After many months of building, the new chicken run is finally done and housing the chickens nicely! Here are two pictures of the old coop before:
And the area where the new run was attached to the existing coop, which was left in place.
I had to give up my clothesline area temporarily.
new run's framework is tubular steel, which used to be a canopy over
our patio. A windstorm pretty much took care of the canopy one night,
leaving the steel skeleton. So we recycled it!
one of our elderly little bantam hens, Chicken Sister (she used to have
a twin sister, hence her name) in this shot has fallen into the trench
we dug to bury the hardware cloth below ground in. She had been looking over her shoulder at ME when I was taking this picture, when she SHOULD have been looking where she was going. This is her, wings outspread, legs dangling in the trench and looking
like a chicken pancake, poor baby. Only her dignity was hurt, though.
doorway is framed in and the hardware cloth wire is going up. Sheet
metal connects the existing cinder block fence to the canopy framework.
We didn't use wire here in order to reduce drafts.
The corrugated steel roof going on. J. used steel 2x4's and sprayed in expansion foam to help seal any openings.
view from the inside. Where the sheets of hardware cloth met, J.
overlapped them be several inches and I secured the gaps with UV
resistant heavy duty zip ties to keep out rodents, possums, etc.
A better look at the sheet metal.
again, looking towards the old coop. We left the old coop as it was
and just removed a wire panel off the front of it to create the opening
into the new run. The old coop door we closed securely and left as it
A better view of the old coop opening and how old and new connect to each other.
The wire panel removed and the nest boxes rearranged. You can see the expansion foam in place in the ceiling.
new door to the run. J. found two identical, perfectly working steel
security doors, with locks, keys and doorway framing, sitting curbside
one day. Perfect for chicken coops! There is one more door, which will
be installed soon when we attach an 'aviary door' to the run. Aviary
doors are just a set of two doors set a few feet from each other, so one
is always closed before the other can be opened--it prevents escapes of
birds and helps keep predators out. J. is installing a new clothesline
for me, it will fit inside the run and stretch from one end of the run
to the other. The big metal T stands for the old clothesline we just
left. Several banty hens have fallen in love with the one inside the
run anyway, and perch on it at night.
So yay, it's done! We've
already tested it by going away for Thanksgiving and leaving the
chickens housed in it for three days, they did just fine. It's very
nice to know that we can now stay out after dark, without having to rush
home to put the chickens away.