8+ DIY Holiday Decorations For Your Chicken Coop

8+ DIY Holiday Decorations For Your Chicken Coop

So I tend to go a little bit overboard with Christmas decorations every year.

I love Christmas, so I have to try and reign myself in every year when I want to decorate my house all out for the holidays. I’ve been looking at Christmas decorations on Pinterest all week (obviously) and I realized that I need to start decorating my chicken coop for the holidays! I think having holiday decor on the chicken coop might motivate me to leave my warm house to go check on my chickens. Or at least it would make a trip out to the coop more enjoyable right?

So today I thought I would share some of my absolute favorite DIY Christmas decorations for the chicken coop with all of you. Most of these DIY decorations you can make for cheap, or maybe even for free! So let’s get going, here are my favorite DIY Holiday decorations for your chicken coop.

Pine Cone Wreath

Wouldn’t one of these pine cone wreaths look fantastic on your chicken coop? If you have a pine tree in your backyard you could make this simple DIY wreath practically for free. You can find the tutorial here: Making Pine Cone Wreaths

Chicken Coop Garland

I love this adorable chicken coop garland for your hens made from fruit and chicken treats! Not only is this garland adorable, but it’s also a great boredom buster for your hens during the winter months. You can find the tutorial here: Festive Garland for a Chicken Coop

Holiday Herb & Berry Wreath

I’ve made this adorable wreath for my chicken coop, and my chickens love it. It looks adorable, and yes your chickens are supposed to eat it! It’s a great way to feed your chickens herbs in a fun and festive way! Tutorial here: Holiday Herb & Berry Wreath

Hot Chocolate Bar

Ok, so this isn’t exactly for your chicken coop, but after running out to the coop to check on my chickens in freezing weather, I definitely need some hot chocolate. So this DIY decoration is for the chicken owner:) I love the idea of creating an everyday hot chocolate bar because who doesn’t want hot chocolate everyday? This DIY project is super simple and I love how fun and festive it would make a small corner of your kitchen feel. Tutorial: Everyday Hot Chocolate Bar

Feed Bag Stocking

Isn’t this a great idea to use your leftover feed bags? You can make feed bag stockings to hang on your chicken coop for free using your empty chicken feed bags. Tutorial here: Feed Bag Stockings

Edible Christmas Garlands

Here’s another fun Christmas garland idea for your chicken coop. This one is made from radishes, cranberries, Brussels sprouts, and boiled eggs! This probably wouldn’t last long in my chicken coop, but it’s a fun and simple Christmas decoration! You can find the tutorial here: Edible Christmas Garland

Cookie Tin Water Heater

This cookie tin water heater is festive and practical! It keeps your chickens’ water from freezing! I love that this project is festive and useful at the same time! Here’s the tutorial: Cookie Tin Water Heater

Festive Chicken Coop

Don’t you love this coop? It looks STUNNING and it would be fairly simple to replicate! You can see more pictures of this adorable coop here: Holiday Chicken Coop

Do you decorate your chicken coop for the holidays? What chicken coop decorations do you love?

DIY Refurbished Nightstand You Can Make For $14

DIY Refurbished Nightstand You Can Make For $14

My friends, we’re stretching our wings here and, boy, do we have some treats in store for you. You’re going to love how easy it is for you to replicate this super stylish DIY refurbished nightstand.

 

Say what? Since when do we talk about DIY projects on this website?

 

Well, here’s the thing.

 

With every coop comes a farmhouse….and those farmhouses need furniture.

 

So, we have a killer series for you, where you’ll learn all it takes to refurbish, build, and design your way to top of the flock in your neighborhood.

 

In other words, we have a new designer series brought especially to our little flock by our new style expert, Emily King.

 

Today, you’re going to get her favorite way to create a DIY refurbished nightstand out of an old – but still serviceable  – piece of furniture hanging around her home.

 

And by the end, you’ll be clucking for joy at how gorgeous your home looks.

 

Oh, and it only cost $14 to make an old piece of furniture look new again. Can’t beat that.

 

 

Need a cool weekend project? Try this easy DIY refurbished nightstand idea!

a Nightstand is Born.

 

When I decided it was time to redecorate my bedroom the first thing on my list of things to get was a new nightstand.

 

Problem was, I hate spending money. Well, I just hate to spend it on things that aren’t totally necessary.

 

Thrifty me (some might call it cheap! haha) just couldn’t bear to think about giving away my perfectly good nightstand.

