By Kelcie Paulis, Chickenlandia Presidential Advisor
Something a Little EXTRA
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Have you ever felt like your chicken coop needed something a little extra? You know, like bougie extra? No? Just me?
My husband and I are currently in the middle of building our new poultry barn and I’ve been dreaming up the finishing details. Naturally, I want to add some extra touches like vintage screen doors, repurposed nesting boxes, and maybe some corner roosts. But then I started brainstorming about all the cute things I’ve seen others add to their chicken runs for enrichment; things like musical toys screwed to the wall, fancy dust baths, and even swings. That’s when it hit me. I can make swings.
For those of you that don’t already know, in addition to my Chickenlandia advisory duties, I make and sell fiber art through my Etsy shop Wild Moon Knots. I make macrame wall hangings, plant hangers, and fun pet accessories like these little parrot swings:
I decided I could design a chicken-sized version of this swing. Because why not? My chickens deserve to live that boho-chic life and so do yours!
Not only did I make this Macrame Chicken Swing, but I’m also going to share how I did it so you can make one too. Don’t be intimidated by the word “macrame”. This design requires learning only ONE beginner-level knot.
You can also follow along with my TikTok video tutorial here:
Here’s what you’ll need:
The Wood Dowel. This will be the roost of your swing. First, trim the dowel to your desired length. You can make it small for bantams, or double wide for extra space. I cut this one to 18 inches long, which is the perfect size for both my standard and larger birds. Next, drill a ¼” hole in each end of the dowel. Set it aside until the end.
Cutting Cord. This is my least favorite part of working with cord. But at least it’s over quickly!
Measure and cut your cord. You’ll need 4x – 100 yard lengths (300 inches).
Macrame. Take 2 of the cord lengths and center them draped over an O Ring.
Next, we are going to learn how to tie Half Square Knots:
To make a half square knot you will start by working with the two outer cords, these are your working cords. The two center cords are filler and remain in place.
Taking the left cord, cross it over the front of the two center cords and behind the right cord.
Now, move the right cord, passing it over the left cord and then behind the two center cords. Pull the right cord through the loop on the left side.
Pull both the left and right cords until tight.
That’s it! Seriously.
But now comes the time-consuming part. Like knitting, it takes time to repeat the same movements to get your final desired result. Get cozy and repeat this same knot over and over.
As you continue this knot a spiral will begin to form.
You can determine how long you would like your swings ropes to be. I recommend measuring where you would like to hang it so that you get the perfect length to fit your space.
I will be making my swing 40” long.
Once you have the first spiral to your desired length, do it all over again with the remaining two cords and metal ring.
Repeat Steps 1 through 3.
Attach the wood dowel. Pull the two center cords from the spiral through the hole in the wood dowel. Then take the two remaining outer cords and repeat four more half square knots to secure the dowel in place.
Repeat on the other side.
Trim & fringe. Cut the remaining cords to your desired length. I leave between 5 to 10 inches from the bottom knot. Unravel the ends of the cord to create a fringe.
Tip: to make the fringe extra fluffy you can brush it out with a comb.
Hang it! Attach a carabiner clip to each of the metal rings and hang it up.
Ok, maybe not all the way done. I’ll be honest, it took some encouragement to get my chickens to try it out. Because, you know, big scary new thing in the run and all.
Once I showed my two friendliest ladies how to use it, the others became less afraid. It took a few days, but I’ve been surprised to look out the window to see some of them using it a few times already. And use it or not, it looks super cute in the run!
If you make one, share a picture with us! I can’t wait to see it!