Chickens!

2009

Yesterday Wolf and I picked up the chickens we ordered from Gitch’s Funny Farm. This year we got six layers and two meat. Doreen is raising the meat birds for us because we don’t really have the room to seperate the two groups of chickens.

Wolf had to do some work to the area of the yard we keep the chickens in. First he fenced in the area with some chicken wire given to us by someone on the fire department. Then he built a door so I can get in and out of the “chicken yard.” The six are in there now scratching away, content I think.

I’m not too keen on having the chickens confined however, after last year’s free-range catastrophe I don’t want Ms. Mouthy Foxy-Fox to return because we have more dinners for her.

2009 (2)We’re going to borrow a rooster and get a couple of the chickens pregnant (note: planned pregnancies only here on Howling Hill!) so we can have some chicks and chickens a little later in the year.* I feel more confident about raising chicks because of the fencing; it’ll keep foxes and cats out of the coop.

If you want to see the coop building process check out this post

*I’m so glad our pet sitter loves all animals and is willing to care for the chickens while we’re on vacation in August.

Oh, and PS: Wolf already found an egg!

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10 Responses to Chickens!

  1. peppylady says:

    Looks like things are coming along nicely at howling hills.

    Coffee is on.

  2. Maggie says:

    Here chicky-chicky-chicky!

  3. lizzylanefarm says:

    Way to go!!!!

    What did you use for posts to put up the wire? We are talking about the same thing here. Only we will need to add some electric around ours, a fox you have, a bear we have…. and very hard rocky ground….

    Do you have an incubator or are you hoping the girls will sit?

  4. Howling Hill says:

    Peppy: indeed!

    Maggie: tee-hee-hee

    Lizzy: Wolf used some small stakes which are about 5 feet tall and about 4 inches wide, then he screwed some PVC piping — about 2 inches in diameter — onto the stakes. I’m not at all convinced it’ll keep the predators out so I asked him to replace them one at a time with 4x4s.

  5. Howling Hill says:

    PS: hoping they sit. So far it looks as if we have two broody birds.

  6. Wolf says:

    Lizzy: I used 1″ x 6′ grade stakes that I got from the Tilton Agway. They weren’t tall enough (the fencing is 8′ and was drooping), so I extended them with pieces of 3/4″ PVC piping that I had on hand. HH is right; I’ll have to replace at least the corner posts and every other to keep it from eventually being toppled. It’s because the fence is so damn high.

  7. lizzylanefarm says:

    Wolf & co.,

    Thanks for the info. I was just thinking about the grade stakes vs t-posts. Funny when I looked at Agway the talest stakes they had were 4’….I’ll take another trip back…Any excuse to check out the greenhouse again….Where did you find the 8′ fencing the tallest I have seen is 5′ and it’s more a stock fence than a chicken wire?

    You know that sagging at the top might not be a bad thing. If you could get it to sag to the outside if some thing were to try and climb it it would drop them back on the ground, the outside of the pen. We did this once before with raccoon problems in our garden… An old farmer from Hill suggested we try this years ago. It did work. We had used landscaping timbers 8′ that were in the ground a bit.

    I didn’t think the chicken wire would keep anything out either, I’m going to run an electric wire around the outside about 1.5′ from the ground, use an electric charger that I have that runs on battery.

    BTW the coop is just great! I love that it come apart for cleaning. What a great idea….

    Thanks again,
    Karyn

  8. Wolf says:

    Lizzy: I should have mentioned it, the fencing came to us as two 4′ sections wound together. As far as Agway not having the 6′ stakes when you were there, I’ve noticed that they sometimes sell out of them.

  9. burdockboy says:

    We just got our chickens too. I still need to make the fenced in yard for them because free-ranging here could get sketchy (we’ve had bear, coyotes, and foxes).

    What a score on the wire. That stuff is expensive.

  10. Glenn says:

    Wolf,

    Do you have a chain saw or hand saw? You can make fence posts out of 2″-3″ trees. They can be as long as you need and stronger than tomato stakes and pvc. And they are free – you live in the woods!!!! B)

    Happy husbandry, we are off to build a sheep tractor.

    Glenn

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