Chicken pen built into natural landscape

Discussion in 'Building DIY, Machinery & Tools' started by Mark, Jun 30, 2013.

  1. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    Here is a vid I made briefly showing how I have tried to blend my chicken pen into my backyard. It has been shot with my mobile phone so it's a little shaky in places...sorry.

    I have used trees where possible as part of the structure like the main entrance door and as posts for the netting on the perimetre chicken wire fence.

    A heavy duty wire skirt is laid around the whole pen fixed to the chicken wire and held by old logs etc this is to stop the numerous wild dogs in our area from getting into the pen at night.

     
  2. stevo

    stevo Backyard Farmer Premium Member GOLD

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    Your chickens are spoilt !
     
  3. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    Lol, yeah I guess they have got it pretty good. We have several hens in retirement (finished laying) so we just let them enjoy their twilight years frolicking around the backyard - they deserve it. :)
     
  4. stevo

    stevo Backyard Farmer Premium Member GOLD

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    it may not be important to you, but if you made a fixed/structural gate, it could provide easier access, and you could build up the fence to be more "feral proof". I understand it's probably not really that important, i just had to make another comment in here :D
     
  5. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    You're right, I'd really love to make a proper dog proof fence perimetre around my chicken pen. I was going to do it last year before the wet season but I ran out of time. I'm waiting for it to dry out and then will look into doing it again. This way, I could install my automatic chicken door (which I purchased two years ago) to auto let them out of their pen in the morning without the fear of a dog waiting for them.
     
  6. stevo

    stevo Backyard Farmer Premium Member GOLD

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    how does the automatic chicken door work?
     
  7. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    It's a really simple design which has an alloy door about 30cm wide 40cm high and two alloy runners (one on each side) for the door to slide up and down. The runners get fixed into some ply or a wall/door and then the small battery operated opener is positioned on top. It works on a timer and by winding some braided fishing line in and out which is attached to the top of the door to open/shut.

    Mine cost about $80 but I haven't installed it yet. For the mechanically minded it probably wouldn't be too hard to DIY via parts through Jaycar and add a solar element to it I guess.
     
  8. stevo

    stevo Backyard Farmer Premium Member GOLD

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    interesting, I have a few bits that could make something like that, 12v timer, electric window winders.... added to the list of projects!

    I was wondering if it was going to be some kind of finger print or facial recognition system :tease:
     
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  9. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    I'm sure you could make a cool DIY automatic chicken opening door. I mean, you obviously have a knack with electrical stuff (unlike me) :( .

    Facial recognition... for who? The chickens or me? :D

    Seriously though, auto chicken doors are pretty handy. Saves time remembering to let them out in the morning and then shuts safely at night once they're back in their house. I've forgotten several times to shut my pen door of an evening only to have to run down there in a frenzy after dark to shut the door before the foxes get in... I can't wait to automate it.
     
  10. stevo

    stevo Backyard Farmer Premium Member GOLD

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    heh, i had visions of a chicken having to walk up to the unit and do a retinal scan :D

    It would be good for mine during the week when i'm at work :cheers:
     
  11. Linda Langevoort

    Linda Langevoort Active Member Premium Member

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    It's okay to spoil your chickens......they are worth it! I like the whole idea!
     
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  12. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    Yeah totally agree. I'm currently building an outer dog-proof fence and once I get that done I will install my automatic door on the inner pen to open in the mornings at about 9:00 AM and shut just on dusk so the chickens (and ducks) can let themselves out to free-range and put themselves to bed ;)

    Chickens are very clever animals - I have a temporary fence out the front of where my chickens roam to stop them from coming up the hill and into our vegetable garden and some have worked out how to push under it after watching my dog do it. Funny thing is they know it's naughty and when they see me coming down the hill they quickly run and duck back under onto their own side :D
     
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