Saturday the girls and I took on two projects I have been itching to get done. One of those projects was to expand the chicken coop pen area to give our ladies a bit more leg room.
Part of this project was not only to build it but to use up as much wood as possible from our scrap pile. It was primarily comprised of old cedar fence rails and a couple old posts. We had put our new fence up eight years ago and this was the last remains of the old one. As luck would have it there was just enough usable wood in that pile to get the job done.
|Fresh dirt was placed on top of the wire when we were done|
Plenty to scratch around in
We actually started a couple weeks ago by disassembling one of the planting beds to make room for the compost bin. I moved the big blue trash can we use as our compost bin near there and then leveled out the area. Once that was done I laid down chicken wire to cover the area so the girls can't dig holes and predators can't dig their way in.
I used the boards from the garden bed to make the base of the pen area and then the girls helped me to frame up the walls. I cut wood with 45° angles to make braces for extra support at the bottom and ran more rails across the top to tie it to the existing structure.
|Stella is inspecting our progress|
The existing wire was "re-routed" to the new walls along the front. We added more wire from the roll we had leftover from the original build to finish it up. My oldest did most of the stapling while I pulled it taut.
I added two 1" X 2"s crosswise to add more support for the wire. One was already on the coop and the other I had in the garage. We stapled the wire to each one once they were secured in place. I also ran another 1" X 2" across the top which will help us to hold up the netting that will be stretched across the top this weekend. It helps keep the squirrels out of the coop so they can't steal their food as well as other predators.
|These ladies were constantly helping us too|
Lastly, I decided to raise the door and the threshold in order to give it a little better clearance when it snows. Of course with last year's snowfall I'd probably have to raise it up three more feet to clear that. Hopefully though this will help make it easier to open the door in winter.
|Enjoying some fresh cut dandelion greens|
The ladies love their new "yard" and I love that they have this extra space. I also love that I only had to purchase an extra 1" X 2", the one for the top, and a box of staples to complete this project. My youngest sorted out a gob of screws from the can of miscellaneous nails and screws so we had plenty of fasteners. Total cost came in at under $5! Yippeeee!
Tune in tomorrow to check out the other project we completed that day.