Grub and Grit

Food and Grit Dispensers from Farmhouse38

In our on-going effort to streamline the functionality of, as well as beautify our coop, there was a really glaring problem.  Well, two really glaring problems: the food and grit dispensers.

After all the trouble we went to in building this new coop, the food and grit dishes were just not cutting it:

New Coop from Farmhouse38

As you can see, we just had a couple of wall-mounted dishes that hung safely under the nesting box shelf (where they were solidly in a ‘No Poop Zone’).  I look at those dishes way down there and I think, “Meh.”  This set-up was definitely function, no form.  I like a little form thrown into everything, if you haven’t noticed.  🙂

You may also remember that in the old coop, I used a frying pan to feed the girls:

Fry Pan Chicken Feeder at Farmhouse38

This was super cute and worked great until one of my girls decided to get greedy and began to peck at everyone else during feeding time. I figured out that the process went a lot smoother if there was more than one feeding dish. I also decided that I could keep the feed cleaner if I got it up and off the ground; thus the lame-looking wall-mounted situation.

I started daydreaming about bending the handle of the fry pan 90 degrees (so that I could hang it on the wall for them to eat out of), but my cast-iron bending super-hero powers are just not what they used to be.  It was about then that I happened to see a display in a kitchen-supply store where several ladles were hanging all in a nice, tidy row and I thought, “YUP.  There it is.”

Ladle Chicken Feeder from Farmhouse38

Soup’s on.

I began with a craft store-bought wooden plaque (of which I seem to always have a few laying around in order to paint up a sign whenever I feel like it…I’m so normal), which I painted, distressed, and then stained to get a nice dirty-aged vibe.  Then, using my sign-painting technique, I labeled it clearly so that the chickens wouldn’t be confused.  I bought some inexpensive ladles from Ikea, taped off the stainless areas and spray-painted the wooden handles red, just for fun.  I attached them to the plaque with tiny cup hooks, and then finished the whole look with a couple of spray-painted cast iron star washers (of which I also have far too many laying around).  I have four hens, but it looked better to have just the three ladles.  As long as there is more than one ‘dish’ the girls make it work.  I should also note that this feeder works only because I have so few birds…obviously this is not practical (is it ever?) if you have a lot of mouths to feed.

The grit dispenser is a direct knock-off of Fresh Eggs Daily’s cute DIY Wine Bottle Chicken Grit & Oyster Shell Dispenser.  Head on over and check out their DIY (which is so adorable and extra awesome because it uses all re-purposed materials—love that!).

Grit Dispenser from Farmhouse38

This is a lot more fun to look at than the plain, wall-mounted feed dish that was there before. I love when things are cute AND functional.  It’s the little things.

I went and used another of my go-to pre-made craft store plaques (I’m hard up for scrap wood pieces these days!!!), painted to match the ‘Grub’ sign.  I have a handful of these vintagey-looking, adorable Mountain Valley Spring Water bottles sitting around, and because the colors go so well with the coop, I knew I had to use one.  Finally, I attached the bottle and the tuna can catch-basin with a couple of ducting clamps that I had laying around (these things come in handy for a multitude of projects), which work so great for this because they are easy to loosen and tighten just by turning the little screw-doohickie-thinger. Using a self-tapping metal screw, the clamps are just attached directly onto the wood plaque.

Chicken Grit and Feed Dispensers from Farmhouse38

The food and grit both hang safely under the nest box shelf where they aren’t in danger of droppings bombing from above.

Does anyone else think that wall above the roost bar is looking rather bare…?  Yep.  Time for another completely impractical chicken craft project.  Good times!!!

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30 thoughts on “Grub and Grit

  1. Tara September 12, 2013 at 6:43 pm Reply

    I have 30-80 chickens and SO wish I could make their house this cute! Bravo!

    • farmhouseK8 September 12, 2013 at 7:02 pm Reply

      LOL–thanks, Tara–I know–I get away with all this cutesy stuff because of my low head count, for sure!

  2. home, garden, life September 12, 2013 at 6:49 pm Reply

    Over the top cute…P Allen Smith would love the AK water bottle…one of his sponsors…and yes I agree the space above the roost bar needs your talented eye…perhaps a mirror for the girls to adore themselves?

    • farmhouseK8 September 12, 2013 at 7:01 pm Reply

      LOL–I’m actually thinking about putting a mirror down by the feeders at ground level just for that very reason! I’ve already got plans for the area above the roost bar (insert evil laugh here).

  3. home, garden, life September 12, 2013 at 7:13 pm Reply

    OK darlin’, I have a fix it question for you. I bought a cute demi Lune table (dark brown mahogany veneer) and bought spray paint w/primer. I followed instructions, yet the paint finished with a sandy texture AND it is listed as satin! Also the paint will not dry! It has been in the AC for two weeks and the paint is still tacky. Both the lamp and crock stuck to the top and bottom shelf, so I have a REAL mess. I sanded to try and smooth out, yet nada! Still tacky! Called Valspar to see what gives and they plead ignorant, telling me to strip it! NOT! Any cures other than the burn pile?? Diane

    • farmhouseK8 September 12, 2013 at 7:25 pm Reply

      Wow! I have no idea! Are you using a power sander or sanding by hand? I’d sand as much as you can and pick a different spray paint to go over it with. Never used a paint + primer spray paint before, personally–I usually go with Rustoleum or Painter’s Touch (which is also by rustoleum)(get these at Home Depot) and I’ve never had to put any sort of primer coat on–usually that stuff just seems to work fine without the primer built in (in my experience). I have no clue!

