Sunday, October 12, 2014

New Chicken Yard For My Happy Hens

On Friday, I worked all day putting up a new fence, with a much larger space for my hens.  We had a safety fence up around our pool since our two daughters have had children.  They are all swimming, and quite water safe now.  The fence came down this summer.  We kind of talked about using it for a larger hen run, but the summer was so darned hot, that we never did anything about it.  I got a wild hair on Friday, and began to take down my ramshakle fencing in the run, and redo it with the pool fencing.  I worked on it all day.  Filthy dirty from head to toe, and although I was happy with the results, it still wasn't right.  Greg promised me he would help me to sink the poles on Saturday and make it right.  Saturday morning, I made him breakfast, (best way to get my husband's help with a project) and then we both put on our working clothes, and got busy.
We began by taking the entire thing down.  Then beginning on one side, we put up each panel slowly, marking of the space, me holding the post in place, and Greg on a ladder, pounding it into our rock hard ground with a sledge hammer.
We had to do a fair amount of tree trimming along the way, even busting out the chain saw to remove some large limbs from one of the avocado trees, and one orange tree along the back of the run.
I don't think either one of us knew that it would be such a long day doing this.  But we did take breaks. We sat in the chairs I have put in the hen yard for this very use.  A place to sit, watching the amusing antics of the girls.  I also decided to put the kids old slide inside the coop as well.  It provides additional hiding space, should a hawk loom dangerously near.  As well as providing a sort of table top for cleaning the water dishes, and doing my daily coop chores.  The fencing is high enough that they cannot fly over.  I keep their right wings trimmed to prevent flying too.
Two large limbs had to be removed from one avocado tree to prevent the girls using those limbs as a perch to vault out and over the fence.
I have used the playhouse as a coop for my baby hens, as well as temporary home for when I am introducing a new girl into the flock.  This has to be done very slowly, to avoid the new girl, or girls, being pecked and picked on by the others.   For the new run though, I wanted to incorporate the small hen house into the run, for an additional place to play, hide, and/or perch, should someone want to.  In the Spring I will get a few more chicks to add to my flock, and they will be  housed at night in the small coop until they are older.
We worked our way around, using the fence panels from the pool.  One post at a time, until we had encircled the entire coop, providing them with three times the space that they had before.  
We finished the run, and then ran through our favorite local Mexican food restaurant, Miguel's, and refueled with a burrito.  Then went out to sit in the chairs and watch the girls, as they waddled back into the run, and then to the coop, where they bicker and pester one another, while haggling for the best spots on the roosts.  As soon as the sun begins to go down, they head closer to the home, and are all inside the safety of their run well before darkness falls.
Squash, push, squabble, until all twelve, are nestled in, snug as bugs, for the night.  We closed the coop door ensuring their safety from nighttime predators.  Then the run door.  Goodnight my hens.  I hope you like your new digs!
We were both pretty tired last night.  But not too tired for me to begin another weekend project.  I will leave you with one photo, and post about it tomorrow.  Suffice it to say, it has been one busy weekend!  Geeps ran up to wet a line in Big Bear Lake.  I wanted to go, but didn't want to get up at 5 to leave.  He called and sent a picture.  The colors are changing, and the air is crisp.  I wish I were there too.  But today I will work on this mess.  Am I moving?  Sort of...........
In my mind, it is a cozy, light filled room, with comfy chairs, and a place for all of my Knitty Biddies to sit and work on their projects.  A place where pretty yarn sits waiting in baskets, and where hand made blankets grace the backs of chairs.  A place where we can put our feet up, and set our tea next to us while we work.  A place that my friends will want to stay all afternoon. Where we can exchange creative ideas, and share laughs and our love of handwork.  And a place for my best friend Jae and I to sit and sew to our hearts content.  Where quilts adorn the walls, and creative makes are not only on display, but lovingly used as well.  Come on back tomorrow and see what I have been up to.
Until then, go make it a great day!!!
XO  Kris


corners of my life said...

I have no doubt this will be a beautiful room when you are finished.

Leslie said...

The chicken run is great.. I bet they love it!!!
I've been in a creative/makeover mode lately, I keep focusing in on my dining room.. after halloween!!

Have fun.

Betsy said...

That coop is perfect for your girls. They have to be some of the happiest chickens around and you, my friend, are one of the hardest working women I know.
Oh, I want to be one of your friends that sits and knits with you in your room. I can't find anyone who is home during the day to knit with, and I don't like leaving Hubby in the evenings. I miss him when I'm gone. Maybe once he retires and we have everyday together it bother me so much. But, meanwhile I'll dream about being at your house.

Teresa Kasner said...

Hi Kris! Wow, you've made a wonderful big run for your hens! I bet they will love it. We have a pretty big run for ours, too.. makes me feel good. Which room are you working on? I know you'll make it cozy and homey. Can't wait to see it done.
((hugs)), Teresa :-)

Patricia @ Corn in my Coffee-Pot said...

I'm jealous... You have an avocado tree! AND AN ORANGE TREE!
I've tried to grow both... In fact I have 3 Avocados growing on the porch in pots right now. But don't know if they'll do well until next year to put in big pots. I grew some kind of citrus, I think grape fruit from seed, until the grasshoppers discovered their young tender shoots and devoured them. Hhhmmmppph!
Your chickies look like they will be mighty happy in their new digs. My hubby likes to fish... not me. I'd rather 'hook' with yarn. ;)
Your new crafty place sounds wonderful...
can't wait to see it.

Mereknits said...

It looks like you are running a nursery school for hens, I love that the girls are so spoiled at your house. I will be right over to help you fix up your room and of course sit a while and play with yarn with you. You did invite all of us didn't you?

Pammy Sue said...

You are always so busy! That pool fencing makes a great run for the chickies. Not much happenin' here, but we area enjoy cooler weather. Hope you get it soon too! Can't wait to see your redo.

Amy at love made my home said...

How great that you were able to reuse the pool fence and give the hens such a great new larger space!! Two great jobs in one there. I look forward to seeing what you have been up to indoors as well. xx

Patty Marker said...

You have me all tired out. I can't wait to see your room finished but don't envy you the mess. It will all be worth it.

Karen L. Bates said...

You have been a very busy girl this week. Hope you can catch some rest after all your hard work. I know your girls are very happy with their new digs! It looks great.

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