More chickeneering part 1

At long last we’ve started to build a new allotment run to extend the space and to accommodate the garden chickens as they develop. The idea is to have two self-contained runs and two free range areas, but with the flexibility to combine or alternate the two.

When we bought our wonderful Maggie’s 24, we also acquired an old but serviceable Flyte so Fancy chicken house.

It’ll easily accommodate 6 large fowl, so it’s ideal for our needs. We laid a few slabs and installed it a couple of weeks ago.

I was going to start building a suitable run. But that’s quite a big project. Then a second-hand walk-in run came up for sale on Practical Poultry. At 12′ x 6′ it’s about two-thirds of the size of our current run, but still adequate, and, most important, it slots in neatly to our available space.

On Saturday, we collected the run from the young lady who was selling it. She also helped with the dismantling. It all loaded very neatly onto the trailer. In the back of the van went the roofing sheets, plus a number of drinkers and feeders and other extras that she threw in to the deal. More about them in another post.

In this picture, we’ve started to lay out the base.

Like the previous one, we’re mounting the run on sleepers, and underwiring it to prevent foxes digging underneath. This time we haven’t dug down as deeply, partly because of the effort involved with wet earth at this time of year, partly because the sleepers aren’t as big as the previous batch.

With the wire in place and cable tied securely, and the sleepers dug in and adjusted so that they’re level and squared off, it’s time to start constructing the run. With the first two panels in place, it’s time for a tea break. The chickens had overcome their nervousness by now, and were taking an interest.

This is the last picture before the light failed. We put a roof panel on to give the structure some rigidity, then packed up as evening fell and the rain started.

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