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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Fowl Pen Evolution

"No Fly"netting has been moved to a vertical position;
the hens were perching on top of their tent and
several easily flew out, even with a clipped wing.
The chicken pen continues to evolve. Eventually we will get it right!  LOL 

Some of the strongest and most active fliers -- including an Aracana with a clipped wing -- were easily clearing the horizontal "no fly zone" netting by taking off from the top of their "tent" shelter. One of the reds found that she could perch on the edge of the netting to get a boost.

We had three hens out every day though some of them flew back in of the evening, and some would run in if we lifted the pen a bit. That still was NOT what I had in mind, even though they had not gotten into the garden and I am convinced that the Aracana (Pheasant by name) flew out deliberately to lay in the "porch nest" under the old church pew.

K had the idea to extend the netting vertically; the fiberglas posts were long enough to easily raise the netting to its maximum height and leave enough post below the top of the fence to secure to the vertical post with cable ties. With the structure being 7' tall now, there also is no worry of deer jumping in. Not that there WAS worry about deer jumping in, mind you, but I'm pretty sure that now, they won't try. LOL

In between rains I have scuffle hoe-ed the potato rows and weeded the first planting of beets and chard. More will follow, as will more weeding. I plan to mulch the potatoes as soon as weather and time off work coincide, and to put Agribon over the rows, securing it to the earth and holding it up with paint sticks pounded into the ground... hopefully a barrier to the potato bugs. Probably that will mean they will attack the tomatoes, but I do not think I will cover them. Pea trellis has been completed; I got a roll of the 7' deer fence for that, and cut it in half as I deployed it along the row. Cheap, it was. Durable, it is not likely to be. I haven't told K that it is the same stuff that we had covering the first round of fowl pens... which has a terrible tendency to rip and for pieces to disappear into the grass and weeds... until you come along with a cultivation implement for it to tangle in.