Thursday, April 7, 2016

Containing the Poo (Or how to build a quick and easy fence)

Adorable pooping machines

Chickens poo.  They poo a lot.  I cannot stress enough how much poo chickens create.  We've had our three lovely birds for just under a year and they've produced at least a ton of poo.  (Statistics may be fabricated in the interest of making a point)  Our chickens especially like to poo on our patio.  Also, they know that we come in and out of our back door.  And we are their main source of food.  So the chickens like to congregate by our back door and do what chickens do best.  There's nothing worse than stepping out of your back door into a small pile of chicken poo.  Except for cold eggs.  There's really nothing worse than cold eggs.  Anyhoo.  I needed to contain the poo, but felt guilty when I kept the chickens cooped up in their run.  And the chickens objected, loudly, when they were kept in the run.  So I decided to make a larger chicken yard that would keep the poo in and the rest of the yard safe to play and walk in.  I didn't want this to be a big production, just a simple barrier to the chickens free ranging in our yard.  I decided to go with metal t-posts and galvanized welded wire fencing.

Some the the t-posts are a little wonky, but it's hardly  noticeable

I also needed two wood posts to attach a gate to so that we could easily get in and out of the new and improved chicken run.   As soon as it warmed up I started digging.  Unfortunately, even though the air was warmer, the ground was still pretty frozen so I was able to dig a few inches each day and then had to wait until the next day for the sun to warm the ground enough to dig again.  When the holes were finally 24 inches deep Tim held the posts level while I filled in with gravel and tamped it down.

 I decided to use a section of fencing that we had sitting in our garage to make the gate.

I love using what we already have to save money and clear out some space!

 I had to buy a couple of extra fence pickets, cut the height of the fence down, and attach a little extra support.  This wouldn't have happened without the help of my awesome neighbor Ken (I've mentioned him before as the savior of my basement painting scheme).  Ken scoffed at the idea that I would use my sawzall  to cut the bottom of the gate off.  He pulled out his table saw and had the bottom cut in a nice straight line in no time.  He even helped me to hang the gate.  Thanks Ken!

The chickens were intrigued by all of the digging and building.  Luckily they are not intelligent enough to realize that they can fly over the fence anytime they want!

I'm so happy to not have to yell "look out for the poop!" at my children every time they walk out the back door.  I think the fence gives my yard a slightly farm like look that I really like.  It's super cute for what is essentially a giant chicken toilet.  Yay chicken toilet!

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