Yesterday afternoon, after EJ got home and ate supper, we went out to work on the chicken/duck pen. We divided the outside pen with a section of cattle fence , which had once been part of Danny’s pen at our old house, and then we fastened put smaller flimsier fencing along the bottom so the birds couldn’t get through the gaps in the cattle fence. Once that was up, I herded ten chickens into their side of the pen. Have you ever tried to herd chickens? Not easy. I won’t try to describe it. I will let you imagine me chasing the chickens all up and down the pen trying to herd them through a small gap to the other side.
We needed to fashion the fencing so the ducks and chickens were divided both inside and outside the garage. We couldn’t just put a long fence in because the garage door had to be able to close and I needed to be able to get from one side to the other. EJ made a gate inside the garage–using the gate from the dog pen that the previous owner had set up–that we can swing shut to keep the ducks in their side and the chickens on theirs and swing out of the way in the morning. However, we still needed to make a section that we could somehow connect when the garage door is open and disconnect so the garage door can close.
While EJ worked on the swinging gate inside the garage gate, I herded the ducks, who had been free all day, inside their section of the outside pen. I got the ducks into their outside pen but then two chickens escaped past the flimsy roll of fencing I had used to block the small opening. I chased the chickens up and down the duck side and finally yelled for Eric to swing the gate open for the chickens to get through and then closed so they couldn’t get back out. Later, we got all of them on their designated side of the garage and closed the garage door.
We went into the house, but after I fed Danny and cleaned the kitty litter, I went out to check on everyone. Suddenly, a rooster flew to the top of the coop and then jumped down to the duck pen. Are you SERIOUS?!!!! The ducks were upset and the rooster was upset, but I finally got him back on his side. Then I took the roll of flimsy fencing and unwound it and temporarily ran it on top of the coop so hopefully everyone would stay on their own side.
This morning I got up at 6 a.m. with EJ. As soon as it was light enough outside, I opened the garage door so the ducks and chickens could go outside, each on their own side. Then I began to work on the fence system while being careful to keep the open space blocked so no bird could escape their area. I connected a section of cattle panel to the one we had set up last night, extending it up to the garage door. Then I hooked up another section to reach to the coop inside the garage, but which I can swing out of the way when the garage door is closed. When the garage door is closed, EJ’s swinging gate will be closed to keep everyone where they belong.
When I got the cattle panel gates done, I fastened the smaller flimsy fencing along the bottom so the birds can’t get through the gaps. Then I fastened the remaining flimsy fencing along the top of the coop so no chicken can get over it. I also fastened hooks so the gates can be fastened open or closed, as needed.
This is a video showing what I did:
It was really hot today so I wanted to give the chickens a frozen treat to help them cool off. The ducks have their swimming pool–and later I turned on the sprinkler for them. I didn’t want the ducks to feel left out of the treats, but I don’t think they are thrilled with the frozen treats so I pulled some clover and threw it over the fence to them. The next thing I knew, there was a chicken in their pen. Grrrr. I don’t know how it got there, but after I caught the chicken and put him in his designated area, I took the leftover short section of cattle panel and wired it into the dividing fence so that it raised the height of the fence. I have a feeling that keeping the chickens and ducks separate is going to be an ongoing endeaver and I can image reaching the point of letting them all out to free-range. At least that way the hens would have more space to keep away from Cuddles.
This afternoon I drove metal fence posts into the ground using our manual post driver we had bought at TSC a couple months ago. For those of you who–like me–didn’t know what a post driver was, I will tell you that it’s a quite heavy tube with handles. A person puts it over the metal post and then grasps the two handles, lifts it, and bangs down on the post, over and over again until the post is driven into the ground. Of course there are more fancy-spansy ones but we just have a manual one that uses muscle power. It works like in this video–although ours is a round tube, not squarish:
I had to take a lot of breaks because it’s been really hot and humid outside. I got all the fence posts in and I hope to begin putting up the wire fencing soon. Maybe tomorrow.
It makes me feel like a pioneer sort of wife to be fixin’ the fence. EJ felt bad that I was working on the fence, but it’s something that I can do. It doesn’t have to be perfect, after all. It just needs to contain the chickens and I can certainly put in posts and fasten fencing to them. If I can do what I can do then it frees EJ to do projects that I can’t do. For example, tonight he took the flat tire off the Suburban and put the spare on. Tomorrow we will go get the tire fixed.