Safe Free Ranging Using Chunnels


| 4/25/2014 8:19:00 AM


Susan BerryAfter losing three hens to poisonous edibles in the woods behind the coop, I had to come up with a safe free-range solution for my girls. After doing a little research, I discovered these “Chunnels” on the internet and made a modified version that I felt would suit our needs. They give Mom a sense of comfort concerning safety and the girls seem to enjoy them a great deal. We also have a 10-by-16-foot enclosed roofed run area where they can stretch their wings if they so choose.

The chunnels that I found online were done in a few different versions, one being attached to 2-by-3s and were only built in one section, laid end to end and moved around to accommodate garden placement utilizing the hens as weeders and fertilizers. My yard is not large enough to utilize this model, and I personally don’t think as a horticulturist that fresh chicken manure is good to incorporate into the gardens, it should be well composted.

I opted to make my chunnels one continuous length. This limits moving capabilities but it has worked well for our small homestead. This version is also the least expensive to make. One other reason I like this variation is ... it is FUN! It sort of looks like a maze and can be laid out in a few designs with bends and curves and be put just about anywhere.

Here is the list of supplies you will need:

– Red Brand No Climb Horse Fence (or similar 12 gauge fencing) 36 inches or 48 inches in height



– Hardware cloth



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