Who would have thought that in Michigan we would be outside working on our chicken run the day after Christmas? The weather here in SW Michigan is normally bitter cold in December and we are typically already under several feet of snow by now.
The frame is the initial step to building the enclosed run.
But not this year. Today was a balmy 48-50 degrees outside and wonderfully sunny. The chickens adore his kind of weather and so do I.
I was able to sit on the ground in their pen, feed them some dried mealworms, play with them and snap some photographs of me feeding them by hand. It was so sunny and warm I was tempted to lie down to take a cat nap but of course I didn’t want to miss anything.
Gene worked more today on building the run enclosure frame. The covered run is connected to the side of our chicken coop and will end up as a simple, wood frame section covered in contractor grade plastic. It will have a 8 ft. tall corrugated roof to help keep the rain and snow off of it, a 36″ human door and a pop up chicken door.
The 8 ft. height of the covered run will allow us to walk inside to clean it, shovel in and shovel out.
This fowl-weather run (pun intended!) will give the chickens a bit of shelter from the snow, winds and rain while allowing them to be outside of the coop ranging around and dusting in their own small dust bath box.
The long view of the chicken coop and run at the southern end of our large fenced-in vegetable garden.
It is a practical addition as opposed to a beautiful one. I will feel more trusting too to let them range alone and not worry about predators or the babies flying up and over the fencing or straw bales as they have a tendency to do.
The chicklets eating treats from the stump, Momma Cover in front.
We also were able to hang my two, new, metal chicken signs I received from Gene for Christmas. They came from Bainbridge Farm Goods, Bainbridge Island. They are all I asked for this year and I love them! All of their signs are fully waterproof, UV resistant and mounted on heavy aluminum-think street sign durability and are made in the USA. I received nothing for this mention – I am just a happy consumer. To see more of their sign art go to http://www.bainbridgefarmgoods.com
Two new metal signs for my chicken coop.
Another piece of good news to share today. If you follow my blog you may recall that Freckles, one of the Phoenix chicks had injured his wing in the Great Chicken Escape. I was quite worried about him at first. However as the weeks progressed he has perked up, the sparkle has come back into his eyes and today he dusted for the first time since the accident. That is certainly progress! I suspect he was hurting those first few weeks as his tail drooped, he ate but he turned his back to the group and did not participate in their social times like bathing. Today that changed.
Freckles during his rehab period dozing in the sun.
His wing still sits a bit lower and is a tad bit crooked when he is flying in and out of the coop but he can now make it on his own without my help. So this new step of dusting with his family tells me his wing is not hurting him anymore.
Freckles this week, much perkier and almost back to normal.
I am grateful that Freckles is getting stronger again and feeling more like his old self as evidenced by his participating in this important social activity with his brood.
I am relieved too by this sweet evidence of our small Christmas miracle!
Small House Homesteader, Donna