pretty coop

Some Simple And Not-So-Simple Backyard Improvement Tips With Chicken Coops And More

Welcome to our backyard improvement article. In this article we will be giving you a laundry list of things you can add to really spruce up your backyard, from simple DIY projects to much more major ones. Depending on your level of handiness around tools, or just how much additional investment you want to put into your backyard, we are confident that you will take away at least one useful idea from this article. Let’s begin.

Build a Fire Pit

beautiful fire pitAnyone who’s gone camping before, especially as a child, will probably remember with nostalgic fondness the experience of sitting and bonding around a nice campfire, huddled around its heat against the cold of the night. Well, by building a fire pit in your backyard, you too will be able to recreate the experience, minus the hassle of actually going camping. And while you can certainly go out to the store and purchase a fire pit, fire pits are actually one of the simplest DIY projects you can undertake. Here’s a basic formula: using a charcoal grill, concrete tree rings, and some pebbles, you can create your own DIY outdoor fire pit for less than $100.

Add a Tire Planter

Another simple DIY project that can add some life to your backyard. All you need are a few old tires, plants, some paint and BAM, instant awesome backyard ornament! And don’t constrain yourself with the boring old ‘two tires stacked on top of each other’ formula, although that certainly works as well. Do a little searching and you’ll come across and absolutely astounding variety of tire planter designs, some of our favorites that we have seen are the ‘tire planter frog’, the lady bug, tea cups, the wishing well, and lastly, love it or hate it, a Minions tire planter. Maybe don’t use that one as your first tire planter!

Grapevine It Up

Grapevines are a great way to add a touch of nature and shade into your garden. You’ll be thankful for them when the peak of summer hits and if you get the kind with fruit, it makes for an even better atmosphere. If you already have awnings (if you don’t, then that’s another great idea for your backyard!) then just start growing some grapevines on them; you can also intertwine them with flowers such as jasmine or roses, which look just absolutely beautiful.

Build a Chicken Coop

chickensDoes this suggestion seem to stand out from the rest? No doubt a chicken coop is a much more major undertaking then all the ideas previously listed, but with a more major investment comes more major rewards. In this case, of course you would only build a chicken coop to house actual chickens, and that is where the real reward comes from: a constant supply of fresh eggs and possibly meat (if you so choose) that are hormone and antibiotic free for you and your family, plus the nice feeling you get in your heart from not contributing to barbaric factory farming practices.

Now before we explain further, we will go right ahead and say it: yes you can indeed buy a fully-completed chicken coop right off the market, if you so choose (there are also chicken coop kits that you can buy and then assemble, similar to IKEA furniture). However, based on our personal experience if you have the necessary handiwork skills, then building a chicken coop may be one of the more rewarding DIY projects that you can undertake. While you’re here, take a look at these 2017 best chicken coop plans which has everything you need to know about planning and building a chicken coop! Let’s take a look at what each chicken coop needs.

First, it needs to protect your chickens from predators. Go for hardware cloth instead of the often recommended chicken wire as larger and more persistent predators WILL tear through chicken wire to eat your chickens. And don’t forget to bury the hardware cloth too; wily foxes and weasels will burrow underneath to get to your chickens if all you have are above ground barriers. Don’t forget that protection from predators cannot merely be limited to the chicken coop itself; you are also responsible for providing sufficient protection in the ‘chicken run’ or outdoor space where your chickens will roam.

Second, it needs to be of adequate size; 2 to 4 square feet of coop space per chicken in fact. Why the large range? Well, that’s due to the large range in sizes of the various chicken breeds. And don’t forget the outdoor space! That’s a further 6 to 12 square feet per chicken.

