Last Sunday Barry and I spent the majority of the day digging a trench around the two sides of the chicken run that separate it from the rest of the yard. Then we attached chicken wire to the inside of the chicken run, pulled it under the fence, and buried it in the trench. The chicken wire is buried between 8-10 inches in the ground.
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This will keep the dogs and other predators from being able to easily dig under the chain link fence to get after the chickens. Here is a closer picture of it, since the chicken wire is difficult to see.
We also installed top rails across the top of the run to support the chicken wire we would use to cover the run. Then on Tuesday evening Barry got to work laying the chicken wire across the top of the run.
Having the cover on top serves a dual purpose. It protects the chicken from predators, such as hawks, but it also keeps the chickens from being able to fly out. They’re not very good fliers, but they’re good enough to get over the 5 foot fence.
You can keep them from being able to get out by clipping their wings, but I didn’t want to have to do that. I decided the cover was the best option, since it both keeps them in and keeps predators out.
The chickens enjoyed some more fruit (cantaloupe, honeydew, and apple scraps), which we first introduced to them last week. They have now learned that the blue bowl we put the scraps in means there’s a treat coming and they get excited when we carry it out to the coop. Lastly, here is a picture of them this week to show you how they continue to grow:
It’s getting harder to get a good picture of them because they seem to never stop moving!
This week we have plans to finish the covering on the top of the chicken run. As I have mentioned before, once this is done the chickens will have free access to the run area during the day. Currently we let them access it in the evening when we are home. Once the sun sets they usually go back in the coop on their own to go to sleep and all I have to do is go out and close the coop door for the night. I’m expecting this trend to continue when they have full access to the run area throughout the day.
Did you know that chickens can fly but are not really great fliers?