How We DIYed a 5 foot Poultry Pen in 30 Minutes…


I almost didn’t add this, but I thought this topic was worthy of discussion when I thought about it, as it is the precursor of another project I’ve got in the making (at least a few months form now, anyway)

Well, let me provide the backstory….as I usually do:

Let’s face it, with the price on everything creeping up, including eggs….we started thinking about raising a small brood of laying hens. Last time I checked, a dozen eggs was 4.75. That’s unheard of. Can I get an amen?

The better half, John, who has had a long career in raising poultry, has plans to gift his father, who raises lots of chickens on his property – with half a dozen laying hens. (A belated Christmas gift, to be exact.) We obtained them from a legit owner, these are Hulsey Pumpkins, and as it wasn’t in the making to bring them to the recipient in the same day, we set about putting together the pen.

We used a roll of heavy gauge animal fencing wire (2″ x 1″ weave design) heavy duty wire cutters, more wire and 4 wooden stakes. That’s it. It’s about 5 feet in height and possibly five (or six) feet in length, so about a perfect square.

chicken pen 5 ft diy

This was a 30-minute task, with me doing the propping up and measuring of the wire, John doing the cutting and attaching a thinner gauge wire to seam the top piece together . We “crimped” the corners to fit the top piece. To strengthen it a little, we placed wooden stakes at each corner. Another long wooden piece was inserted up about a foot so the birds could perch on it…

Because we are holding the hens temporarily, is why this “quick and dirty” approach was taken. If we ever acquire any laying hens for keeps, the next one will be a bit more labor-intensive.

Check out how we created the “door” latch! Using heavy-duty wire cutters, John cut a small opening in the front in a linear shape and then bent back the ends so they would re-close. A nice little hack to pass along…

chicken pen clasp

Since there’s been a torrent of bad weather lately (it doesn’t get that cold in Georgia in the wintertime, compared to other places, but it does seem to rain a lot) we covered the pen with the silver tarp, I used four clothespins on each corner to secure it (yeah, that’s a lazy hack, but it worked)

Now to be totally transparent, the top/ceiling DID warp in the middle due to the amount of rain we got a few days (tornadoes are going through the Southeast, too, tragically)  but it’s not too severe….fingers crossed.

diy chicken run

Of course, it got me thinking about whether or not something like this could work for my cats. About five years ago, I orchestrated a cat enclosure for my lovely felines to go in and out of, which was a great project that served its function well, but as time went by due to the weathered state of the wood used, it was beginning to warp, and by then, my cat Sputnik had passed on, and he was the one who loved going into it the most. Eventually, I got a replacement, and I have no doubt she’d love to have her own “catio” (since we got this cat, she’s only tried to sneak out once…)

Hmmmm…..We still have a length of wire left (not sure exactly HOW much) but I’m thinking with the short amount of time involved, it would be enough to invest in something my cats might enjoy, without too much commitment. That’s me, I’m always thinking of the cats! We both love animals, it’s just that my experience is mostly with pets.

But time will tell, so stay tuned, as I will keep you posted on what I decide to do with that one…

UPDATE: February 12th was John’s dad’s birthday (same as Abe Lincoln’s, easy to remember…) so instead of a belated Christmas present, we made it an early birthday gift (He loved them, nevertheless!)

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