Third, it needs to be adequately ventilated and possibly insulated. Ventilation is an absolute must, make sure all sides including the roof have at least one ventilation panel. Lack of ventilation can cause a buildup of ammonia which can be detrimental to the health of your flock. As for insulation that depends on how cold your region is; anything with a US Hardiness Zone 2 or below will need extra insulation or heating.

red coop

You Probably Have Not Thought About These Backyard Improvement Ideas (Chicken Coops, Tiki Torches & More)

Ok, so we’re going to be honest with you here: the backyard improvement ideas presented in this article are not related to each other at all. If you decide to implement ALL of them in your backyard, it will be an absolute monstrosity. So, please pick and choose like a buffet, or as Bruce Lee said “Absorb what is useful, discard what is not”. Alright then, let’s look at our backyard buffet of ideas!

Get Yourself a Chicken Coop

chicken rampWe’ll just throw the most radical idea out there in the beginning; get a chicken coop for raising your own backyard chicken flock! No this is not a joke, we’re deadly serious. This is actually part of what is known as the ‘urban farming’ movement and it’s actually gaining in popularity so nobody (or at least not many people) will think you’re a total kook. And if you’re the kind of person who needs celebrity endorsement then know that comedian and UFC commentator Joe Rogan also has a chicken coop with backyard chickens! If you are concerned with the sources of your food or just animal welfare in general, then having your own backyard chicken flock is one of the best ways to alleviate your concerns in this area.

Now, you should know that a chicken coop is not a decision to be taken lightly; don’t fire up Google and buy the first chicken coop that pops up in the paid search section. Instead, make sure you plan everything out from the beginning. Ask yourself the following: do I want chickens for just eggs or both meat and eggs? How many eggs do I want per day? For reference, a hen lays on average an egg per day. For inspiration on how you want your chicken coop to be, check out these top coop designs for chickens.

Your flock size (and thus your chicken coop’s size) will also be constrained by the size of your backyard. Remember that a chicken needs not only indoor coop space but outdoor run space as well. Each chicken needs about 2 to 4 square feet of indoor coop space and triple that for outdoor space. Smaller chickens need less space, obviously, so it depends on the breed you intend to get. Also, we advise you to start with a small flock but build a larger coop than necessary to leave yourself room for expansion later.

Your chicken coop must be a castle against predators. You may read online people recommending chicken wire. We say skip the chicken wire as it’s for… chickens! Jokes aside, go for hardware cloth instead as it will keep out the larger and hungrier predators. Keep the gaps under and inch apart and bury it a couple feet into the ground as well (if you have softer ground) to keep out those sneaky digging predators.

Weather protection. Chicken feathers are insulation enough unless you live in a US Hardiness Zone that is a 2 or below. Regardless, use pine wood chips inside the coop as it will help prevent frostbite on their feet. And finally, ventilation is an absolute must or ammonia gas will build up from you-know-what and will have bad health effects for your chickens and you as well.

Get Some Tiki Torches

Don’t put these around your chicken coop! This is a great addition to stick to your backyard fence to give it that nice ‘island resort’ kind of vibe. Put your discarded wine bottles to good use; fill them up with citronella oil and add a wick at the top. Using some clamps and rivets, stick them to your backyard fence.

backyard swingMake a Backyard Swing
Whoever told you swings are only for kids lied! They’re fun for kids and adults alike (although with America’s obesity crisis, probably less than 50% of the population can use swings) and if you have sturdy tree branch or some really strong rafters than you can easily DIY your own backyard swing using some rope and either a wooden pallet, for a multi-person swing, an old chair, or even get this, a skateboard for a one person standing swing.




Stakes and Hammocks

According to figures we just made up, 99.999% of people love hammocks (although again, because of the obesity crisis, not recommended for most people). The biggest problem is that people lack two beams with ideal space in between to string one up. Well, solve that problem right now with stakes; they’re not just for killing vampires! You can use fence posts as well; simply drive them into the ground and string up a hammock or even a trio of hammocks. Here’s the math: for a single hammock you need two stakes, however for three hammocks strategically placed you only need four stakes!

luxurious king mattress

How to Choose A Mattress For Your Bedroom

A mattress can only last as long as 8 to 10 years. This is due to many factors such as where the mattress is used and how well it is properly taken care of. The quality and brand of the mattress also plays an important role in how long it lasts.

