Up until now, we’ve had Charlie sleep in a modified rabbit wire cage. We jury-rigged a roosting bar in the corner and every night before we went to bed, we put her in the cage, locking her in to roost for the night.
We did this for a few reasons:
- We needed to make sure that Charlie was safe during the night. Our dog also sleeps on the first floor and while they get along during the day, I didn’t want to take the chance that Pippin might mistake Charlie in the dark as something that must be challenged.
- It is instinctual that chickens roost at night. During the day there aren’t a lot of roosting opportunities for Charlie (she does like the view from the top of the couch) in our house and so by forcing her to roost at night, at least she is getting her “roosting” exercise in.
Our little girl, however, is getting bigger so this weekend the kids and I went to a thrift store in order to get something suitable for Charlie to spend the nights in.
We looked at coffee tables – too big. Children’s play structures – too primary colored. We even considered a bureau and then, like the Holy Grail shining from the mountain tops (at least that’s how it’s depicted in Monty Python films) we saw a wooden filing cabinet.
Really mom? Said Emma.
At first my kids couldn’t see the possibilities. Just trust me, I told them as I put the cabinet in my carriage, brought it up to the front and paid my $6.99.
When we got it home, I took the drawers out, measured the inside, cut an old broom handle down to size, nailed it in and VOILA,
A roomy chicken night stand – suitable for one.
We are toying with the idea of putting chicken wire on the front but instead I think I’ll drape a piece of dark cloth just like someone would over a traditional bird cage. Charlie is at the age (nearing motherhood) where a good night’s sleep is more important than roaming around the house at night, so I’m sure that she’ll stay put once the lights are turned out.
We were all pretty pleased with this solution. Clever us.
And then Addy asked me what I was going to do with the two drawers we had taken out.
“Hmm,” said she, member of the “Church where everything is reused.”
Charlie will be old enough to start laying eggs in about 3-4 weeks (I know, they grow so quickly.) She’ll need a nesting box.
I grabbed some old pillows and set up a nesting box near her new night stand.
And then another one near where I work (notice it’s located high on top of our out-of-season-storage pile) so that Charlie can now nest and perch while I do my writing in the back corner of the mudroom.
So there you have it. For 7 dollars, Charlie has a new night stand and two new nesting boxes. Problem solved – a flock of clever chicks over here.