We got two new chickens last night. These came from the same friend who bought four pullets. The problem was three turned out to be cockrels. Boy chickens are not allowed in the city so she had to do something with them. The one we got last week I put into the coop. He is getting along fine with the others chickens. We kept the two new ones in the carrier they came in until this morning. I figured it was as good a time as any to start our new flock in the front pasture. It's got a four foot high fence all around it. The front has the brush in front of the fence. I figured they'd stay in. After all, a friend of mine has his chickens in a pastured area with field fencing. His chickens stay in.
Why would I ever think that anything would go as planned? About five minutes after we put the chickens in the pasture the neighbor's grandson came over carrying a chicken. Is this yours? Yip-yip was chasing it and it ran into their yard. I forgot about Yip-yip. She can go through the fencing to get into the pasture. Last year her father got into the chicken coop and killed 13 of our pullets. We had to go to town for Sunday school so I locked Yip-yip up in her carrier in the house.
Once we got home we changed into work clothes and began the task of surrounding the pasture with chicken wire. We used two foot high wire with 2" holes. All I needed was it to be high enough for Yip-yip to not be able to get in. One side of the pasture has chain link fencing. No problem there. The part between the "lawn" and the pasture has field fencing with six inch holes. That side was 150 feet long. I rolled out the chicken wire and showed girl and boy how and where to tie the wires. I started one on one end and one on the other. I figured that they are so competitive that they'd have a race to see who ended up on the other person's side. I was right!
The side of the pasture that butts up to the driveway is about 200 feet in length. That side took a little while longer and girl started acting up. No problem, you can go do a different chore. You'll wish that you hadn't acted up when you are done. The front, another 150 feet didn't get all the way fenced with the chicken wire. In the areas with the heavy brush across the front I didn't want to wire off the bottom two feet. The wild birds freely go through the fence right now. I want to make sure they have the ability to continue. Since all I was trying to do is keep small dogs out I only had to wire about 5 feet on the driveway side and about 15 feet on the far side. The rest in the middle is covered enough with brush that Yip-yip won't be going through there to get to the chickens.
It wasn't quite how I planned on spending my Sunday afternoon but it was a project that needed to be done. That pasture can hold a lot of chickens. I don't know if I'm going to buy any more or if I'm going to pick a few of mine that are in the coop who like to set. Who knows, perhaps they'll hatch enough baby chickens that we will be able to eat a home grown chicken every week. That would be the life!