Farm-ish · Household · Poultry

Birthdays, Unicorns, Zombies and Expansions

It is the amazing Small Person’s birthday weekend, and we were fortunate that Grandpa (aka, per SP, Zombie) was able to visit for her birthday again.

Accordingly, Zombies has been a game all weekend, with Baby Brother joining in the festivities. (“Graga, graga!” is BB’s attempt at saying grandpa.) She had a unicorn and Plants Vs Zombies birthday party. Her two favorite things, at the same time. She also got several unicorn and PvZ toys. She had, in her words, “the best birthday ever!”

Still, Grandpa took a break from chasing the little — and not so-little-anymore — ones, and helped me puzzle out a problem with the chain link run.

For several months, the husband has been suggesting that I expand out the run by about 10 feet. Personally, I suspect that has to do with the mowing — if he doesn’t have to mow that, it’s a little less of a hassle for him.

Dad and I went up and muttered back and forth about it, and it occurred to me that dog kennel panels would work just fine for this purpose. We’re not actually trying to keep much in; we’re trying to keep things out. So as long as it’s secured around the sides and kept them from digging, there’s no severe need for dug in posts. Plus, it gives some flexibility to deal with the severe slope change. The run’s 28 feet long, and the panels are 10′ each. This allows for a 1′ overlap in the middle.

And, even better: I can PULL ONE OPEN so I can, you know, get an actual WHEEL BARROW inside the pen to muck it out. Ever try to muck out a chicken and rabbit pen via a 26″ wide gate, while on a super steep slope at the gate? My suggestion: Don’t. Build a new gate.

A 10’x10’x6′ dog kennel plus extra panel (and a trailer rental) later, the necessary panels were brought up. See those solid metal pieces? Those I’ve had not-quite-in-the-way for at least a few years now. I knew they’d eventually come in handy, but I didn’t know what I could use them for. I kept thinking about maybe putting them in as a workbench or something but they weren’t really flat, and … Yeah. But this? They’ll keep the hill from washing everything in the extension away. (There’s a similar structure on the extant run, that’s been there about as long as the run has.)

Dad did most of the heavy work — the ditching (and cutting tree roots) — to get these placed. Then we worked on setting the t-posts that will help anchor the panels in place, and wire-tying the other panels to the extant corner posts.

It might benefit from some more t-posts as support — I’ll have to pay attention to how it behaves. I will have to work on laying some wire down along the outer edges, about a foot out, to minimize digging under from predators. Then will come the super fun part of rolling out new netting over it. I need to get the entire run re-done, as well as work on redoing some of the chicken coup.

But, for now, the expansion’s in progress. This should make a lot of maintenance tasks so. much. easier. I’m really looking forward to it.