Homestead Update: A Chicken Run (Part 1)

Exciting developments on the farm (which really needs a name, soon!) We got our first chickens!

This motley crew is being pieced together from assorted craigslist listings all because a friend (and follower since my Austin Homestead days) gave me two Cuckoo Maran roosters. We ate one and decided to keep the other, and if you’ve ever kept a rooster or any chicken you know they need a friend. And if you’ve ever kept a few hens with a rooster, you know they need more friends because poultry lovin is NOT sweet and needs to be spread around. Ha!

So far we have the Cuckoo boy, 2 red hens a little leghorn cockerel (destined for a pot or Pocket) and have 4 more own the way: two Barnevelder and two barred rock. We’re pretty stoked about the Barnevelders and may have to add some more of those to our chick order. Chickens are close to our hearts as we raised 4 backyard hens back in Austin and treated them like our feathered babies. Pocket was raised with them and i’m pretty convinced she’s part chicken. She definitely has a crush on the little leghorn and i’m hoping she’ll remember to be ‘chill’ around her new friends and not chase them around. She finds them tantalizing when they’re in a cage, but seems to relax once they’re on the same side of wire as she.

Speaking of wire – our new farm comes with a forest full of coyotes, cougars and bear, oh my! So we needed to build a good and sturdy coop to keep our new flock safe. The ultimate plan is to have moveable tractors and broiler pens surrounded by electric fence. i got the fence in the mail and will get it set up asap monday. For now, though we’re using this funny dove coop for chickens. We set up a nice run made with cattle panels reinforced with chicken wire and covered with more fencing. The chicken wire extends down and out and this trench will be filled with concrete to make a dig-proof mote. It’s not quite fort knox, but i’m hopeful it will do the trick.

We’ll be finishing the coop today and will post the final project next weekend, along with my rabbitry that’s ALMOST all done and ready for rabbits instead of just these silly chickens!   Now, enough typing – i’ve got fencing to string and concrete to pour!

Have you kept chickens? What sort of predators did you have to deal with and what worked/didn’t work?

7 Comments

Filed under Chickens, Dogs/ Corgis, The Homestead

7 Responses to Homestead Update: A Chicken Run (Part 1)

  1. My husband kept chickens years ago but gave up after coyotes, raccoons, possoms and snakes got them. Probably foxes too. We’re in the country outside Austin, TX. No livestock now, except for Dakota the Corgi and a black and white cat that doesn’t know her name.

  2. I’m getting four backyard hens this spring and am super excited. We have foxes and raccoons around, (and coyotes too though I don’t think they venture into our suburban neighbourhood very often) but I can’t imagine dealing with bear and cougar! If you get much more livestock perhaps you should invest in a donkey to protect it for you. :) You’re working super hard and I am SO enjoying your homestead posts! For now I’m contenting myself with suburban living with a big compost pile and a few plants in our shady backyard, a nearby community garden plot and the hens that I’ll be getting this spring… hard not to dream of our country property though so I am currently living vicariously through you! :)
    Rosalyn recently posted…A Reason for Writing

    • Thanks so much, Rosalyn! It is amazing to be FINALLY living our dream. Though, we never factored in breaking septic systems and ridiculous repair bills in our original dreams…..

      As for a livestock guardian – we plan on getting a llama as soon as we start free ranging anything and definitely before we add goats to the mix. We just need to get the pasture in a happier state of growth before adding the hoofers to it.

      Right now i’m jealous of YOUR garden! i have too many projects to do before i can start planting. :(
      Miranda recently posted…A Cautionary Tail

      • Don’t get too jealous of my garden, I live on the east coast of Canada and we’ve been walloped by a bunch of storms in the last couple of weeks. You’ll have yourselves sorted and planted long before our last frost date. :) And I love the llama idea, I drive by a field every morning that has two llamas watching over a herd of beef cattle and they look like a pair of sentries.
        Rosalyn recently posted…A Reason for Writing

  3. Mich H

    I used to keep alot of pure breed bantams, I bred and showed them. Lol. That was in a former life or it feels like it….these days I keep a few hens and guinea fowl for eggs.
    The guinea fowl are mainly used as mobile alarm units as they squawk the farm down at the sight of a buzzard flying or a fox. They also dont like the ginger cat!
    I dont envy you all your livestock eating wildlife over there! Here in the UK the fox is the chickens worst enemy.
    Sounds like your really getting to grips with the new place :)

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