 

Did I mention that a half-decent new one costs at least $100 bucks or more!? Ouch.

That, my friend, is where this DIY project begins…
I knew the brown colour had to go, so spray paint was a must. In addition, to give my rinky-dinky table a little bit more ‘oomph’, adding some moulding was also a must.
Lucky for me, my parents had some moulding leftover that I could use.
Okay, let’s get started!

Materials Needed:

  • An ugly table 
  • Spray paint 
  • Moulding 
  • One glass knob 
 

Step 1: Using a mitre saw, measure and cut the moulding.

Please use caution operating a mitre saw, safety first folks! 

Step 2: Paint the moulding and table.


I used Rust-oleum’s Painters’ Touch. Follow the instructions on the back of your paint can and remember that 2-3 lighter coats are better than one heavy coat (one heavy coat will be blotchy and uneven).

 

Spray paint is super quick to dry so for those impatient people out there (like myself) just give it 20-30 minutes and you are good to go for your second coat. 

 

**TIP**: Make sure to use the spray paint in a well-ventilated area. I am telling you this from experience! I think my lungs were black for about 24 hours…lesson learned. 

Step 3: Drill a hole for the hardware of your choice. 

Using a ruler measure where the center is and eyeball how high/low you want to place your knob.

 

Step 4: Nail Moulding to Table.

 
I used a brad nailer for this step, but if you don’t have one the ol’ hammer will do the trick. (Maat: I’d like to add that you’ll want to use finishing nails so they’ll blend and not be obvious.)
Make sure to fill in the holes with nail filler – I used the brand Red Devil – One Time.
If you don’t have any filler on hand (or don’t want to go buy some), you could get away with not using it. 
 

Step 5: Give your table one final light coat of spray paint. Let dry. 

Do this step outside so you don’t breathe in those fumes.

 

Step 6: Screw on your hardware. 

Need a cool weekend project? Try this easy DIY refurbished nightstand idea!

 

TA DA! My first DIY project complete! I was super pleased with the result and of course I was thrilled that it didn’t burn a big hole in my wallet. 

Cost breakdown…

  • Baseboard moulding = FREE (my parents had some left over)
  • Table = FREE (well, I bought it years ago)
  • Spray paint = $5.00
  • Glass pull = $9.00 (a high price I know, but I just really liked it!)

 


Total Cost = $14.00

Well folks, that’s it for my first ever blog post. Feel free to post any questions or comments, I’d love to hear some feedback.

Bye for now,

Emily Grace 

 

This DIY Rabbit Tractor Cost Us Just $50 (Handy? Build It For Free!)

This DIY Rabbit Tractor Cost Us Just $50 (Handy? Build It For Free!)

A DIY rabbit tractor is win-win for you AND your bunnies – we’ve found it lowers our feed bill and the rabbits are happy because they get to eat fresh grass.

 

Which is healthier for them, anyway, right?

 

If you’ve never built a DIY rabbit tractor (this also doubles as a chicken tractor for baby chicks), it’s easy, especially if you’re handy (I’m not, so that tells you it MUST be easy).

 

In this article, I’m going to show you how we built a DIY rabbit tractor for just $50, using both new and repurposed materials.

 

It makes raising rabbits easier with a LOT less work, and your buns will be happier because who doesn’t love fresh grass?

 

With your own DIY rabbit tractor, you can build it, move it around your property, get your lawn (somewhat) mowed, feed your bunnies for less, and give them a happier quality of life.

 

How to Build a DIY Rabbit Tractor For $50

 

Think of your rabbit tractor in 3 sections – a floor (more on this in a minute), walls, and a roof. That’s all you need (you can add wheels if you want to, but we didn’t with ours).

 

So, you will need to find materials that can satisfy those requirements.  We used a repurposed dog pen as the “floor”, a purchased dog pen for the walls, and tarps for the roof. You can use whatever materials you have on hand, or that you feel comfortable using.

 

The Walls – A Dog Pen

You can use anything – we found a dog pen like this one on sale for $50, and it fit our size requirements and our budget perfectly. It was built for a small terrier, and it easily fits 3-4 medium-sized rabbits nicely.

 

Our rabbits are mixed breed and relatively small, but if you’re raising large breed rabbits, you might only be able to fit 1-3 rabbits in it.

 

(Before dumping rabbits into it, you should also figure out which ones will do well together, since rabbits can have “interesting” relationships. Ours took a bit of trial and error. Even if size-wise it seems like your tractor should fit 3 rabbits, but everyone is stressed out, then lower the amount of bunnies in the tractor and see if that works better.)

