Josh has done it again! He has outdone himself building a run for our chickens that encloses their coop (where they sleep, locked up at night). I had pictured some posts staked into the ground and chicken wire wrapped around it, but instead we have Chicken Palace. Josh dug out holes (which are getting filled with cement) for the posts, used all pressure treated wood, and built the cutest door for us! He also put up a metal roof on part of it so when it rains, they have some nice outdoor space to stay dry in, and the metal roof allows us to collect the rain water that falls off it for the chickens. This run gives the girls about 200 square feet of enclosed space to run around in while keeping their poop contained in one area, and keeping them out of my garden!
The city of Portland has a city-wide composting program, and our house is just blocks from the composting site. This means that we're seeing a huge increase in rodents, stray cats, and other mangy creatures. We unfortunately have lost two chicks to day time predators, so this run is fully enclosed in chicken wire, including a chicken wire ceiling. Our next door neighbor has about 16 hens that have never been bothered, so we're hoping that when our girls are full grown, we won't have to worry about them too much.
We plan on expanding this run around another corner of our yard, but for now it's not too shabby for three hens (and a surprise rooster that we have to find a new home for before he starts crowing and we're the jerks in the neighborhood that everyone hates). This area was completely covered by invasive Himalayan Blackberry bushes. If you live in the Pacific Northwest, you have probably seen how fast these thorny bushes grow. Josh dug up nearly all of them, but there are still a lot to get rid of before the expansion.
Here is Goldie Hen, who was attacked by the cat that killed Feather Locklear. After a lot of wound care, feather plucking, and skin snipping* she is almost fully recovered! Her wonky eye is almost all the way open and she's flapping around and keeping up with the rest of the pack. Yay, Goldie!
I think the chickens' favorite part of this is that Josh built the run enclosing a pile of compost, so there are worms galore! Worm feast for all!
Next up on the to-do list: Turn this into a greenhouse!
*I never imagined I'd one day have to pluck half eaten feathers and snip mangled skin off a chicken- it was a little bit traumatizing that first time, but I'm happy when I see Goldie running around healthy. She's the most attached of the bunch, following us around as soon as we step in the run. I like to think she's just saying "thank you."
(P.S.: The winner of the Shabby Apple giveaway is Erika P. Congrats, Erika! Shabby Apple will be contacting you to claim your price!)