Gate between chicken run & veggie garden

This past weekend I built a doorway and gate to make it easier to go between the veggie garden and the chicken run. Something I do a lot, especially in summer, when giving the chickens treats of kale, tomatoes, etc grown in our garden.

Here’s the new doorway, built by adding the new left pole and top plate, cutting away the fencing, and cutting out the horizontal rails:

I also moved the grazing box in the chicken run, to clear a path by the door. The chickens love having direct access to the grass, which will probably be all scratched away in a matter of days. I’ll seed new grass in the new box position in spring:

Building the gate frame; the fourth and last one:

Door hardware installation:

The completed gate, closed:

And open:

I added a hook & eye to hold the gate open during winter:

I also permanently closed the small holes through the fence that the chickens were using to access the veggie garden, so now they go through this doorway.

That concludes building the gates for the veggie garden and berry cage. Next up: replacing the old fencing wire around the berry cage.

Chickens in the veggie garden: a week later

The last couple of posts have been about the chickens, but here’s one more! (Back to cats tomorrow, of course.)

Our chickens are really enjoying being in the veggie garden. It’s funny how they come running when I walk past each day, during my morning rounds:

Compare the veggie garden now with how it was just five days ago, to see what a flock of chickens can do to vegetation. That’s why we don’t free-range them around the property!

Merida coming to say hi:

Camilla:

Kiwi:

Domino:

Three chickens on the potato planters:

A bunch by the new berry cage fence:

Merida:

Flo:

Mo:

Chickens in the veggie garden

As mentioned in my recent berry cage post, I let our chickens into the veggie garden after replacing the front gate.

Here are an assortment of photos of them roaming the garden, digging for insects, etc.

I also moved the mobile cam from watching the beehives into the veggie garden. Here you can see me while I was taking these photos:

Another cam shot with me:

Chickens morning

I post cam pictures of the outdoor feral cats every Caturday, but we also have chickens. So here are some pictures from the cameras watching them, from this morning.

The older Rhode Island Red and Leghorn chickens emerge from the old coop first, since the automatic door opener on that coop gets more sunlight (it has a light sensor to open and close the pop door), and come over to the new run:

Meanwhile, the chickens in the new coop are waking up, and having their breakfast:

Then their door opens, and they start to emerge into the run:

Then the old chickens go into the new coop to eat that food (even though they have their own):

Here’s me doing the morning rounds, about to give the chickens a treat (leftover pasta):

They were very excited:

Chicken butt:

I hope you enjoyed this post, that’s a little different than the usual ones.

Chickens

It’s been a few months since I last posted photos of our chickens… so enjoy!

Buffy enjoying some kale from our veggie garden:

Kiwi:

Silver (and some others in the old run):

Kiwi, Merida (chicken butt!), Camilla, and Domino:

Goldie:

Domino:

Buffy and Merida:

That’s not all of our chickens, but the less shy ones.

Chicken grazing box repair

Believe it or not, we have more than just feral cats at the homestead, despite them being a popular topic of my blog posts.

We also have chickens, and I recently did a minor repair of their grazing box. This is a wood and hardware cloth (wire) cover over some grass, to enable the grass to grow without being pecked to the ground by the chickens. They can nibble on the tips that grow above the wire.

Some of the wires had come loose at one end:

So I snipped off that panel and replaced it with fresh hardware cloth, nailed down with U-shaped nails:

Here’s the whole thing:

Just a simple little repair.

Chicken coop pop door opener

Recently the pop door opener for the old chicken coop stopped working. The pop door is the small door that enables the chickens to go from the coop to their run. It has a door that slides closed at night (on a light sensor), and open in the morning.

So, I purchased a replacement.

One likely factor in the failure of the old opener was that the cord went through the wall then horizontal then vertical, via three pulleys. This complicated system would have put more strain on the motor. Plus, I had a fairly heavy pop door. Here’s the old system, when it was first installed (in January 2016; wow, seems much longer ago):

So in addition to replacing the opener, I simplified the cord system. It still goes through the wall, since the light sensor needs to be outside, but there are now only two pulleys, on a more direct path. Here’s the inside of the new opener, and the pulley above the hole in the wall:

The opener control panel, awaiting installation:

Installed control panel:

On the inside, the hole and second pulley:

The cord now goes straight down from the hole:

The wooden door is also more lightweight now; thick plywood instead of solid wood. Not quite as secure, but should still suffice.

I expect this new setup should last much longer.

Backyard Poultry magazine article

I wrote an article that appeared in the October/November 2018 issue of Backyard Poultry magazine, describing the chicken coop I designed and built last year.

The article covers six pages, most of it my photos. There’s an excerpt available online, but the article is only available to subscribers of the magazine.

You can see more of the coop on the Yellow Cottage Homestead blog; if you prefer, you can filter to see only chicken-related posts, or alternatively look at only posts about the chicken coop.