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Chicken Run In The Raised Garden Bed

>24 August 2010
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chicken run


It was such a beautiful day today! It wasn’t too hot, a little bit cloudy, and a light breeze was constantly refreshing us. I couldn’t let a day like this go to waste, I wanted to build something!

Looking around me I spotted a few good pieces of material- some tall wooden stakes, and scrap chicken wire. Immediately I knew what I wanted to do, a chicken run! Chickens are wonderful for clearing weeds and bugs from garden beds, and their manure will be wonderful fertilizer for next year’s crop. Plus, with a pesky fox after my chickens I need a way to keep them safe. I raided Jerry’s workshop (sorry hun!), and grabbed a rubber mallet, some long screws, the drill, and a loaded staple gun.

First, I hammered the stakes into each corner of one of the unused garden boxes, and screwed them in place. Next, I stretched the chicken wire as tightly as I could around the stakes, and stapled it to the bottom of the box, and up and down each of the stakes. I secured it this way all the way around except for one side, which I designated as the entrance. Here, instead of stapling it, I put a few screws up and down the corner post and simply stretched the wire over the screws to hold it in place. This way I can easily pull the wire aside as I need to gain access to the chickens and feeders.

Once the sides were done, I stretched a piece over the top and stapled it to the top of each stake. I used twistie ties (from sandwich bags) to secure the top wire to the wire along the sides. Add a little shelter, and waterer, and the chickens were ready to play! Now, to catch the little rascals… Good thing I had Jada to help me!

It wasn’t long after I had finished when it began to pour down rain. I mean, hard rain! Knowing that chickens will die if they are left out in a downpour without any shelter, I went to check on them to make sure they were okay. Sure enough, the dumb things were huddled in a corner of the run getting completely drenched. I made my way inside with them, caught them both, and put them inside the little house I’d put in the run. Maybe they didn’t know what it was? Maybe it wasn’t big enough? I looked around and found something bigger for them to get into (I myself getting completely soaked) and thoughtfully put the new, larger “house” in the run. They stayed under the shelter, and when I checked on them again after the storm had passed they were fine.

I’m wondering how long it will take them to scratch up all of the weeds and clean the bed out for me. Obviously, we wouldn’t leave them in there over the winter, just as long as the weather is nice. Most of my garden beds are the same measurements, so when they are done with this one I’m thinking it won’t be that hard to move the run to the next box. If tomorrow is nice I might build another one for my other two chickens.

Forget manicures and hair salons… scrap materials make me happy.

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9 Comments »

  • Sharon said:

    You did an awesome job. This fall I plan to finish cleaning out my chicken coop and start getting it ready for chickens next year. I can’t wait.:) Hope you have an awesome day.:)

  • Sarah said:

    You have such great ideas. I wish I had such energy…:)

  • Holly Crawford said:

    Great Job Kendra!!! I know your husband is so proud to have you as a wife….Not many wives would do the things you do :)

  • Jill said:

    “Forget manicures and hair salons… scrap materials make me happy.”

    This made me smile- because I can totally relate! Nothing makes my day more than someone giving me some leftover (almost too ripe) fruit that I can preserve– or the other night when my husband brought home 12 brand new buckets that he dug out of the dumpster at work (we are always short on buckets around our homestead!)

    Such freedom in living the simple life, huh? :)

  • Stephanie said:

    “It was such a beautiful day today! It wasn’t too hot, a little bit cloudy, and a light breeze was constantly refreshing us. I couldn’t let a day like this go to waste, I wanted to build something!”
    We must have been separated at birth..Lol…that is my kind of day, girl!!!

    “Forget manicures and hair salons… scrap materials make me happy.”
    Again! I built my coop out of scrap 2×4′s my dad brought home from work and wire my hubb’s dad didn’t need. :-)

    You go girl! I always look forward to your posts.

  • Laura said:

    I just cleaned our chicken coop out this week and put our manure in the raised beds that we were finished using this season, getting it ready for next year.

    I have to say, I have such fun with our girls. Just starting to get eggs now. It is truly EGG-citing! :> )

    Blessings~
    Laura

  • Leigh said:

    Another “plus” for raised beds (which I don’t have!). Your chickens look happy and the soil will benefit from the fertilization. Can you move it to another bed later on?

  • Angie said:

    I use chicken tractors and i had my 2 tractors where my corn is now for 1 month. I have not had to fertilize it a bit. Just the occasional water. It grew fast and beautiful green(when the weather finally cooperated)I fed them their regular grain, weeds and fresh cut grass, and i used grass hay for bedding to keep it clean and no smell and it makes for great compost. I am very happy with what they have done for me, and i have them making me new beds for next year now.

  • Steffanie said:

    I love this idea! I’m a women who would choose scraps anyway too!

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