Chicken run: gates

You know when you have big gaps in fences, intended for people to go through? Traditionally those are filled with gates. Call me crazy, but that seems a useful idea.

So, over the last couple of days I built gates for the chicken run; a small one for people to go through, and a big double gate for vehicle access.

Here’s the small gate, after being built:

Wondering about the bit at the bottom? Here’s the gate installed, so you can see why; it’s to allow for the bottom board of the fence when mounting the hinges:

The view from inside the run:

Next up, the big gate. Here’s one side assembled, but not yet mounted:

And both sides installed:

From another angle:

And from inside:

Open:

Next up: installing the fencing wire!

Chicken run: remaining framing

Back to work on the chicken run, after the festivities of the weekend (and thanks for all the kind words about the coop).

Yesterday I installed one of the posts and horizontal beams for the small gate west of the coop:

Then today I did the couple of posts and beams on the other side of the gate:

And added a sill below both gate openings; the small gate as above, and the big gate:

Chicken run: starting fencing

We’re having record heat this week, with highs over 100°F (38°C)… what better time to work outside on the new chicken run?!

My latest toy is very useful to dig the 2′ deep fence post holes — an earth auger:

Digging the holes:

Posts temporarily placed in the holes:

Starting to install them properly:

The east fence frame, with space for a large double gate on the left, big enough to drive through:

The north fence frame:

Reverse angle; the poles leaning inside the run will go into holes in the center, supporting beams and a bird netting cover:

To be continued….

Chicken coop: feeder take two

My first attempt at a custom chicken feeder didn’t work so well — the feed tended to not make it far enough past the 90° elbow to reach the holes where the chicks eat.

So I modified it to use a 45° connector instead (which Jenn kindly picked up on the way home from work). I didn’t want it quite that steep, so I joined the parts with some duct tape:

The new angle works much better; the food freely flows down to fill the tube, but doesn’t overflow:

Having four hole heights means chickens of all sizes can reach the food without a platform, too.

Hopefully this will work reliably; time will tell.

Chicken coop: window boxes & hardware

Yesterday Jenn planted the chicken coop’s window boxes, with oregano, catnip, and spearmint — plants that help to deter pests from the coop:

Meanwhile I added second pulleys and ropes to the windows, to hold them open more securely, and replaced hook-and-eye latches with slide bolts:

I also added bolts on the vent doors, and added weather stripping:

Oh, and I recently replaced the temporary latch on the center door with a proper latch, and a bolt to join the two parts of the door. A cord goes through a hole in the frame so the latch can be opened from inside the coop:

Chicken coop: feeder & waterer

One project for the chicken coop that I deferred until after they had moved in was a custom feeder and waterer for them.

I made them out of 2″ PVC piping, and other bits.  Firstly I drilled and filed holes in one piece of pipe, for the feeder:

I then assembled other pipe bits for both:

Here’s the waterer, in two pieces (so it could be inserted through the center wall hardware cloth). It uses drinker cups that dispense water when the chickens nudge the yellow tab:

Building a stand for both dispeners:

Both installed. The height is set for adult chickens, so I added a temporary platform so the chicks would be able to reach them:

Closeup of the feeder; I hope it works properly — I have a concern that the feed might not make it down the tube all that well, but we’ll see:

The waterer cups:

The feed and water bottles (only partially filled for now, just in case):