Our chicks have morphed into hens and while we have them outside now (Hallelujah!), they are not quite settled into their permanent home. They have been in their coop for a few days now (Hallelujah!) which is just to the West of the vegetable garden. Originally we were going to fence off an area to the West of the swing set (which is North of the veggie garden) and build their run in front of the ginormous Cottonwood tree. But once we actually got the chickens and completed the coop, that area didn't seem ideal because it was further away from our house and the ground slopes a little....plus there would be a LOT of work making that area secure from raccoons and possums.
So, we decided to put the coop in a "plant bed" which I've been really just using as a compost area/garlic garden (I am hoping to harvest some garlic SOON!). We painstakingly moved the heavy henhouse to this area and called it good before we put the teenage chicks inside. We discussed how much safer the new location will be due to the concrete borders and proximity to a power source and then we brainstormed for a design on the actual run. The chicks needed to stay inside the coop for a few days to learn that this is their new home (not the sun room!). That was Friday night.
Sunday afternoon after a design still wasn't coming to us easily, we decided to pull out a Green House that the Best Neighbors Ever gave us before they broke our hearts and moved Far, Far Away. ;.( I thought it would be really cool if we could utilize the chicken's warmth in the winter to grow plants and use the plants to help with oxygen and feeding of the chickens (and us). Scott had partially put together the greenhouse on Monday and it looked like it would fit perfectly over the coop. We talked about just sticking the frame in the bed over the coop where it is now and placing chicken wire around the frame instead of the plastic that came with the house. Tuesday after we moved it to the bed, it didn't quite look right because the odd shape of the borders. We looked around for options and decided to head Easterly and put the greenhouse partially under a pecan tree, in an area that isn't used much and has more weeds than grass growing anyway.
So now we have a plan and the materials to execute so stay tuned for updates and pics ...