We left off last weekend with half the wire up on the run and the coop a bit more stabilized. This weekend the plan was to add a few more center supports under the coop and get the wire on the other side of the coop. I needed to get some more screws, poultry staples and an additional 4×4. I only need three supports from the post, so I got an eight footer. Much easier to get in the vehicle.
This weeks materials list
- 1 – 4 x 4 x 8′ Treated Lumber … @ $7.00/each … $7.00
- 3/4″ Poultry Staples … @ $3.00/each … $3.00
- Washer 1/4″ … @ $5.58 … $5.58
- Screws 6 x 1.25 … $7/pound… $7
- TOTAL $22.58
Before we got started we decided to add some wood chips to the ground. I have added wood chips to the first run and it does a good job keeping the chickens out of the mud when we get our torrential spring rains. I have a pile sitting next to the driveway that I got free from my power company. I have asked them to drop chips when they work in the area but it has been too hot here in the summer to get them moved. Most of the chips will end up in my Back to Eden garden but I decided to add some to the run. I figured it would be easier to add now before we got the wire up and I had to come into it from the end.
I ended up adding four wheelbarrow loads of chips to each section. I think I can actually use another one or two in each section but we will see what this does. Adding chips will not be easy in the future as the end will have a door that is about two feet in the air rather than along the ground. I hate making doors and I have found the raised bottom gives a nice place to sit in my grow out A-Frame. With the raised end I will not be able to dump a wheelbarrow in there very easily. Think we will add a few more loads before we enclose that end.
Now onto the wire. To begin, we had to pull the top wire over and get it stapled into place. I pulled it over snug then got it stapled down tight. Then I took the chicken wire and again, rolled it out the length of the run. I put boards on each end and allowed for some extra to make sure I did not come up short. I also started at the coop end rather then the end of the run to make sure it was attached well to the coop. After coming up short the last time I made sure this was long enough to reach the end and wrap around.
Again we had to attach this wire to the top wire and did a lot of wire twisting. I am still using some wire I had on hand that is for electric fencing. You can purchase a smaller amount of wire that is used for hanging picture frames or purchase electric fence wire. Zip ties can also be sued but you would have to get some that will not degrade over time in the elements and with the sun’s UV rays.
This time I joined the two wires together before using the staple gun to anchor it into place. I will need to go back with a hammer and the poultry staples and anchor the wire a bit more securely, but the staple gun right now is quick and does the job of holding the .
After the middle wire was joined to the top and stapled into place we added the bottom field fence wire. As on the other side we put it into a position that would hit the ground and flare out some from the run. We are going to add a wire skirt to prevent predators from digging in. Since chickens seem to like digging up under edges it will also keep them from getting out. On this side of the coop I will be landscaping and adding plants and bulbs. I will be adding some soil over the top of the wire skirt then adding more wood chips as mulch. I love Iris and plan to have this side of the coop as an Iris bed. This coop is opposite my kitchen window and I am looking forward to looking out and enjoying big beautiful Iris next spring. I will also be adding Hostas and a few other plants for additional color.
I started the field fence at the coop so the extra stuck out past the end of the run. I had a little over a foot sticking out on each side. I cut the wire from the top downward and stopped just short of the bottom. It took some wrestling but we got it bent so it would lay down next to the base of the run. The cut tops I just bent around so they would not be up catching up on things I still need to staple it into place then add the poultry staples to secure it down, but this is giving me a nice skirt on this end. The flower bed will come around the end but I will just have the wood mulch over the wire on the ends.
Before we called it quits we cut some chicken wire and attached it to the coop. When the roof is over the top this wire will allow a lot of air flow through the coop. Here in Texas our weather does not get so cold we need a tightly closed coop. I will have a way to block it on the ends and this will allow maximum air flow.
As you can see it was getting dark by this point in time. It is still very warm.. upper 90’s even though it is October.. so we are moving a bit slow. But we are making progress. We spent all day outside on the coop between the adding of wood ships and adding all the wire. In total we spent about 8 hours today. The coop is coming along but we still have a ways to go since we only spend one day a weekend on the project. As I am working through this I am finding it is taking more time and money than planned.. but I think I am going to be very happy with it when we are done.
TIME: 27.75 Hours