Tuesday, June 26, 2012

New chicken pen in the Jesus Tomb

Summer is in full swing at the farm and we were in need of some more space for some of the animals so we fixed up what we affectionately call The Jesus Tomb.  When we first arrived at the farm it was the creepy building with about a foot of old cow poop in it - dark and dirty and full of junk.  We ignored it for almost a year barely venturing a peek in the door until one day we decided to have a better look.  We cleaned out the ancient poo and took the wooden covers off the windows and discovered that there might still be some life in the old place. Eventually we decided to use it as our meatie bird pen and after lots of elbow grease and some carpentry work by my kids and myself all we needed was a better door.  Son-in-law Joel to the rescue.  He spent a whole day re-building the frame and installing a new door and finally we were ready.

We moved the 60 meaties we have currently into their new home yesterday.  They seem happy with the extra room to move around.  We built a temporary outdoor run for them this morning because we didn't want them venturing too far and forgetting where home was.  It's a thing of beauty huh?  Old snow fence and a few T-posts and voil√† we have a run.  This would of course NOT be strong enough to repel any intruders but with the sheep and the donkey near by we haven't had any problems during the day with free-ranging.

We have been fortunate to have had a stash of leftover wood and random bits and bobs left here by the previous owner.  It's been very handy to have it all around but we're getting near to the end of the pile!

This building must have been a chicken coop in the past as it had a chicken-sized hole in the wall.  The "hatch" was made out of old backdrop sets from a drama company now defunct - thus the fancy paint job!

As we were standing and admiring our work I asked the kids approximately how big they thought the pen was - we decided it was about 18x24. My son added that it was almost as big as our house in town - we laughed - the chickens have it pretty good!

A minute later we hear the clop clop of tiny hooves - ON THE ROOF!  The building is set into a hill and as you can see in the picture above it's only a a foot or so from the ground to the roof. Harriet the baby was happily running across the metal roof with no concern at all for her safety - I could imagine her falling off the roof!  We improvised some rope and all the branches laying around to prevent another incursion.  Hopefully that will do until we can think of something else.  There's one in every crowd herd!

Tomorrow morning the rest of the new chicks arrive - 100 Black Sex-Link egg layers and 120 more White Rock meaties.  It will be full-house for the next few weeks.


  1. Banked into the earth like that, I'm sure it will stay cool inside during the summer heat and "warm" enough in the winter. Our chickens used to dig big holes under their fence or just fly right overtop......lol
    A terrific family project! Good job!

  2. Nice! What are you going to be doing with so many chickens?


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