There are many indications of an old mattress. Once you see these happening, you should consider changing the mattress. Coils which poke up from the material are a sure sign that the mattress needs changing. If the mattress has changed its shape such that there is no longer support at any particular spot, it is also time to change. If you ignore all these warning signs, you will experience sleepless nights. This in turn is detrimental to health.

king sized bedWhen selecting a mattress, you should bear in mind the size of your room. You should also take note of the furniture and style of your room. This will ensure the mattress fits in with the overall theme of your house. Also keep in mind the size of your headboard as an overly thick mattress will cause the headboard to shrink behind the mattress. If your room is small, you should not get a huge mattress as this will cause your family members or whoever is in your room to bump into each other when walking around.

A thick mattress will also make it difficult for you to climb in and out of bed. This is especially important for children who may not be able to climb into beds which are too tall. When choosing your mattress, do ensure you voice out any concerns you have. This will enable the salesperson to recommend suitable options which cater specifically to your medical needs.

A good mattress is not the only thing which helps you achieve restful sleep. Follow these tips for even better sleep. Try to calm down 2 hours before going to bed. Avoid all activity that can increase stress levels such as checking work emails. Instead, listen to relaxing music or read a book. Do not however read on your mobile phone as the blue light will increase the hormones in your body that keep you awake.

The size of your mattress matters too. The larger your bed, the better your sleep. This is because everyone tosses and turns at night without even realising it. If your bed is too small, you will knock into your partner thus interrupting their sleep. Always get at least a king size mattress if your bedroom can accommodate one. Check out these king size mattress reviews to determine which is the best mattress of 2017. You will sleep better, trust us.

Another great tip is to avoid caffeinated drinks. If you need to have a cup a day to stay awake, make sure that you drink it before evening. Alternatively, try decaffeinated options. Caffeine stimulates brain activity and will lead to difficulty falling asleep.

Snoring is another sleep disturbance. It affects the sleep of the snorer as the air passageway is blocked. The noise on the other hand also affects the sleep of the partner and can be a cause for arguments. If you find yourself waking up in the middle of the night, try sleeping without a night light. You can also install blackout curtains in your room to block out sunshine in the early mornings.

White noise such as the humming of the fan or air conditioner has also been proven to help induce sleep. Avoid techno music as this will increase your brain activity and cause you to be more active.

pest free home

2017 Top Tips To Eliminate Roaches From Your Home

In case you have a pest infestation at home, you must not disregard it for just about any reasons whatsoever. There are numerous ways to remove a pest infestation, no matter whether using home remedies or professional products. Bugs are usually considered to be an annoyance but hardly ever an actual threat. Nonetheless, research has shown opposing results mainly because they will ultimately lead to overall health issues or even property damage.

Bug excrement or seeing the pests themselves would very likely signify that there is an infestation taking place. One bug will represent at the least 8 times the whole number of pests you can find nearby. From time to time, you might stumble across a bug which had found its way into your home, but it’s not likely the bug is by itself. It’s a lot more likely that the formation of the nest is merely starting.

Looking for the nests is probably not a great idea since they might be tough to uncover. Finding the nest or realizing where it really is doesn’t mean a lot when you can’t reach it whatsoever. Bug nests are normally constructed in the fractures of the wall surfaces, the ground or at dimly lit spots in which human activity is minimum. Should you have an additional room or even a backyard shack which you don’t use, as an example, there’s a very high likelihood that some sort of bug would’ve occupied it. To properly protect against an infestation to start with, it is necessary that you keep a thoroughly clean atmosphere all around your whole property.

borax roach ballsRoaches are really prevalent bugs that homeowners have to face too. Having to face a roach infestation is often very worrying as they are well known as disease carriers. Vomiting is generally the leading illness that roaches could cause if you inadvertently consume their waste or urine in any way. The pathogens on their bodies are seen to trigger asthma attacks in youngsters, some of which could possibly be lethal.

