Posted by: juliegirl | August 23, 2009

fence me in

Benefits of free-ranging:
• good eggs
• happy chickens

Drawbacks of free-ranging:
• destroyed vegetables
• the possibility of escape
• predators–the girls get too far from their coop and safe shelter
• poop on the barbeque grill
• poop on the concrete
• poop on pretty much everything

I was either going to have to keep them cooped up or find a fencing solution. I don’t like the idea of fencing in a permanent chicken run because of space, so I was looking for an easy way to put up and take down the fence. And I didn’t really want a fence in my yard, so it had to look invisible.

100_1717

After trolling the aisles of Harry’s Ace Hardware looking for some kind of fencing, I hit upon Garden Netting! Yay! It comes in several different lengths and widths (also called Tree Netting and Trellis Netting) but I picked the 45 by 14 foot sack of net. It’s made of light plastic and works perfectly for creating an invisible screen in the yard to keep the girls contained.

100_1720

I wove a long piece of green rope through the long edge and made a very long curtain, basically. I hooked it to the trees with a carabiner so it can be taken down easily and stored. And I staked the bottom so Evangeline wouldn’t sneak out AGAIN.

100_1723

She got herself out on the other side of the curtain today and kept throwing herself into the netting to get over to the other side. When I came to help her, she (of course) squawked at me and ran away. I couldn’t get her to the other side, no matter what I tried (lifting up the curtain, coaxing her with chicken scratch, a.k.a chicken crack). Finally I just let her figure out a Roosting Plan B. I found her on top of the smoker at 10:30 pm. Roosting chickens are sort of catatonic, so I was able to move her while she was asleep. Grr. That girl is so willful!

100_1724Can’t even see it, huh?

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