This weekend we had to make some quick nesting boxes for geese and ducks. GEESE? DUCKS? How did this happen? Well, my beloved husband has become a collector of farm birds. Seriously, he has a problem.
Last year when we moved in, we thought chickens would be fun and we wanted “real” eggs. So we got some at the local Southern States and built a chicken coop. Then he had a friend volunteer to hatch some ducks for him.. Brian fell in love with the ducks, and the madness began- it is truly adorable and baffling all at the same time. Ducks ARE cute, I’ll give him that… but they’re also really gross- and they ADORE wet and messy. Brooding them inside is a test of my love for him. This house is messy enough without the added dust and work of baby chicks and ducklings…. but the kids love them so much and really… look at these faces:
I love the “side eye” you get from the ducks… they don’t really trust us.
Well with Brian’s new “collecting of things feathered”, we needed some places for ducks and geese to nest. Chickens nest in boxes up high and roost at night. Ducks and geese nest on the ground their feet are made for paddling, not balancing. So off to the scrap pile we went to figure out a simple shelter for them to lay some eggs.
I grabbed some scrap plywood
and we cut it in half with the table saw. We laid out the boards and I figured out 30º was about the right angle for the “tent” look. so I grabbed a 2×4, set my table saw blade bezel to 30 and cut both sides. You end up with something resembling this:
Once we screwed it together, I measured the opening in the bottom front and another 2×4 scrap at a 30º angle on both ends to brace the front and keep it stable.
then I did the same thing for the back side:
We wanted to keep the chickens from roosting on the tops as well as offer a little longevity to these boxes. Initially the plan was to use leftover shingles the construction guys left after the porch build…. However, if you leave an entire package of shingles out in the sun all summer it tends to melt the adhesive and make them stick to each other… and unusable.
On to Plan B… we grabbed some heavy-duty plastic we had and stapled that on. Then added scrap corrugated metal left over from the wood stove heat shield and wrapped it around the top. They aren’t necessarily pretty, but they do the job.
I wrapped duct tape around the sharp edges because ouch and chickens don’t care about looks.
Then we placed them in the coop.
and there you have it… Quick and dirty nesting boxes. They’re not the cutest, but the ducks love them. The best part? They cost nothing because we made them entirely from leftover materials we had here. We might need to make them a little taller for the Geese…but that’s a project for another day.