Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The New Chook Corner

At last, it is done! (well, actually, almost done....!) But at least Emily, Lady and Ruby are finally in their new place, scratching around to their hearts content.

It was one of those jobs you would look at and think "hmmm, couple of hours work at the most....". Well, I can tell you it was waaaaaay more work than we thought, possibly due to our amateur building skills. (which is a teesy bit of a worry since we are planning on building our own home at some point!!!)

We used -
5 star pickets (mostly 2.4m) and post driver
9 metres of chicken wire
fence wire to tie to posts
asst nuts/bolts/screws
1 gate ($10 from ebay last year, I just KNEW it would be useful! It even matches our shed!)

We picked the 'best' site in our back yard, (which was mostly the corner that previously was a huge compost pile!) It is mostly shady, not much will grow there (certainly not veggies anyway) Also it has strong existing fencing on 2 sides and a shed on another.

So after a clear-up we only had to fence 1.5 m behind the shed, and 7.5 m across the front. I dug the bottom of the fence into the ground and 'splayed' it out a little to deter any 'diggers' from trying to get in. The gate needed different size hinges and fence was bolted onto the tin shed.

Sounds pretty simple? Well truly - it was like a comedy of errors. We could have been doing a scene from 'Thank God You're Here'.

There were many cringe-worthy moments, but the highlight would have to be when we finally finished, late Sunday, the gate posts finally straight and the gate hung, and then hubby said ..............

"So, do you think the ark will actually FIT in through the gateway?"
AAAAARRRRGGGGHHHHH!!!! *$##!!!#$^*^&^^$!!~~## !!!!!

What a couple of dopes. I still can't believe we built it without putting the ark inside first. Lesson learnt.

We had to take out the end section which involved about 12 'u' nails through the fence, and re-do it. It was actually dark when we finished.

Anyhoo, the chooks now have a lovely corner with thick straw carpet, and their house on the INSIDE.

There are 6 small trees inside the enclosure which are giving lovely dappled sunlight most of the day, and when the Japanese maples grow back in Spring, the area will be fully shaded for the heat of summer.

I need to fix a small square of fencing to the top of the gate, (just in case they decide to learn to fly properly) and a lock on the outside of the gate. Also I want to put a couple of low horizontal tree branches in for them to roost. (like a chooky-gym!)

Looking at it positively, I learnt a few lessons, gained a few new skills, and now have happy chooks and dog. The area is much bigger than needed for 3 chooks, but we are considering getting some chicks in the Spring so the extra space will be appreciated.
Now, I just need to regenerate the rest of the garden that has become a moonscape....!


Xena said...

looks great we are thinking of doing a similar effort in one area of our yard for the same reasons.

Jacqueline said...

oh it looks lovely!!! I think I'm having gate envy!! And certainly small tree envy (ours are so far off lending dappled light it is a bit disheartening, but they will grow, eventually...). Just think of it all as excellent practice for your house. Will it be a yurt by any chance? I'm obsessed with yurts. Here's a serious offer too: if you want to get fertile eggs to hatch for chicks, we will almost certainly have a big fat healthy broody around that time who will be happy to do the job for you (and it will be nice to give her the chance to hatch something).

mountainwildlife said...

Thanks JJ & J!
Jacqui-thanks for the 'egg-sitting' offer! Not sure yet if we will get eggs, chicks or POL's again. I think it would be nice for our children to see eggs hatch or new chicks though. And me too :)

Sorry to disappoint you but no yurt ahead (I couldn't possibly inflict yurt envy too!) We are planning on building a wide solar passive homestead-style home, but... with our building skills and my tendancy to run around in circles.... it may well become one! :-O

Lee said...

Thanks for posting about this - because we'll be doing the same thing, and building a chook enclosure, once we've bought a house!

It's great to see what other people are doing, how they've done it, and hopefully learn from a few errors along the way, before we make plenty of our own!

BTW, I'm a new reader. I found your blog from Eilleen's recent blog post, where we all introduced ourselves :-)


Daharja (Cluttercut)

mountainwildlife said...

Welcome Daharja! I love finding new blogs through others too ... like finding an interesting author you never knew before!

Good luck when you do your chook area - as for the names (previous post) LOL! my son too wanted to name ours, all Thomas engines! We agreed on female engines' names, but he was quite upset there were no boys!

Chris said...

Hey, that looks pretty smick! Plenty of room for them, and keeps the rest of the yard off-limits. Everyone should be happy now. :)

Looks great!

Toria said...

It looks great. We had to do something similar with our chooks a few years back - they are so destructive! And then once we had reclaimed our backyard, we had to go get ducks & surrender it all over again. We're planning on fencing off another section of the yard for the ducks now.

Michelle @ Give a Girl a Fig said...

Wow! This chicken run is amazing! They look very happy there...I think I may have to follow suit one day as my chickens are SO destructive! The artichoke is almost demolished and my herbs in pots? Don't even ask! Thanks for visiting my blog...it's nice to "meet" you!