Not our house……the hen house is being extended with an outdoor run for the 5 chickens. They have previously free-ranged over about 3/4 acre of our land but the current chickens are an adventurous bunch and constantly feel the need to find gaps in the fencing (or dig under it) and free-range in the neighbour’s yard where they are not welcome. I have patched up the various spots where I thought they were escaping but 2 in particular do an excellent imitation of Houdini.
Yesterday we went to Bunnings Hardware to get some materials and we have made a start on an enclosed run for them. It is not as good as letting them free-range but in the interests of maintaining a reasonable relationship with the neighbours we have decided this is the way to go.
Here are the posts all positioned and ready. We have designed it so that the existing gates can be latched in the ‘open’ position to completely enclose the run. We will let the posts settle before attaching the wire next weekend. I will post some more photos when it is complete.
This is only a temporary measure as we will eventually be building a new chicken house and large run (including the orchard) when we re-do the front fencing and permanently fence the entire vegetable garden area. Like many things around here, it is a work in progress.
The other work in progress is building more raised garden beds. Unlike the chicken run we have not bought any new materials. Here is some of the leftover iron from the wall cladding of the house.
The Duke is using rivets to join some of the smaller pieces together.
The supports are some steel posts we inherited and even the rivets and screws are leftovers from other people’s projects. We built one bed last year and used a hardwood post (from Freecycle) as the supports. Because these beds will be used for growing vegetables we do not use treated timber as the chemicals leach into the soil.
This is the first bed we built. This picture was taken when it was first done. We put cardboard down, then filled it with mulch, leaves, shredded paper and grass clippings. This eventually decomposes and we now have a productive bed full of rich soil at no cost.
We have a productive weekend and there will be more coming up.
It is a shame to have to enclose them but I do understand that you need to maintain some kind of relationship with neighbours.
Just found your blog via a comment you left on someone’s blog! We had chickens when the kids all were young, but haven’t had them for a while. Now, hubby is talking of getting some this spring. I’m not sure exactly what he’s talking about, but something about a pen that he can move around for them to peck at the ground… when they’ve cleaned up an area, he slides the pen and chickens??? Can you tell I’m not sure, lol?
We have to have them enclosed because of where we live, or we’d let them free-range.
Although this is only a temporary house for your chickens, I’m sure they are happy and are going to LOVE the new house when you get around to it and I just love the raised garden bed, 🙂