Most of the time JJ has to be to work at 3 p.m., but today he was scheduled to begin work at noon. After JJ left, I considered working to enlarge the chickens’ outside pen. However, I knew that once I began working on it, I wouldn’t be able to stop until the pen was finished. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do so much work today, but the day was beautiful with blue skies and temps in the 60s–a wonderful day for working outside–and I decided to go for it.
The chicken pen was going to be extended by ten feet–the length of the dog cage panels. I moved the two center wooden posts to the corners. I temporarily put t-posts where the wooden posts had been to hold up the fence until I was ready to move it. I had to dig two trenches to bury the bottom of the panels so predators can’t easily dig under them. I also had to dig a 23 foot or so trench for the wire fencing I was moving. I didn’t have enough wooden posts, so I pounded in two T-posts spaced between the wooden posts. Then I was ready to move the wire fence to the new location.
Moving the fence was very tricky because the chickens were all outside and very curious about what I was doing. I had to move the whole 23-foot length of fence to the new location without letting the chickens escape. The fence was very flexible and kept wanting to curl up or fall down. The chickens kept poking their heads through the fence and they tried to push through the gap at the loose ends. At one point I was stretched out holding the fence up to keep it from falling on the chickens, while trying to block the chickens from getting around the loose ends. I couldn’t fasten the fence to the posts while holding up the fence and shooing the chickens, and I envisioned myself stuck holding the fence for several hours until EJ arrived home from work to help me. Finally, the fence did fall, scaring the chickens away–fortunately they weren’t hurt–so that I could quickly temporarily attached it by bending the wire ends so they caught the dog cage panel ends. Then I quickly wired the fence to one of the t-posts. With the fencing being held up, I was able to take my time permanently attaching the fence to the wooden posts with large staples and securely wiring the fence to the t-posts. I wasn’t able to get the fencing as straight as I wanted, but it is fastened to the posts so I’m happy.
Once I got the fence in place, I filled in the trenches. Then I was done. This is what the enlarged pen looks like:
The chickens happily clucked as they scratched in the dirt of their larger pen.
I showed EJ my project when he got home from work. He said that I did a good job and that the chickens have about 230 square feet of additional space.
Meanwhile, the ducks are really happy with their enlarged space. I have happy birds.