desperate times, desperate measures.

The fox is still out there. The chickens have been cooped up in their house for three days now, and they are getting a little fidgety. This weekend, the temps will hit the 90s again, and then Cluckheim Keep will be too warm during the day. So we had to commission a quick emergency project—a fox-proof 120 square-foot outdoor addition to Cluckheim Keep. Thankfully, our handyman is really good with a table saw.

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(That bottom right shot shows the residents supervising the labor force.)

It’s incomplete, but it will be finished at some point tomorrow. The mesh that encloses the run is 19-gauge galvanized hardware cloth, skirted two feet out from the run and staked down to prevent digging. The corner posts are 4x4s, and the roof is thick plywood that will get a tarpaper cover. It weighs about twice as much as the shed. I don’t see anything short of a bear getting in there, and that bear would have to put some serious shoulder into it to break it. One thing is for certain—the foxes won’t be able to pull off any snatch & run attacks anymore.

The chickens are happier free-ranging, obviously, but they’re not happy at all when they get chewed on by a fox, so this will have to be a compromise. With the extra bill for materials and labor, however, those eggs are going to cost us about ten bucks a piece. On the plus side–if we ever decide to give up on the chicken thing, that run will make  a great little garden house.

6 thoughts on “desperate times, desperate measures.

  1. Is the wire only staked? If it isn’t buried 6 inches or folded about the same, and the chickens aren’t locked in the Keep dusk-dawn, you can still lose them. Not the fox perhaps, but to the ever industrious weasel family (especially fishers) and ‘coons.

    • They’re locked in their chicken house dusk to dawn. And I have a most excellent sniper position from which to stake out the run during the day if something tries to dig or climb into it.

      • Yeah, I concur with acairfearann. In addition to staking cover it. I’d go so far and add barbed wire so the diggers would get a good stab when they try.

        Really hate that you have so much trouble to get fresh eggs and the occasional chicken dinner. But, we are pioneers and we do what’s needed to survive.

  2. Stake out an interloper chicken and invite your friends over for a fox shoot, heh, heh, heh, night vision scopes, supressors, and all that other neat stuff.