Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Building the hen run…

I’ve been trying to think of an Alcatraz/Colditz based hen pun but my tired brain can’t come up with one.

run 1

The thing is for a while now a couple of the hens have been regularly escaping. It was pretty easy for them because we’ve always had a Heath Robinson approach to run building and hens are really quite clever.

run 2

But this one is different. It’s taken quite a few weekends to plan and build the new run even though it’s a pretty basic frame because it’s an impenetrable fortress using fence posts, 2”x1” treated wood and chicken wire.

run 3

We’ve always had a lot of trouble with mud before (and hen churned mud can get really quite smelly) so after a bit of research I decided to put down a layer of weed-supressing membrane…

run 4

…and then a thick layer of bark chippings. The membrane allows water through but stops the hens churning the ground and the chippings sinking without a trace. It’s hard to tell from the picture above but the chicken wire extends across the floor of the run for half a foot and the membrane was laid over the top and pinned with lots of tent pegs.

run 5perches

We put boards around the edge of the run to stop the chippings from being kicked out by the hens and I had some big branches from when I cut the hedge which made perfect perches.

run 6run 7run 8

We kept the old gate, I just extended it upwards and added chicken wire. With any luck the hens won’t escape anymore although I did notice them walking along the fence tapping every few inches which reminded me of Jurassic Park.

clever girls

So maybe they won’t escape, or maybe it’s just eggstremely (*sigh*) unlikely. I’ll keep you posted!


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