Water is an important element as a way for roaches to thrive so you’ll find them continually around water resources just like the basin in the kitchen area. Getting rid of other pests are generally simpler with the usual insecticides compared to eliminating roaches given that they are generally far more tolerant against toxic elements. As a way to see any outcomes whatsoever with regard to getting rid of roaches, you will require certain poisonous items that are created to eliminate roaches. Check out these top ways on how to get rid of cockroaches to eliminate them from your home permanently. Once that’s completed, you need to take protective steps like sealing off any breaks in the wall surfaces as roaches can easily breed in dark as well as cramped areas. Harmful bacteria like E. coli might be transferred to your cookware too if roaches were to crawl over them. These kinds of viruses may result in dehydration or even bacterial infections.

Ants are among the most persistent bugs worldwide. Ants are able to breed as well as populate new areas rapidly so you’ll need to respond quickly. Due to the fact that an ant queen can produce up to one thousand offsprings within one day, it should not be unexpected that they could build up numerous colonies in your property within a short period of time. Turning to feeble efforts such as pesticides or warding them off with chemical substances is certainly not a sensible measure as a result of their sheer amounts. To kill off all the ants completely, you have to use poison that may be taken by the ants back to their nests to infect all of the others.

plush pillows on a bed

Get The Best Sleep With The Right Pillow

Pillows come in quite a few varying content, utilizations as well as sizes. A lot of people have used a variety of pillows to find an ideal one. Normally I go for feather pillows for that comfort as well as head support they supply. A feather or down pillow is generally the desired option when it comes to the comfort. A pillow could be your pal or maybe your worst enemy. Even so, you ought to select a pillow not only based on how relaxed it can make you, but in addition whether it can offer the essential support that you will want for your head and spine. You must not limit yourself to one type of pillow only and really should play around to find the ideal one for you.

pillow materialIt could be harmful to breathe in the chemical odor produced from gel or memory foam pillows. No person fancies resting on a pillow that smells. You wouldn’t be the first person to complain about unusual scents coming from your pillow. I experimented with foam pillows and I find that it is actually tough enough to support my spinal cord. The grade of a pillow can be simply determined through the initial touch.

It would appear that more people can easily afford memory foam pillows now. It genuinely depends on whether or not you believe you will get whatever you pay for. I would personally say that $70 – $90 is the buying price of a pillow of acceptable quality. Time will tell whether you have selected the appropriate pillow. Should you be a person that prefers to switch your pillows often, then I would recommend that you purchase a mid-quality pillow from a trustworthy company like Medicflow.

I highly advise that you examine reviews just before deciding on a pillow to purchase. These days, there are numerous pillows sold out there catering for certain purposes, like pregnancy, neck discomforts or traveling. Check out these pillows for painful necks if you are searching for the best pillow for neck pain. There is not any reason in buying a new pillow unless of course your head begins to sink into the pillow.

Sleep performs a crucial role within our day-to-day lives. We need to often try to look for time to rest. There are actually rising reports of dying on account of becoming overstressed and getting insufficient sleep during the night. We are going to struggle to function if we are devoid of good quality sleep at night. Your body cannot carry out its day-to-day upkeep without enough sleep.

Sleep deprivation can lead to health issues. Family problems can impact your sleep too. You cannot assume that all pillows will match you as many will give you distress. A very good pillow helps keep your neck area straight during the entire night. Be sure that your neck area isn’t bent up-wards if you are a side sleeper since this will cause you to get neck soreness. This is likely the root cause of most of the tossing and turning which you encounter at night. Research has shown that the ideal sleeping posture is on your back with your head facing up.

Of course, you can also find individuals who have become comfortable with resting on their sides or stomach. Side sleeping will definitely influence your air intake. If you utilize an optimal pillow whilst sleeping sideways or even on your stomach, your head will tilt backwards or sideways. Making use of the improper sort of pillow is not an option for people who need to awaken invigorated daily. A slimmer and gentler pillow would be the preferred choice in this case.