 

Something else to consider is cross-breezes. Since we live in a hot, humid environment, and rabbits, let’s face it, wear fur coats, that means they get pretty hot, pretty quickly. Cross-breezes help them stay cool and prevent overheating.

 

So, a second reason we opted for a dog pen is that the grate allowed for a steady flow of air.

 

Thirdly, it happened to be light – which meant we could move it easily without huffing and puffing or needing wheels.

 

Fourth, well, rabbits CAN have tussles, and are good at knocking things over. This particular dog pen came with metal pins that allowed us to tack the pen to the ground – so it won’t fall over when a rabbit got rowdy AND it keeps predators from knocking over the pen to get a free meal. The pins can be pulled up and replaced when we want to move the DIY tractor.

 

The pen is octagonal – yours can be square, rectangle, whatever. As long as there’s enough room for the amount of rabbits it will hold (the rule of thumb is 4x the length of the rabbit’s body).

 

The walls can be as tall as necessary – in summer, taller means better air circulation. Ours are 3.5 – 4 feet high – a rabbit can’t jump out, but we can bend over easily to feed and give attention.

 

The dog pen also came with a door – a nice feature in case we ever need to get in there if a rabbit is injured or needs to be removed for any reason. When building your own DIY rabbit tractor, include a door for the same reason.

 

The Floor – An Old Dog Pen We Had Laying Around

Yes, your DIY rabbit tractor needs a floor. Rabbits dig, and they will dig out, sooner or later. So, some sort of grating or wire on the bottom is necessary so they can eat grass but not dig out.

 

We used an old dog pen we had laying around. It has 2-inch holes – big enough for juicy grass to come through and to give rabbit paws a break (if on hardwire cloth or other wire for long periods, a rabbit can develop sores on their feet).

 

You can use hardware cloth, chicken wire, or whatever you happen to have laying around, as long as it won’t hurt their feet or let them dig out, and lets the grass come through so they can eat it.

 

The Roof – Tarps We Had Laying Around

If you have a homestead, you likely have lots and lots of tarps – we ALWAYS seem to need a tarp for something (like building a DIY rabbit tractor!)

 

For the roof, since we wanted to build a lightweight, easily movable tractor. Tarps like this one can easily be removed, and are lightweight.

 

To keep them in one place on windy days, we use bricks to pin them to the ground – again, easily removed and replaced so we can move the tractor around.

 

In summer, they provide great shade, and can be moved around as needed to keep everyone cool. In winter, they can insulate against wind and cold and unpleasant weather.

 

If you have a lot of predators in your area (bears, big dogs, a very determined hawk), tarps probably won’t cut it – in that case, you might want to consider grating at the top as well, or a more solid, permanent roof.

 

Either way, your roof needs to provide protection from the elements and shade.

 

A word to the wise

If you don’t want your rabbits to live in a co-ed colony, you will want to keep your rabbit genders separate. As of the time I’m writing this, we only keep males in a tractor.

 

Life is complicated enough without unplanned rabbit pregnancies. Does and bucks are weird when it comes to kits, and every rabbit breeder has tales of dead or maimed kits from a jealous doe or buck.

 

Even without the added drama of kits, does in particular are tricky when it comes to space. They’re more territorial than bucks, and can either need more space, less space, or just hate their tractor mate for reasons unknown.

 

Just like teen girls, life gets simpler when does have their own space. However, your mileage may vary.

 

A second word to the wise

If you plan to keep young bunnies (under 20 weeks old) in your DIY rabbit tractor, then you need to make sure you use 1/2-inch or 1-inch hardware cloth on the lower half.

 

Young does and bucks can fit through very small spaces – the 2-inch by 1-inch holes in the dog crate we used were way too big, and the kits figured out in 5 minutes they could get out. Hardware cloth would resolve this easily.

 

I’d like to hear from you!

Have you ever built a DIY rabbit tractor? What does yours look like? Leave a comment below!

 

40 Homesteading Skills You Can Learn By Video (Essential AND Easy!)

40 Homesteading Skills You Can Learn By Video (Essential AND Easy!)

One way I’ve increased my independence is by learning new homesteading skills.

And what’s an easier way to learn than by video?

 

Here’s 40 essential (and easy) homesteading skills for you to master!

40 Homesteading Skills You Can Learn By Video From FrugalChicken

Make laundry detergent

Making your own laundry detergent is probably one of the easiest homesteading skills to master on this list.

