Who would have thought that a farm couple in rural Georgia would have an online chicken nest box business?
Not us, the rural farm couple.
(Here’s a photo of us.)
It all started with my blog. Life on a Southern Farm.
I had started blogging as a hobby, sharing our farm life through pictures, stories, recipes and things my husband builds. My husband loves to build things. Lots of things. Plus he is good at it.
He had been building nest boxes for years to use here on the farm. The ones he made had the wooden front roost.
When I showed photos of those nest boxes on my blog, I had several e-mails and comments wanting to know if we had any nest boxes for sale.
FarmMan (as he is known on my blog) thought about ways to ship the nest boxes assembled, but that front roost was a problem. It would make the shipping boxes very wide, which would be much more expensive to ship.
He is used to overcoming obstacles, and he did again. He invented a wire fold up roost.
The wire roost is 1-inch-by-1-inch 14-gauge galvanized wire on 9-gauge rods complete with a wooden strip for the chickens to perch on.
Since I am his biggest fan and cheerleader, I agreed it was the best looking nest box and roost I had ever seen!
Now the roosts could fold up so we could ship the nest boxes completely built. No assembly required.
He even hand made the hooks for the nest boxes to hang on.
The nest boxes are made from 26-gauge galvalume (aluminum-zinc alloy coated sheet steel).
The are strong and sturdy – and pretty, too.
With the thicker metal it was hard to bend the metal around the holes. So FarmMan came up with the idea of using plastic strip guards around each hole opening. He wanted the boxes to be safe for people and hens.
All the nest boxes have removable nest bottoms for easy cleaning.
I didn’t have any idea how to set up an online store site. I looked on the Internet and found one that looked easy to set up, and I could try it for free.
It was a buyitsellit.com store site. Now changed to Highwire Commerce.
It was easy to set up and easy to add pictures of the nest boxes. We thought HenPals Chicken Nest Boxes was a catchy and simple name so we went with that.
I already used Paypal, and it was easy to set that up as a payment on the store site.
HenPals Chicken Nest Boxes was open for business!
In only 2 days we had our first sale. We were so excited! And we had feed back!
We learned as we went along. We still are learning as we go along.
We started having a few more orders then more and more orders! UPS came to our farm and picked up the nest boxes.
FarmMan was very busy building nest boxes. I was busy on the computer.
Our youngest son helped out a few days last summer.
Last year we sold over 400 chicken nest boxes. We try to keep the prices of the nest boxes reasonable.
We certainly haven’t gotten rich, but it is our main way of making a living right now. With our farm’s property tax more than doubling in the last couple of years the business was right on time.
We are so grateful and thankful to have our HenPals Chicken Nest Box business that we can operate right here on our rural Georgia Farm!