The Road Home

The Road Home
There is no place like home.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Building the Chicken Pen

A few years ago we purchased a portable building from a local lumber yard to use as a chicken house. Sometimes it is easier to buy than build, because older muscles have a tendency to hurt.

In the past we have let the chickens out to range around the yard and house, but when we got serious about the garden we knew we would have to limit where they can go. So we put up a fence to separate their part of the yard from ours.

Well, they can easily get under the gates. We tried adding a strip of this construction netting. That kinda worked, but not really.  Some of the chickens would just go under the netting, too.

We had set the posts for a pen or run by the chicken house about three years ago. We knew the posts and concrete needed to set up and cure, but.....three years??? Is this called procrastination? Yep.

This part of the pen was our stumbling block. How do we enclose the area behind the steps with chicken wire and make it sturdy enough that when the chickens scratch around to find a cool place in the summer, they won't get out? Well, we finally decided it was time to tackle it.

First we needed to mow around the framework we have already put up.

And since we have had a lot of rain this year, the grass was already pretty tall.

Next we need to put up some 2 x 4's under and beside the steps to attach the wire to. Chickens can get through surprisingly small openings.

Frank had come up with several different plans on how to get this done, and this is what we ended up doing.


We put some gravel up against the board along the ground, under and behind the steps, to fill in any uneven places and to discourage animals. We didn't take any pictures during this process since we were busy crawling around under the steps!

Ta-da! We did it! And it is beautiful! You know that feeling when you finally accomplish something you have dreaded for a long time? It is a good feeling.

This was by far the hardest piece - a lot of grunting and groaning was heard doing this part through the steps.

The chickens still haven't figured out what all the noise is about. But they will in a few days.

The rest of the wire goes up much easier and, of course, looks great! Even if it is a little wiggity in places. 


Doesn't this gate look wonderful? It was the last step to enclose the pen and let the chickens out.

They haven't come out yet. A few of the hens will stand on the top step, but they don't come outside.

We are all creatures of habit and they do not realize they can go beyond the threshold of the door.

Well, it's a few days later and there are a few brave souls who come outside right after we open the door in the morning. It surprises us that they aren't all outside. Hmmm....some routines are harder to break than others.

The satisfaction of a task completed motivates us to move on to the next project. And maybe this one won't take three years! Frank has an old saying, "Success breeds success."

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