      • home, garden, life September 12, 2013 at 7:39 pm

        Thanks Kate! Light sanding with hand/paper, as I really did not want to remove to bare wood. Perhaps this is necessary…perhaps I will ask the Valspar rep to bring out his/her sander…;-) I have only Lowe’s here, and I will look at other brands of paint, yet loved the Valspar color!

      • home, garden, life September 16, 2013 at 12:11 pm

        Valspar rep is replacing spray paint (refund) with a quart of primer and quart of color, so I must paint this demi Lune for a fourth and fifth time! OMG! Beware of paint and primer combo paints folks!

  4. Teresa September 12, 2013 at 7:44 pm Reply

    Your coop looks so clean! I have six “girls” and their home is a poop disaster! I am constantly cleaning (we have sand – which I love – on the floor of the coop). Clean up is fairly easy because I use a pond fishing net to scoop the poop – think giant litter box! In spite of my diligence, the sheer volume of droppings is sometimes daunting. Any other suggestions you can offer would be much appreciated. p.s., love everything you do!

    • farmhouseK8 September 12, 2013 at 9:07 pm Reply

      Thanks, Teresa! The poop issue was a driving force in the re-design of the coop. What you see as the ‘coop’ here is really just an over-sized roost box, and the only time they are in it is when they are roosting, and when they are nesting/laying. I set it up so that the roost bar has a ‘shelf’ under it. This shelf is not only fully removable for deep-cleaning, but it has a vinyl ‘floor’ that I remove every morning and hose the poop off of. This is where the majority of the poop goes. They don’t poop in their nesting boxes 99% of the time, and they spend their days out free-ranging in their private garden or the main yard. Poop does sometimes fall to the floor of the henhouse (or sometimes they’re in there pecking around and create droppings), but when I see it, I’ll just scoop it out of there. All shelves, boxes, and the floor of the henhouse have vinyl flooring that I can pull out to hose off. I’m pretty vigilant about keeping things tidy (and I always tidy a bit before I photograph, too!!) But I am a big fan of some sort of a ‘poop sling’ under the roost bar that catches the droppings–that’s the biggest mess is what they drop while roosting (in my experience).

  5. Becky September 12, 2013 at 8:58 pm Reply

    That is WAY TOO CUTE! I am smiling ear-to-ear and wishing I could carry you around on my shoulder! My name for you: Klever Kate of Farmhouse 38.

    • farmhouseK8 September 12, 2013 at 9:07 pm Reply

      LOL–Becky!!! I need a shirt!!! Hahahah!

  6. Jesse @ Scout & Nimble September 13, 2013 at 2:19 am Reply

    Oh I love this! Your chickens are so lucky to have a little home area this cute!!! Super smart way of feeding them, too! Adorable…

  7. Fresh Eggs Daily September 13, 2013 at 10:33 am Reply

    Very cute! Once again you’ve outdone me in your Klever Kreativeness! You rock Kate!
    Fresh Eggs Daily

    • farmhouseK8 September 13, 2013 at 3:07 pm Reply

      LOL–I don’t have any straw-baling string laying around– But I do have duct clamps!! Hahaha! Thanks for the idea, Lisa. 😀

      • Fresh Eggs Daily September 13, 2013 at 3:13 pm

        And sorry I didn’t mean to call you ‘crazy’ on my fb share…’crazily creative’ was the phrase I was going for!

      • farmhouseK8 September 13, 2013 at 4:38 pm

        OMG–you know how I am! I totally took it as a compliment–LOL–no worries, Lisa–thanks for the share!!! (and btw–TRUTH–I am crazy!! Hahahaha!)

  8. Charlotte Zweigoron September 14, 2013 at 4:05 pm Reply

    Yes, that area is crying for your magic touch!! Can’t wait to see it…

  9. Becca September 14, 2013 at 7:12 pm Reply

    Love this…!

  10. Katja @ Shift Ctrl Art September 15, 2013 at 7:56 pm Reply

    Absolutely charming. Love your dispensers and I bet the chickens are thanking you for clearly labeling everything to avoid any confusion. ha ha. Seriously though, I love how you always use top design in your chicken coop 🙂

    • farmhouseK8 September 16, 2013 at 3:24 pm Reply

      LOL–thanks, Katja! Only the best for my little brats!!

  11. hopefarms September 16, 2013 at 12:33 pm Reply

    I love it! I bet the girls love it, too!

    • farmhouseK8 September 16, 2013 at 3:24 pm Reply

      😀 Thanks, Sheila–they were skeptical at first, but have completely warmed up now! 😀

  12. […] Grub and Grit – Farmhouse 38 Anyone that believes I spoil my backyard chickens needs to read this post.  My chickens are living in a slum compared to these California chickens.  You might also want to check out her post about building the new coop. […]

  13. frugalque December 26, 2013 at 11:03 pm Reply

    Great idea! I like it also because I just recently changed my dog bowls to ladles. I got tired of dog bowls on the floor and since I have small dogs, the size was right.

    • farmhouseK8 January 5, 2014 at 3:29 pm Reply

      Awesome! Lol! Thanks for sharing! 😀

  14. Cathy January 8, 2015 at 2:40 am Reply

    If you build more of them and sell on Etsy, I’d definitely buy them from you. We have 4 chickens but rarely have time to learn and do any woodcraft. You did a great job!

  15. Carrie stratton April 1, 2015 at 9:12 pm Reply

    I love this! Making the grit dispenser for our coop today. It’ll work perfect for our little flock of 5. I’m gonna use an old Coke bottle I’ve been saving for something special 😀

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