The fence that we have been talking about and working on for nearly 5 months is finally done, well almost. It’s done enough to contain the birds and keep the predators at bay. All that’s left is finishing up the gates for our ease of access.
Last weekend we had a day that truly motivated us to finish up this project. All that was left were two small gaps in the fence that we needed one more roll to complete. I was in the laundry room and looked out the window to the back yard. I thought, why is there a giant German Shepherd in the yard? Oh my god, that’s a huge coyote! I ran down the stairs yelling for my husband but this thing was quick. It ran through the gap in the fence, did a loop around the yard and back out in less than a minute. We couldn’t tell for sure if it took a chicken in the process or not.
Then that night my husband was mowing late and caught site of a huge snapping turtle making its way along the edge of the fence looking for a gap where it could get to the pond. We hadn’t even considered this benefit. Turtles come up the hill from the river into the pond and we’ve had issues with snappers maiming our ducks in the past. We collected him right up and had soup for dinner. That’s a tale for another post.
Anyway, with predators coming from all directions, we got the final push of motivation to knock out the project.
Check it out – the birds not have a huge area totally enclosed, including the pond.
That last bit up in the woods was a real bear. Josh wanted to exclude it but the birds LOVE that area. The ducks go in the little waterway year round because it never seems to freeze with the water dropping in from the pipe and the chickens like to climb the hillside. I was cursing myself though as we were dragging 6 foot chainlink fence up a slippery hillside covered in loose gravel and debris. We had to use the chainlink because it is bendable and could fit to the contours of the hill but it is really hard to maneuver because it is so bendy. Anyway, we thought we might die in the process and came out covered in scrapes and bruises but we got it done. That was the final piece to totally enclose the birds.
Now the last week Josh and I have been working on reclaiming the area around the house. We have cleaned all our walkways of chicken poop and debris.
I weeded my flower beds, redistributed the soil they had moved around with dust bathing, and finally planted all the flowers I started this winter.
I also filled my pots out front, and the house is beginning to look respectable again!
Another benefit of the fence that I hadn’t considered is that my sweet little dog can run free in the yard again. She was about 10 years old when we got the chickens, with a firmly established chase instinct so we couldn’t let her out of the pool fence without a leash or she would be off chasing chickens. The past few days she has enjoyed hanging out with me while I worked on my flower beds and garden, exploring and lounging in the shade. It’s so nice to let her roam and not worry so much.