With the poly tunnel complete (though we are not claiming a win until we have our first storm), we turned our attention to chicken housing.
The previous owners kept their chickens in part of one of the barns - whilst it is well appointed and roomy, there is no enclosure for the chooks to roam outside. We didn't really want them scratching up the garden or (heaven forbid) the veg patch (have enough trouble with Dexter) so we decided to create a new chicken home. We have a small orchard which we figured would provide shelter from the elements and plenty of grass and scrub for our ladies to scratch about in. The unused chicken house will serve as an isolation pen for incoming livestock.
So we needed a chicken house and fencing. After the the poly tunnel, how hard could that be?
Step 1: Assemble Chicken House
We cheated and, because I fell in love with the design, probably spent too much. The house is big enough for 12 (though we'll start off with less) and is, in my defence, very solid. Ably assisted by our resident Building Control Inspector (Dexter), Dave had the house constructed in no time... yep.. this is definitely easier than the poly tunnel.
Step 2: Put in Fence Posts
With prior training from our friend Neil, posts with pointy ends and a mahoosive 'stomper', we just needed to measure the area out and knock 'em in. Most went in pretty straight...this is going suspiciously well..
Step 3: Make a gate and hang it
Dave is now an experienced gate maker (we class 'experience' as having done it once), he built a similar frame as the one for the poly tunnel, affixed chicken wire instead of poly, chiselled out placements for the hinges on the rounded posts and voilà - perfick!
Step 4: Dig out the turf round the perimeter
No point just building a high fence, Mr. Fox can dig. To combat any tunnelling efforts (either in by the fox or out by the chickens) we dug and rolled back the turf so that we could bury the bottom part of the fence. There's no skill involved for this - just hard work.. particularly when it started raining (hard).
Step ....apologies.. slight interruption...
We went to meet Fred (named in honour of my much missed father-in-law). Fred