, but I'm not sure that's a wise or sustainable practice.

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Some people compost them, but they do smell...

Ours go to the dump. We send the heads to the raptor rehab guy near us, and some of the other guts go for pet food to someone who feeds raw. I freeze the livers as I like them.