Sunday, October 11, 2009

Building a Chicken Run

Clearing the Spot
We selected an area near our barn to build our chicken pen. We marked off a 100 ft by 100 ft area in the midst of some hardwood trees. The tough part was clearing all the undergrowth and honey suckles. The whole famiily pitched in and we got the area cleared in one weekend.

The Hen House
After much research I decided to build a 6 ft x 12ft hen house with a 6ft x 12ft porch. The ceiling is 10ft tall to allow for plenty of vertical roost area. On the inside I cut some 6 foot sections of oak trees for the chickens to roost. The roost start at ground level and go up every 1.5 feet. There is 1.5 foot horizontal spacing between each roost. For windows we used rabbit wire(hardware cloth) for the windows. As it gets colder I will put plastic over them to prevent drafts. There is plenty of ventilation for winter due to the 3inch gap around the top of the walls. The house is designed so half is for roosting and half is for nesting. I don't have nest boxes yet. I don't think the hens will be old enough to lay until spring.

Putting up the Fence
I have never put up a fence before. I cemented in my corner post and drove in metal post every 8 feet. This was easier than I expected due to all the ran we have had. I first tried to put up poultry wire as my fencing material. It was almost impossible to get this stuff to stand up rigid for 100ft. I pulled it so tight I pulled my anchor tree down using the come along. I decided to take all the poultry wire back except the one roll I used. I went with 48in 2x4 welded wire fence instead. I have a friend that used this and knew it would work. When in doubt just go with what you know works. I had the whole fence up in the amount of time I wasted on the one section.

From Our Farm

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