Working On The Chicken Run

For a while I haven’t been able to pinpoint what I truly want my blog to be about.

While revamping my about page, I wrote up the little section about me wanting you to feel like you’ve just been welcomed in for a cup of tea. And I realized that is how I want my blog to be. I want anyone who stops by to be free to take a break from the to-do lists for a little while and enjoy themselves. I want whoever reads my posts to be encouraged and inspired by what they read. I love to journal about my day and pictures make it ever so much more fun. So grab a cup of tea, and a snack if you wish and I hope you enjoy…

For the past week or so I’ve been working on re-doing the chicken run. With rain comes mud, with mud comes dirty chickens, and with dirty chickens comes dirty eggs, which makes for a very unhappy me as I try to savor every precious egg the girls lay in this confusing winter. It’s really not an ideal situation.

Sometimes its the consequence that makes me question my methods and take action. Such was the case when it came to my chicken run.

I started by finishing a compost section in the corner of the run. We had a problem with rats running rampant last fall and I figured it was due in part to the leftover scraps that the chickens failed to eat each day. With that knowledge and the not so pretty nature of my previous compost pile I decided to change my composting system and come up with something nice looking and functional. I love composting things, but strewn about eggshells and half decayed cardboard boxes is not what I like to see every day.

I am so happy with the end result! First I dug a rectangle shaped indent in the corner, eyeing the levelness of it. A while back we acquired some free stone pavers, so I took enough of the rectangle ones to line the edges of the dugout spot and make a, well, rectangle. Then I filled it with a bunch of bucketloads of gravel which the chickens took the liberty of spreading for me. I do so love free labor. 😉 From there I added the items that made it a true compost setup: Big, old, slightly rusted metal trash cans. These came from my great grandma’s house a couple years ago. They all have small holes in the bottom for drainage and tightly fitting lids to keep out rodents. Plus, the weathered look gives them a true old timey air. I had three in total to donate to the cause.

Now I can scoop up leftovers in the run each evening and compost all the inedible items in a fashionable way. When the stuff is broken down enough, I’ll just dump it into the run, or try and haul it over to my garden.

With the mindset of improving, I scanned over the ground of the run. There were layers of bedding, manure and dirt packed tightly by rain and walking chickens, random pavers and rocks strewn about, a cinder block that has no purpose in there, big pits created by dust bathing chickens in the summer months, various perches around made from salvaged branches and trees, and everywhere I turned was mud. Something had to be done.

Believe it or not this is after. hehe. It’ll look a whole lot better with woodchips.

With pitchfork in hand, dressed in the finest farm-girl fashion(rubber boots, dirty jeans, and a camo jacket) I set out to try and fix what I could.

Hauling wet chicken manure, no matter how short the distance, is not the easiest task. This combined with 17 chickens scrambling around me for unearthed worms, made for quite a challenge. Luckily I have a sense of humor, and a brain full of good quotes. One that came to mind was from Mary Poppins(how serendipitous, yes?): “In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. Find the fun, and *snap* the job’s a game!”

Managed to get 16 in one shot!

Alright, the job here is filling pits and leveling ground; the fun is watching the chickens scramble for worms and chase each other all around. My loosening and digging then became a sort of mining game where I tried to unearth the most worms in one go. I found out that worms love it right below the surface and especially in the packed mounds of decomposing manure. The chickens found that out too and waited anxiously as I dug into each pile. In the process of things I cleared out the mentioned pavers and rocks, and rearranged the perches.

I am now the proud owner of a mostly level and  somewhat organized chicken run! I plan to fill it with free wood chips from a local park or craigslist. It looks drastically better and can only improve from here!

Thank you for stopping by! I’ve enjoyed chatting away 🙂

Please feel free to comment, share, or continue exploring my blog.

I hope you have a beautiful day!

“In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. Find the fun, and the job’s a game!” ~ Mary Poppins

2 Comments

  1. THAT’S SO AWESOME. I can’t wait to see it in person. 😀 That’s really such a great system.

    And I always get so excited whenever I see a post of yours in my inbox.

    • THANKS! I was like hmmm, do I wanna surprise Banjo or naw? But I felt like blogging so there we go. Unfortunately these pics are from a few days ago and the chickens have gotten to work un-leveling it XD Awww, thanks 😀 I’m working on a post about spring so stay tuned 😉

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