 

All it takes is a few ingredients to master this homesteading task. These ingredients are safe, and it’s exactly how I make my detergent.

 

 

If you’re a reader, check out my article about this homesteading must!

 

Snag them on Amazon here:

 

Graft fruit trees

 

When you graft trees, you increase your yield (over time) without having to wait for new trees to grow and produce fruits.

 

You can also graft your best trees on to healthy and hearty root stock for healthy trees that will last.

 

It’s one of many traditional skills our ancestors used to survive!

Kill a chicken humanely

Warning: This video is graphic.

 

She’s humane and very kind and her method is simple and straight forward without need for any specialized equipment.

 

To learn how to kill your own chickens to improve your homesteading skills, I recommend this guide. But fair warning.

 

Here’s a great article on 9 Knives for Homesteading Women. My favorite in the article is the Kershaw Chive.

Dehydrate vegetables off-grid

When you have too many peppers, you’ll wish to start preserving them. Learning how to dehydrate them off-grid is one of the best skills to learn – you can do it without any special equipment!

 

Can food

Canning food is one of the most essential homesteading skills to learn, and when your up to your ears in squash, it becomes pretty important.

 

Why?

 

Because you’ll want a way to save all that produce you harvest.  

 

Here’s the exact mason jars I use!

 

Milk a goat

Milking a goat isn’t hard as far as homesteading skills go, but it can be tricky if you haven’t done it before.

 

The key is to not pull, but squeeze.

 

Be sure to use a stainless steel milking pail – much easier to sanitize!

 

Milk a cow

Milking a cow versus milking a goat are slightly different skills – but equally important.

 

Be sure to be safe as you practice. Like any large animal, cows can do a lot of damage to a person accidentally simply because of their size (speaking as a person who gets kicked by wayward colts a lot).

 

Light a fire in the rain

If you plan to preserve your produce by canning outside over a fire, knowing how to light a flame in the rain is one of those homesteading skills you should learn.

 

You don’t always get to choose the days you have available to preserve your harvest! 

 

This is essential if you live off-grid as well.

Make butter

Making butter is one of those essential homesteading skills that’s super easy to try and master.

 

I don’t use a blender when making butter, but if you want to speed up the process, a blender will do that in a snap.

Make yogurt

I’m going to be honest, I use a Yogotherm to make yogurt, but learning to do it without a yogurt maker is one of those frugal homesteading skills to have.

 

Of course, using a yogurt maker is perfectly fine too.

 

When you have a dairy animal, you’ll want to find new ways to preserve all that milk!

 

Here’s the exact yogurt maker I use:

Make beeswax candles

One of the simplest skills to learn!

 

If you’re electricity goes out, or if you’re off grid, you’ll be glad to have this homesteading skill.

 

You can order beeswax and other candle-making supplies:

 

Make tallow candles

Using tallow is another way to produce candles for your homestead, and to use up the extra fat if you raise and butcher your own cattle (great skills to learn too!).

 

It’s easy, and way to use the whole animal, which is important when homesteading.

 

Here’s where to snag supplies:

Hatch chicks

If you want a sustainable chicken population, consider incubating eggs. It’s not one of the more difficult skills to learn, but it does take some knowledge and experience.

 

If you’re shopping for an incubator, I recommend one with a turner. It’s a little more pricey, but it pays off over time.

 

If you work all day, or if you have children, you don’t always have the time to turn eggs 3 times a day.

 

This is the exact model I use, and I’ve had great success.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGTaUIe-GZ4

Make soap using all-natural ingredients

Making soap safely is one of the easiest skills you can try at home, no matter where you are.

 

I do recommend using molds, since it will make the process smoother. 

 

Be sure to take safety precautions – you will have to use lye, since it’s essential to this homesteading activity, but plenty of people successfully use it.

 

Use your best judgement.

 

Make a quilt

Once you decide on fabric and a pattern, quilt-making is a snap – it just takes time and patience. 

 

Given the prices of quilts these days, if you have even a smidgen of sewing talent, you can put together a quilt, learning how to block and sew it, and save a ton with these homesteading skills.

 

 

Candle an egg

Candling and incubating are homesteading skills that take some experience to master, but once you get it, it’s super simple. 

 

This video is on Day 10 of the incubation process – the day when you start to know pretty much which eggs are developing, and which are duds. 

 

You can use any flashlight, but this is one I’ve had success with:

Save seeds

Seed saving is one of those skills essential to building a sustainable homestead.

