After a lot of slow-poking, putting it offing, getting around to it latering..I finally fenced in the chickens! Nothing fancy, just wire fencing, 1x2 mesh; 4x4 posts, for the gateway; then t-bars and trees, for tacking up the fence.
The gateway. 4x4s set into concrete.
The view to the right, two hundred feet of fencing all the way around. The yellow ties on the fencing was put on after we put up the first panel. The chickens were running into the fencing trying to get into the coop. After I added the bows, cut from a plastic bag that once held dirt, the chickens could see the fence better and found their way around it, and into the coop.
Andrew's friend Jim brush-hogged this area for us last Spring, when I first starting doing this project. Yes, last Spring! Bought all the materials then let it sit on the back burner until finally completing this project last week! Andrew has been burning, burning, burning away at all the weeds that grew back and made it really nice back there.
Truthfully, I think it took so long to finish the fencing because I didn't really want to fence them in. I like having the chickens out, watching them scratch in the yard, or in the front driveway. Their chicken ways fascinated me and I hated the idea of locking them away. But they were getting into things-- my rhubarb patch, the garden. And they pooped all over the sidewalk and patio area. Killed all the flowers planted around the house by digging into the dirt for their baths. And besides, after the harvesting of the fruit and vegetables, they can be let out again and enjoy freedom. They won't be cooped up all the time, I told myself, when I finally made the gate to shut the chickens in.
All they need now is a tin cup!
The gate is a simple frame made from PVC pipes, then covered with chicken wire. Held shut with a chewed through nylon leash, but still useful with the latch on the end.
Since they've been on lock-down? It's pretty nice. I still feel kind of bad about it, but it's great not having kids that were scared of the rooster, therefore scared to go out the door without a chaperone to guide them through the chicken gauntlet hanging out by the back door. Even after clearing a path, there was hesitation to run through and after 10 seconds too long, the chickens regroup and.. "Attackkkkk!!" Sure got tiring escorting multiple kids multiple times every day. Rescuing a kid too scared to move, panic in their eyes is something I don't miss one bit. I still plan to let them out come Fall, after harvest, but by then, there should only be one rooster left and he'll be too busy playin' with his ladies to worry about the kids.
Another project checked off my list!