chicken run

It was such a beautiful day today! It wasn’t too hot, a little bit cloudy, and a light breeze was constantly refreshing us. I couldn’t let a day like this go to waste, I wanted to build something!

Looking around me I spotted a few good pieces of material- some tall wooden stakes, and scrap chicken wire. Immediately I knew what I wanted to do, a chicken run! Chickens are wonderful for clearing weeds and bugs from garden beds, and their manure will be wonderful fertilizer for next year’s crop. Plus, with a pesky fox after my chickens I need a way to keep them safe. I raided Jerry’s workshop (sorry hun!), and grabbed a rubber mallet, some long screws, the drill, and a loaded staple gun.

First, I hammered the stakes into each corner of one of the unused garden boxes, and screwed them in place. Next, I stretched the chicken wire as tightly as I could around the stakes, and stapled it to the bottom of the box, and up and down each of the stakes. I secured it this way all the way around except for one side, which I designated as the entrance. Here, instead of stapling it, I put a few screws up and down the corner post and simply stretched the wire over the screws to hold it in place. This way I can easily pull the wire aside as I need to gain access to the chickens and feeders.

Once the sides were done, I stretched a piece over the top and stapled it to the top of each stake. I used twistie ties (from sandwich bags) to secure the top wire to the wire along the sides. Add a little shelter, and waterer, and the chickens were ready to play! Now, to catch the little rascals… Good thing I had Jada to help me!

It wasn’t long after I had finished when it began to pour down rain. I mean, hard rain! Knowing that chickens will die if they are left out in a downpour without any shelter, I went to check on them to make sure they were okay. Sure enough, the dumb things were huddled in a corner of the run getting completely drenched. I made my way inside with them, caught them both, and put them inside the little house I’d put in the run. Maybe they didn’t know what it was? Maybe it wasn’t big enough? I looked around and found something bigger for them to get into (I myself getting completely soaked) and thoughtfully put the new, larger “house” in the run. They stayed under the shelter, and when I checked on them again after the storm had passed they were fine.

I’m wondering how long it will take them to scratch up all of the weeds and clean the bed out for me. Obviously, we wouldn’t leave them in there over the winter, just as long as the weather is nice. Most of my garden beds are the same measurements, so when they are done with this one I’m thinking it won’t be that hard to move the run to the next box. If tomorrow is nice I might build another one for my other two chickens.

Forget manicures and hair salons… scrap materials make me happy.