Swinging Chickens! DIY Chicken Toy.

Believe it or not, there is a chicken swing on the market. Once the chickens  get used to the swing, they seem to really enjoy it. But I was not willing to pay for something I could make myself!

What you need:
3″+/- diameter, straight(ish) Branch
Outdoor rope
Drill
Drill bit large enough to accommodate the rope

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Here’s how to do it:
Drill a hole, about an inch from the end of each end of the branch. Try to keep them linear so the branch will hang straight.

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Insert rope through drilled hole. Tie a tight knot on bottom side of branch.

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I like to melt the fibers of the rope just a bit so be sure the knot doesn’t slip.

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Leave the rope long enough to hang your swing about 6″ from the ground PLUS at least 3 feet for tying the swing to the desired branch.

Repeat this process on the other side of the branch. You may need to melt the threads at the end of the rope to help it get through the drilled holes easily.

Tie the swing to the branch. Here’s how I did it, but with 3 loops rather than 4.

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Trim the rope with about 2″ of excess. Melt the end of the rope threads to give it a nice finish.

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I bribed my girls to try out the swing by tying a bunch of lemon balm to the ropes of the swing. They weren’t buying it.

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Update:
Today was day 2 of the swing introduction. I didn’t see the girls on the swing but I did see them scratching the ground around it. Later in the day I noticed the lemon balm missing. Someone had to climb up there to get it!

Update:
Today is day 4. They are finally giving it a try!
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DIY Hose Reel

Photo Collage Maker_SUAUkO With summer in full swing here in Georgia, we’ve been utilizing the hose a lot around our homestead. I got tired of seeing my hose piled in a big knotted mess, so with help from the hubby, I put together this unique hose reel. The only thing we had to purchase to make this fantastic piece of yard art is the spray paint! Woot Woot! IMG_20140710_154917569_HDR (1)

Here’s how to do it:

Remove the tread and tube from the rim of an old tire.There are multiple ways to do this, we cut ours off with a saws all.

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      Weld the rim to a metal T post. Don’t have a welder? You can JB weld it (you can buy it here , or at walmart). As long as you follow JB weld’s directions it should last a long time. IMG_20140706_150736648 (1)           Weld the rim, top and bottom, to the T post. IMG_20140706_145618611           Sand the rim and remove any dust. Clean it well so you will have a good bond with the spray paint. IMG_20140710_115804052_HDR (1)           Paint that bad boy. Re-coat if needed. IMG_20140710_120711726 (1)           Allow the paint to dry. IMG_20140710_154119748_HDR (1)             Stick that puppy in the ground where you want it. IMG_20140710_154917569_HDR (1)             TA-DA! Instant improvement!

Do what you can with what you have (where you are)

There is a quote that I have been living by the past few years. Until recently,  I never knew who said it and apparently I havent been saying it correctly either.

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are” Theodore Roosevelt

I think this is one of the unwritten rules that homesteaders live by. We make the most of what we have. We don’t have to have the biggest and the best (unless of course that’s what the job calls for).

Most of the homesteaders I know have a stock pile of used glass jars and egg cartons. They also have compost piles and make vinegar from their apple scraps and when the vinegar is finished fermenting they give the apples scraps to their chickens as a snack.

I know that I have so many things that I want to accomplish on our land. I have many dreams and goals for our property. But I also know that I need to pace myself and be happy with what I have. Become an expert on what I have. Improve on what I have. Once I have done the most I can with what I already have, I can pursue my other goals, when we can afford to do so.

It’s hard to have dreams sometimes. There is a lot that I would like to do to our home and property but I have to feed my family before I buy new ceiling fans (because God knows those brass ones need to go!). Until then, the lights turn on and the room feels cool. And I can always paint the brass to help ease the suffering eyes.

Being a first time homesteader I have a lot to catch up on. But I have to remind myself that in order for our homestead to thrive, I have to do what is best for it. I have to spend money wisely and prioritize my projects. I have to keep myself from comparing other people’s homesteads to my own.

"Comparison is the Thief of Joy" - Theodore Roosevelt Photo courtesy of Karen Kastner

“Comparison is the Thief of Joy” – Theodore Roosevelt
Photo courtesy of Karen Kastner