June 14, 2011

The chicken run

One more project almost completed, and Neal is relieved...and sore!  He spent last weekend at The Ranch, tackling the chicken run building.

He started by digging a 12-inch deep trench into our hard, rocky ground so he could lay an apron of the hardware cloth to deter digging critters.  Luckily, he rented a machine for the trench-digging and didn't have to do it manually.  Digging holes for the posts, however, was not so easy.  Neal broke the handle on our post-hole digger trying to break the ground!  He borrowed our neighbor's tractor with a post-hole digger attachment, but that did more harm than good.  He finally went back to digging holes by hand.

We decided to make the run a square shape, 24 x 24 feet.  It won't be as much space as the girls are used to free-ranging now, but I think it's a nice size run for three chickens.

Neal added additional posts for support, since the top will be covered with chicken wire.  This will also make it possible to partition off a certain section of the run if we need to isolate chickens due to illness, or introducing new ones to the flock.

We decided to locate the chicken coop/run near the shed, where there is some tree coverage to protect the girls from wind.  It will also be convenient to have a storage place for the chicken feed, pine shavings, and other supplies nearby.

We will be transporting our current chicken coop to The Ranch and attach it to the run.  I have fingers crossed that the coop will fit perfectly in the area Neal trenched out.  He forgot to take measurements of the coop before he left, so he called me to do that.  I hope I measured correctly!

We used a combination of close-weave hardware cloth on the bottom half and chicken wire on the top half.  In addition to that, we bought a solar charger and electric wire to run around the perimeter.  We have spent more money and effort on these chickens than many folks would do, but they are our pets and we want to protect them.

Neal took this photo to show me the view the hens would have from their run.  They will be a good distance farther from the main house than they are now, but they will have a "bird's eye view"  of us coming and going at all times! 


Kuhns Acres said...

It is looking good. Did he see the smoke while he was up there.

Lilla said...

Shelly, thanks. He could see smoke far off in the distance. Our property is probably a good 25 miles from where the fire started. Scary!

Staci at Life At Cobble Hill Farm said...

Wow! They will be so happy!! It doesn't seem like there's enough time in a day does it? :)

basicliving@backtobasicliving.com said...

That is the most amazing chicken run I have ever seen! Lucky, duckies - err, I mean chickens :)

Beautiful job, as always!

Morning Bray Farm said...

That's a very nice sized run for the girls! They'll be quite happy, I'm sure. :)