Chickens · Farm-ish

Upgrades

I didn’t get as much completed today as I did yesterday. Still, every step completed is a helpful step.

In the picture below, you can see part of yesterday’s work and today’s.

The scrap wood comes from my husband’s friend, who imports sculptures and carvings from his native village in Africa. (He does some himself, and there is often need for repair on the stonework.) The town would charge him stupid amounts of money for a short term dumpster to haul those pallets/crates off, and he doesn’t have enough space to store it to burn it.

We, however, are zoned agriculture, have no restrictions on burning, plus our 5-foot across firepit, AND I can scavenge the wood for projects. Like, you know, my chicken coop and garden beds.

This is some of the last of the scrap from the last shipment. There’s not a lot left. Three pieces go most of the way across the wall, as tightly fitted to each other as I can get them. I’m sure there are gaps, but I’m not about to mud-daub those closed. At the far back wall, there was one pallet-gap left, so there’s a vertical piece covering top to bottom of the pallet.

Today, I added the fencing wire. I wanted to ensure there was overlap at both top and bottom, and the sides. I couldn’t find the fencing staples, nor could I get a good grip with a bent over nail. So I secured the wire to the pallets with more scrap wood, pulling it taut and flush. Each end is held flat by a vertical piece. There should be sufficient overlap on the two pieces of wire in the middle that I don’t need to worry about anything prying that apart, but tomorrow I’ll use some of the rabbit cage J-clips to secure that, as well. Or screw another vertical in place. Either works. The upper edge is bent in. I may or may not do anything further with that.

It won’t keep rats out, but those are only a real risk to eggs. The fencing wire WILL keep the raccoons from wiggling through those gaps. It’ll also keep stupid half-grown chickens from wedging themselves into those gaps and freezing to death. (Yeah, I’m still irritated about that. I had to deconstruct that interior mini-coop to even get at the bodies, so I only just yesterday was able to extract them.)

On the outside, another narrow strip of fencing wire has been secured in a similar fashion, and wrapped to the chainlink, to close off the side gap of the pallets from, yes, stupid half grown chickens getting their idiotic featherbutts trapped.

Because I went up not long before dusk, the hens didn’t get much non-cage time today. So I’m running a significant risk — the cage is not closed. Two of the three were smart enough to get back INTO the cage, while the third (who isn’t laying at all) has roosted underneath that cage.

There haven’t been any signs of activity since the one raccoon was hit, and absolutely no takers on the bait left repeatedly. So I’m hopeful this risk isn’t that bad… or, at least, the remaining raccoon decided that without any immediate food available, there wasn’t much point in stopping by. I can hope.

I’m researching automatic coop doors. It really shouldn’t be necessary in an entirely chainlink enclosed run, but I guess it is. I keep researching ways to add electrified fencing, but I’m still coming up short for this setup.

Tomorrow, I hopefully get to spend time working on the wire covering of the entire run. I did spend time today clearing debris off, and surveying the overall situation. I need to do some repairs I wasn’t aware of before.

The chicks are doing well. I am going to have to upgrade them to the 5 gallon nipple waterer tomorrow, as well. The 1-gallon trough style isn’t enough for 40+ chicks, and they’re very happy to kick all the bedding into it they possibly can. 😛