Monday, 23 January 2017

Completing the chicken walkway

Finishing the chicken walkway had become a priority during the week and I had ordered some more debris netting to cover the roof and it arrived on Friday. So having signed for the parcel, I hot-footed it straight to the walkway and wrestled with the 20m length of material to get it up and spread out over the roof. I trimmed away the excess length leaving enough at each end to be able to fold it down at each end and secure it to the stable wall at one end and the walkway framework at the other.

Mr J fitted the door at the end of the walkway that opens out onto the chicken field and I fixed the last section of chicken wire to the end and secure it onto the chicken shed. I treated the ground with a disinfectant as a precaution in case any infected wild bird poop was lurking on the ground.

Hooray! We have completed the chicken walkway and the birds are ecstatic. It is marvellous to be able to give them an outdoor space after six weeks of them being shut away in the stable. The stable had plenty of natural daylight in it, but it didn't have the fresh air flowing through it in the same way and it certainly didn't have direct sunlight to warm their backs.
As if to serve as a reminder that the rest of the chickens have a somewhat cobbled together space outdoors (although they do at least have some outside space) Diesellette, the daughter of Diesel, managed to squeeze out of the hitherto secure fencing and flew up onto the chicken shed roof. One quick shake of a corn-filled bucket brought her back down again and I returned her to her enclosure and used yet another cane to peg down the chicken wire that she had wriggled underneath. Perhaps she was envious of the nice new chicken walkway that the other flocks are enjoying.

It feels as though as fast as we resolve one issue another one arrives and so at some point in the next week or so, I will tackle the makeshift outdoor space that the Jersey Giants, Australorps and Diesellette have and create something more permanent for them.

As I anticipate that lockdown will become a regular event, I am keen to create more permanent spaces that the chickens can be in when their movement around the smallholding is restricted by law. But, if we never have another lockdown, we will have created some very useful spaces that we can separate the different flocks to live in when we want to isolate them into breeding groups. And should we ever decide not to keep chickens any more, we will have fabulous fruit cages in which to grow crops of soft fruit. Win - win!

If you haven't discovered my latest project yet, you can find my vlogs (videos) on my YouTube channel. Today I hope to make a video about sorting out the cobbled together chicken run, but to get myself ready to tackle the task, I think I'd better put the kettle on and make a cuppa!
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