Overheard between Ivory and T.L.:
T.L.: I’m making a nesting box out of that pallet I picked up in my neighbor’s garbage.
Ivory: That’s cool.
T.L.: It’s turning out kinda rough.
Ivory: Do you think you can pretty it up any?
T.L.: I dunno. It’s pretty hillbilly-looking. Do you think if I called it a hillbilly nesting box I would offend anybody?
Ivory: Well, I’m part hillbilly and I don’t find it offensive.
T.L.: So I have your permission as a hillbilly to go with that?
T.L.: Shouldn’t that be ‘yer durn tootin’ or something?
Ivory: Don’t push it.
Hillbilly Nesting Box (From a Pallet)
This is not a detailed plan. I sort of winged it. From what I read, a nesting box needs to be about a foot square or larger, so I used that and the size of the scrounged lumber as a guide.
1. Deconstruct a wooden pallet. I used a claw hammer and a big flathead screwdriver to pry it apart. There was a lot of pounding and nail-squeaking. It sounds like you are torturing something. Don’t do this before your neighbors wake up or after they have gone to bed (unless you are trying to make some kind of statement).
2. Trim pieces to size–I cut mine down to 14 inches long by cutting off the end parts with the nail holes and most of the cracks.
3. Line up enough pieces (the width of the boards were varied) to make a square about 14″x14″ or your desired size, for the bottom of the box. Screw them together with a cleat on each end–I used stakes left over from a bundle–use any scrap wood about 1×2 or so. You could cut down the thicker support pieces of the pallet for this if you like. Allow the cleat to extend beyond the front of the box so you can use the overhang to attach a front porch roost.
4. Line up two sets of another 14″ or so of pieces for the sides and cut them at an angle for the slanted roof (supposedly prevents roosting on the roof). Mine was 17 1/2 in. at the highest point and 11 1/2 in. at the lowest. Screw them into the cleats on each side.
5. Cut cleats for the top, slanted edge, cutting the ends at an angle to fit. Screw them down to the edges.
6. Screw down more boards to form the roof, cut to fit (see top photo). Add a board to the front and another to the back to keep in the nesting material and eggs. Attach a porch roost. I left a gap under the back board to help with clean-out.
7. Sand off the splintery parts. Paint if you like.