I'm still here and finally seeing the light of day. Being gone 16 days and coming home sick set me way behind on what needed to be done....besides some days the weather made working outside impossible.
Two things were critical and needed to be done immediately if not sooner. First was repairing the pig damage and that was hampered by a very short window of time that things were transplantable before they got too large. I did get that mostly done and can do no more until fall.
The second thing was an outdoor wire-enclosed area for the chickens now that I only have two left... This is probably of little interest to anyone but I just have to share because it is one of the few times that I had an epiphany at the right time. I usually FINISH a project and THEN realize how I could have done it better. I was so happy to have my epiphany in time that I could hardly believe it...so I share.
My chicken house is divided into two areas. The inner area (B) is completely double wired and is where they are locked at night. It is only about 6x12 but since they are only in there at night it doesn't matter. It has their elevated roost unit and the nesting boxes. The other area is about 12' x 12' and has their food and water and room to scratch before I let them out to free range.
Now that I can't let them free range my initial plan was just to add an outside pen right next to the larger area of the coop. I am getting some new pullets and have to keep them separate for about 4 months.. In the past I have just wired off a section but the older hens would get in, eat the pullet's food and terrorize them. It was at this moment the light in my brain came on and the bells and whistle began to ring.
Just by shifting the new pen back about 3 feet I could have an entrance from the inner area and keep the entire area A for the pullets. Such a simple solution....no extra work and it makes life so much easier for me and much more pleasant for the sweet new pullets. Lest you worry about the pullet's safety at night they are secured in a large dog crate at night. I will eventually add a second entry to pen from area A when the pullets are big enough.
So I became thinking it would be a two-day project but it took about 6 days with weather interruptions and me getting tired quicker than I expected. I started by gathering the old lumber from when I dismantled the lambing pens and this wood was from the original corral when we bought the place 37 years ago. Using this old lumber, lots of chicken wire and many screws and staples I finally finished. I felt so good to be doing something physical outside and pounding out all my frustrations... I still swing a mean hammer.....
Cost - $0.00. DH brought a load of gravel tonight to top dress the floor of the inside of the chicken house. Just in time for the new girls...any day now..