Sunday, March 20, 2011

New Chicken Run Construction and Chicken Update

Today turned out to be a great day; it had a rough start, but once we got going it was great. We started putting up posts for the new chicken run, which is now going to be 25' x 30' and 4' high. Matt Nathan and I dug out 20(I think) post holes and put in the posts(4 4x4's and trees we cut out of the yard). After the first couple of hours it looked like we would never get finished, but by supper time we had actually completed putting in all the posts and filling in around them.

This week I will start digging the trench to bury the wire. Eventually we will be moving the existing coop and adding on to the side of it. We have been trying to decide what to do with the existing coop, if we should add on, add another, or just start over. I hated the idea of starting over because it seems like such a waste. Building another, although a good option, isn't very pract
ical, so I think we have decided to just modify what already exists to accommodate the new brood.

Since it looks like we will not be able to let the girls out as often as last year, I have hopes to maybe split the run into two parts, and grow grass on it periodically so that the chickens don't live in a muddy mess like before, but have not completely figured that one out yet. That will probably be an on going project to accomplish, I have a feeling it will be a very challenging one.

As of Wednesday, the new chicks are doing great. One of my roosters wasn't growing well and hadn't figured how to eat and drink well on its own so I have been feeding it a mixture of sugar, water, and feed with a syringe. Last night it seemed to be doing much better, but it is smaller and getting picked on quite a bit by the bigger birds. The Leghorns and Austrolarps seem to be a bit more aggressive than the Easter Egg Chickens and Wyandottes that we had last year. My little rooster is a Easter Egg Chicken and they are really being rough on him. I really hope he makes it. (The picture is of my little rooster, not the best picture because of the broken camera, but you can see he is really cute.)

Also, it has been about four day without my camera now, and it is almost driving me crazy...not to mention all those people around me that I keep telling, "oh what a great picture that would be..." It should arrive at the Nikon fix it shop tomorrow and I am really hoping it doesn't take too long before I hear something from them. The auto-focus just stopped working on it last week and I am hoping that they can fix it and it doesn't cost an arm and a leg since it should still be under warranty. So there will either be no new pictures, or old pictures until further notice.


  1. We need to build a chicken run, too. We let the chickens free-range in the winter but yesterday our peas popped out of the ground and I found the chickens helping themselves. Bad girls! I hate to keep them penned in - and I also hate how they turn a small lot into a mud lot. Like your idea of a double run.

  2. Thanks Gina, I bet they thought you planted a feast just for them. :)

    We had to fence the garden to keep ours out when they were let out to roam. It's really funny how quickly you realize what their favorite plants are...kale seems to be a favorite treat, with Swiss Chard coming in a close second.

    We are trying to keep adding bedding material, leaves, hay, and pine shavings when things get really slushy and messy especially at the coop doorway so that they at least have a "rug" to wipe there feet on and maybe keep the eggs cleaner. We are still working on the double run concept so far it hasn't been completed yet.

    I hope you were able to get your run put in for your girls.