I love chickens. They are so sweet and relaxing to have. I love to sit on the back porch and watch them puttering around the backyard scratching for bugs or taking a dust bath. It is truly one of the joys of farm life.
A few weeks back, I spent the afternoon with a friend helping her fix up a chicken pen. The house they are hoping to buy has many outbuildings, including a former chicken run with coop. She was asking my advice on how to restore the pen so she could have chickens, and I offered to come help.
I gathered up my tools (I keep my own toolbox) and some leftover supplies from repairing my own coop this spring, and headed out to my friend Chelsea's. The original pen was in pretty good shape, it just needed to be braced up a bit, and the wire firmly reattached. It also needed new netting over it.
We replaced a board, and worked on the wire. Then we began the netting. Most people simply pull it together with small wire ties in a few places, but I have a different method. I like to take strong twine and "sew" it together all the way down. It keeps it from sagging and makes it harder for predators to get through.
Cheslea sewing the netting
Once we were done, we cleaned and refilled the nesting boxes inside, and also covered the floor with straw. Chelsea's husband, Joe, will make a door before the weather turns cold.
A few days later, Chelsea's first chicken arrived. A very handsome rooster named Mr. Doodles. His girls are still too small to put in the pen yet, but Mr. Doodles is quite happy right now on his own. He's very gentle and runs to meet Chelsea when she feeds him. He even flies up and perches on her arm. There is nothing quite like having chickens to make you feel like a real hobby farmer. They are fun, affectionate, and provide a good breakfast of eggs!