Posted by Mr.HDH on May 21st, 2014
Chicken Estates is Expanding
A year ago, when we decided to get some chickens for fresh eggs, we converted an 8' x 8' metal shed into a chicken coop. We insulated and wood paneled the inside. Wired in some 12 volt lights (the coop and garden shed have their own small solar PV system) and added a hatch/ramp.
You really don't want to completely free-range chickens up here. Packs of coyotes, mountain lion, bear, hawks and eagles are always looking for an easy snack. So, we built an 8' tall, 24' x 30' enclosure - complete with electric fence.
We soon discovered that while chickens will stand out in the rain, they won't step foot in the snow. So we came off the garden shed with a 12' x 12' area with a metal roof and put a gate between the two areas. Now the girls had a place to be outside when the ground was too muddy or covered in snow.
Well, the new covered area was next to the fence line of the 1/2 acre main garden area that was already surrounded by an 8' tall game fence. So, a little rearranging on the fence, a couple of new gates - and now the girls have their fully enclosed area for safety, the roofed area for inclement weather, and the full 1/2 acre to roam around in during the day.
However, we soon discovered they are quite adapt at getting into the raised beds if you leave any way possible for them to do so. We had to wrap 3' tall chicken wire around the beds and make sure it is tightly secured.