Day of the Doomed Chicken Fence

The day started out full of promise.

Eager to take on our first real “farm” task of building a fence for some laying hens gifted to our homestead, off we went. Gloves on, tools in hand, we all trekked through tall grass to the area we’d designated as a home for our new feathered friends.

However, as we looked at the area and our supplies (mostly our flimsy mesh fencing that even a mouse could plow through to get to our chickens) we realized we had a bigger task on our hands than we’d anticipated. Looking around, we found some old wire panels that looked like we could use them as a frame for our flimsy wire. (Score one for using our resources!)

This seemed like a fantastic idea until we realized we only had four of them and this wasn’t enough to build an actual fence from. Disappointed, but not discouraged, my brother and I looked around the barn for inspiration…and we struck gold. A small, already fenced in area off to the side, that all we had to do was unbury a gate from beneath a mountain of dirt and cut it away from overgrown bushes.

Off we went with our flimsy (did I mention this already?) chicken wire, excited about the project. All the dirt keeping the gate from moving got dug out with a backhoe. Weeds, shrubs, and vines were cut back. Yes! This was perfect for our incoming flock. Four of us set about attaching the mesh fencing to the pre-existing panels. (Braden mostly chatted up the neighbor’s goats and cows) It was perfect. By that night we’d completed one side of fencing and we were exhausted, dirty, and hungry.

The next day, me, my niece, and my oldest son set out to finish our brilliant new fence.

As we worked, neighbors came by to introduce themselves and asked what we were building. With a lot of excitement, and a bit of hubris we said it was for our chickens. The neighbors nodded, and the wife said (politely, mind you) “Oh, well, you can always move them later. We’ve moved ours four times.”

This gave us pause. There was something obviously wrong with our chicken pen. Off to research, my niece and I grabbed a notebook and a pencil and took to YouTube…typed in “Getting Started with Chickens” and watched. It wasn’t without a few wide-eyed looks at each other and a fair amount of laughter that we realized – EVERYTHING was wrong with our chicken area.

Had our neighbor not swung by, our poor little chickens would have been dying of the heat. I mean, that is if a hawk or raccoon hadn’t gotten to them first. Oh well. Lesson learned. (p.s. the chickens will be okay…)

{disclaimer about chickens and eggs} If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you know I recently made a switch to a plant-based diet. And I’ve been really good about it. I’ve had a few moments of weakness…but if you can’t allow yourself the grace of making mistakes and moving on, then you are not allowing yourself to be human, right? I am, for the most part, plant-based. However, I cannot make six other people eat like me, and I have on occasion found it too restricting. I also had to make some decisions, since I do plan to “live off the land” and grocery shop as little as possible. I may on occasion eat an egg. When we get goats, I may drink their milk or use soap made from their milk. I may on occasion eat a fish if my brother goes fishing. I will be a mostly ovo-lacto vegetarian, eating as much plant-based as possible.  I don’t force myself to be perfect all the time. And if I am raising the animals and treating them kindly, yeah, I might just eat an egg…and I think that’s okay. It’s trying to make a difference that counts 😉

2 Comments on “Day of the Doomed Chicken Fence

  1. Don’t be discouraged. That fenced area will come in handy for another use, and if you give the chickens a shelter that they can be shut in at night, and a bit of shade, as long as they have water and food they can be in a sunny area. It might be a good garden spot later on, after the chickens have applied some “fertilizer,” already fenced to help keep your plants safer.

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    • Thank you! That is a great idea! They have a coop they put themselves to bed in ♥

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