 

You’ll produce fruits and vegetables that work well for your particular soil and year after year, your harvest will be better and better. 

 

Ferment foods

For centuries, our homesteading ancestors fermented foods to preserve them, and get the most nutrition possible from their harvest.

 

It seems intimidating, but it’s one of those skills that will make you proud to be a homesteader. If I can do it, so can you. You just have to be sensible, and if anything looks or smells off, toss it. 

 

Here’s 2 books I like:

 

Make sauerkraut

As an introduction to fermenting, consider sauerkraut. It’s pretty foolproof – and an easy homesteading skill to start with!

 

This kit is one I use, and it makes fermenting simple. 

Sprout seeds to check viability

Let’s say you come across a packet of seeds, but they look pretty old. You don’t want to toss them, but you can’t waste garden space either (been there, done that!). 

 

 

Here’s how to test those seeds for viability.

Grow fodder

If you’re looking for an easy way to reduce your feed expenses while raising the nutritional value of your grain, try to growing fodder.

 

 

This is one of those homesteading skills that’s easy to learn, and it increases the nutritional value of your feed up to 600%.

 

 

Preserve foods by making jams

You don’t just have to preserve strawberries, you can preserve any sort of fruit.

 

I have a guide about these homesteading skills, too, and this video is a great introduction.

 

If you plan to use pectin, consider finding a deal and buying in bulk – some recipes call for a whole packet. This is the brand I use:

 

Render lard

You’ll need to know how to render lard if you’re big into baking or have purchased a pig (or half a pig) to butcher.

 

Rendering lard is one of those homesteading skills that you can learn anywhere.

Make homemade apple cider vinegar

Homemade apple cider vinegar completely smokes store bought vinegar. When you taste the difference, you won’t go back. 

 

Read my step-by-step guide about this essential homesteading skills!

Make organic lip balm

This is one of many very frugal homesteading skills that’s simple to master.

 

It’s pretty luxurious, being able to concoct a year’s worth of delicious, organic lip balm in the span of an afternoon.

 

Here’s what to buy:

Make lotion bars

Interested in another easy DIY project made with organic ingredients? Lotion bars are an easy option!

 

Although not specifically homesteading skills, these are still frugal options for beauty products (and a great way to spend an afternoon!). Here’s what to buy!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ofcAyXbkBE

Butcher a pig

If you’re going to have livestock, butchering them is one of those skills that will save you a ton of money.

 

This video is graphic (although you don’t see them actually killing the pig in this video), so be warned.

Build a compost bin

If you decide to save money on fertilizer, or want to use your manure productively, building a compost bin is a must. You don’t need specialized tools, either. 

 

You can build a compost bin with pallets (make sure they’re safe for this kind of homesteading project!) or you can use new wood (make sure it’s heat treated, and not treated with chemicals).

Pasteurize milk

There’s lots of reasons to pasteurize your milk. Here’s an easy guide to doing it without any specialized (or expensive!) equipment.

Make cheese

Making cheese is a simple homesteading skill to master, and one that will increase your independence.

 

Try mozzarella first – it’s easy and requires few ingredients.

 

Right now, you can snag my free ebook about making cheese! Be sure to hop on my mailing list!

Clean a fish

Now that we’re building an aquaponic system, these are homesteading skills I need to get better at!

 

Whether you fish or raise fish to harvest, this tutorial is for you.

Give a goat an injection

When my goat was attacked by my dog, I relied on this homesteading tutorial to give her antibiotics, since I didn’t even know where on my goat to give an injection! 

 

Before doing anything, though, I would talk to a vet (which is what I did).

Give a chicken an injection

Chickens are actually very easy to give injections to if you’ve never done it. I’m able to do it with my chickens without using the towel, but if you have a scared, flighty chicken, then you’ll definitely want to use a towel.

Break new ground for a garden

We established several new gardens this year, and breaking ground can be tough! Follow these steps to make it easier.

Make sausage

Just like anything homemade, sausage from scratch tastes so much better than anything store bought. Freshness just can’t be competed with. You can use any recipe, but here is a basic step-by-step guide.

Use a pressure cooker

You can use a pressure cooker to can homesteading goods such as bone broth, and you can use it to cook as well. While pressure cookers might have blown up a few years ago, now they’re pretty safe, as long as you use good judgement.

 

I’d love to hear from you!

Which homesteading skills are you working on? Which do you want to learn? Email me at [email protected] or comment below!

 

Easy Homesteading Skills