Today is the 3rd anniversary of the blog! It’s amazing to think of how far we’ve come since this journey began, but I’m glad you’re here to share it. To celebrate I’m sharing a big project that the hubs recently did, the new chicken yard! Although their coop was pretty big we spoil our critters and wanted them to have lots of room to spread their wings and do their little chicky thing. Plus happy chicks = constant egg production so we’re all about keeping these ladies happy.
To get things started the hubs rented this mini excavator to dig a trench around the perimeter of the space. Although I’m practicing no-spend April he isn’t and since it was his idea and project it doesn’t impact my no-spend goal. He did have costs for the equipment rental, posts and concrete but the main panels were freebies from Craigslist last fall and we had a gate building kit left over from installing the yard fence so he did save where he could.
The dogs were pretty interested in this new contraption and wanted to hop on for a ride. When they realized that wasn’t going to happen they decided to hop into the side by side which was parked nearby with supplies in the back. Apparently Stoli thought he was going to drive Tequila and his expression when I told him he couldn’t reach the pedals was priceless!
Here’s how things looked once the trenches were dug. Like with any project it always looks worse before it looks better. The chickens were pretty interested in what was going on and watched from inside the coop run, hoping we’d let them out to investigate.
Next came installing the posts and panels. The hubs cut a groove in the sides of each post so the panels would nest in the groove for added stability. I felt bad that I wasn’t able to help much with the install due to photography sessions but I will say he did an amazing job for putting this together almost 100% on his own.
Above is what things looked like when I left for sessions and below is what I saw when I got home that evening! All of the posts and panels were installed and concreted in which makes the entire thing SUPER sturdy and predator proof.
A few days later I helped install this thin bird netting over the top so that eagles and owls can’t attack from above.
And here’s the finished project with the gate installed. I’ve started lining both sides of the yard with cinderblocks, which I’ll plant with simple flowers to make things pretty and attract flying insects the chicks might enjoy catching. It will also help keep the digs a foot back from the fence when they come to visit, which I’m sure the chicks appreciate.
Now that they have more space I moved their outdoor roost and dirt bath tub from the run out into the yard. The hubs also plans to build a new storage area for the chicken supplies to replace the plastic one we currently have and I’m planning a few aesthetic improvements such as a coop sign, pavers next to the coop door and planting a rose bush to help keep the area smelling pretty too.
I don’t think the chicks will notice most of those things but I’ll appreciate them. They are just happy to have more freedom and room to run around but they are still creatures of habit and all gather back in the hen house each evening to roost, which makes this momma happy. 🙂