This is home for our feathered family here at Sandhill Farm.
We brought our birds over, from our old homestead, right in the coop where they had been roosting overnight. We were lucky that the last homeowner had already constructed a coop & pen here on the property, so we were able to bring our own coop into the existing system. Initially, we really tried to let our birds free range - with terrible luck. Keeping chickens in the city certainly has it's benefits: less predators (seemed only raccoons, osprey & feral cats were an issue.) Now we are faced with all sorts of open country creatures that want to make a meal of our friends: coyote, fox, bobcats & hawks.
To keep our chickens safe, we decided to add on to a portion of the existing cage & chose to construct the “Ft. Knox” of chicken pens. We made sure to give them ample amount of space to scratch for bugs, while staying off the predator menu. We had 18” deep concrete border poured in around the new addition (to deter digging) & used chain link fencing material in the cage construction, so it will be sturdy enough to last for generations. Surrounding the portion of the old pen that we kept, we secured the perimeter of it with 18” rebar stakes pounded into the earth every 3” & topped them with concrete stepping stones. We are elated to report that we have had no predator entry since constructing their new safe haven in December! We feel confidant that our pretty little egg-layers are plenty protected & pretty spoiled, with lots of treats/scraps/weeds, constant fresh water (auto water system) & an impressive organic feed that we have discovered.
**We do have plans for mobile chicken tractors, so that we can use our birds for tilling beds, removing weeds & eating insects all over the farm. We will keep you posted, when we get a bit closer to project time.**