Some of you may recall my current chicken run situation. It is made up of portable dog run panels with a deer netting roof. Neither secure nor solid, I feel like I've been gambling with time (and my chickens) until predators figure out how flimsy this structure is.
We've been lucky so far. The only uninvited visitor to the run to date has been Sarah the donkey:
and the only unwelcome critter found outside (on top of) the run has been Coral the chicken when she somehow managed to escape:
But with fall and winter not far off, I knew that we needed to get our permanent run in place and soon. Thanks to my friend Angie and her husband, Eric, at Children of the Corn, we were at last able to finalize plans for our permanent chicken run. Angie and Eric posted wonderful instructions for me, on the turkey run they recently built. Jim and I then adapted these to be on a smaller scale for my twelve chickens.
Since Jim had this week off work and his two, grown sons were coming for a visit, NOW was my moment to POUNCE. With just a bit of effort, I was able to pull this small team together to get the chicken run started.
Both Brian and Peter, Jim's sons, were happy to help(that's Avalon, Brian's fiance, standing with them):
The chickens were fascinated with all the activity. This kept them from noticing that their temporary outside run is now only about 1/5 of its original size:
The hardest part was digging the holes for the posts. The site for the run, we've come to find, has at least a foot of densely packed gravel followed by a foot of the hardest clay soil imaginable. We had hoped to dig 3 feet down, but decided 2 feet was just gonna hafta (technical term) be good enough! (Please note the flip-flop farm footwear and the fact that Peter is inadvertently burying his dad's foot with gravel):
Slowly but surely, all the posts were placed:
And the horizontal support beams screwed in:
The structure is now ready for wire and a door. The 3 feet below the middle horizontal support beams will be secured in 1/2 inch hardware cloth. The 4 feet above that and the roof will be done in chicken wire:
The final run will be 7 wide by 16 feet deep. I can't wait!: