Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Project #1 - Chicken Run

All year long I've been trying to dress up my flower gardens as well as my veggie garden. I've weeded regularly, added Hostas around the edges of the flower gardens and taken silage from one of the old silos and spread a 4 inch layer on each garden to prevent the weeds from getting out of control.

The silage has done a beautiful job keeping the weeds to a minimum, however, the chickens seem to think I've made them new beds/buffets!!!

They have shredded my Hostas from scratching the area around them looking for bugs, thrown the silage every which way but back where it came from, and they have ruined several of my other flowers from scratching, and pecking!

So long story short, I told my husband (Larry) that I wanted to make a pen for them so they couldn't get out and he thought that was a great idea! I drew up plans of how I wanted everything and he agreed. Then I went to the store, DON'T LEAVE YOUR HUSBAND ALONE WHEN YOU ARE BUILDING SOMETHING!!!!!

I got home from the store, and Larry had written up new plans that included room for the dogs, consisted of 8 strands of electric wire instead of chicken wire and still used the old coop instead of the new small one I wanted to build. I wasn't thrilled about it but as long as it kept the chickens out of my gardens who the heck cares what it looks like, right?

Even longer story shorter, we spent this past Saturday & Sunday in the 95+ degree heat building fence and stringing wire. Oh the joy!! Check it out!!!

South West corner looking North

Northwest corner looking South at the existing chicken coop - the yellow brick building behind the trees - not the falling down barn in the back.

Northeast corner looking South

Southeast corner looking West

Southeast corner looking Northwest

We dug 16 posts, nailed in 125 wire insulators, strung a little less than 1 mile of electric wire, fixed gates, and re-arrange the inside of the coop and this is what happens:

They all go right under the wire, some get a small shock but they still go right through, others don't get a shock at all, some get shocked 3 or 4 times before they go to a different area and get through without a shock. It sounds cruel but I assure you it's a very tiny zap! Something like a 9 volt battery on the tongue.

Now we have to figure out what to do to make them stay in their pens!!!

I'll let you know what we come up with!


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