Chicken Pen & Espalliered Fruit Trees

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Hurrah! Our chicken pen is finally finished and we are off to pick up 10 3 month old buff orpingtons tomorrow. We didn't want to start with chicks because of our little rat terrier.

Here is the pen. It is an L around the enclosed garden, hopefully for insect control. The house has a tin roof, and so does the sheltered area. All enclosed with wire, top and sides. Also buried 12 inches around the base to discourage diggers, such as coyotes.

We've never had as many as 10 hens before, so we will have to figure out the logistics of feed and water. You can see the tires of the garden, which is next to the chicken pen.

www.cassphoto.com/chickenpen.jpg

Then I must share the photos of two of our espalliered fruit trees in the enclosed garden next to the chicken pen. This is only their second summer from bare root, so we are thrilled they are doing so well. They are already as tall as I will allow, and it is possible that their lateral growth will be complete by fall. Then I will just have the constant nipping of growth to keep them shaped.

I have to work on them about every 3 days at this point, shaping and tying. They did not bloom this year, and it could be as much as 2 more years before they bear. But we have a very good start at this point. The apples are on the north "wall" of the wire enclosure and the peach is on the south side.

This is one of the apples; there are 2, necessary for pollination.

www.cassphoto.com/apple12.jpg

And this is the peach:

www.cassphoto.com/peach.jpg

After a major ice storm their first winter and the horrible drought last year, we are very pleased with them so far. My enclosed garden is raised beds in tractor tires. All on timed drip. I just love going in and working there!

And now I will have the chickens to enjoy.

It will be fun to see what the horses think. Dapper Dan has seen hens before but they will be new to Tipsey.
 
WOW!! Thats one of the nicest chicken pens I've seen! All of it looks wonderful
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Good job!! Your girls will be happy, safe and sound! I LOVE my girls and will always have chickens!

Your trees look wonderful too!

What are the tires for? Looks like a raised garden area.....?
 
Your trees look wonderful too!

What are the tires for? Looks like a raised garden area.....?
Yes, they are my raised beds. They are huge tires; I almost cannot reach into the middle to work. This is the third year for them and it's working out great. We painted them white-ish, for sun protection. They all have drip hoses, on a timer. The four fruit trees are in the corners of the raised bed enclosure and are also on a drip system. This week we are planning to install the uv cover over it. It will be 40% uv, which is what the nursery recommended for our area. I think we can continue with spinach, chard, and other cooler plantings through the summer with it. The whole enclosure is wired, top and sides. We have found that, unless you want to stand guard 24-7 over a garden, it is the best way. The pollinators can enter, but not the birds and varmints.

We are at the base of a small mountain, and had to do the raised bed thing because of runoff.

Farmers do not know how to get rid of those large tires. Perhaps it is an idea for other gardeners to use them. Our farmer neighbor was glad to get them out of his implement graveyard.
 
I think it looks great and what a cool way for recycling!! I thought those were drip/trickle lines! Your set up looks and sounds like it's ideal! When you get your girls you'll have to show pictures!!
 
I love so many things about this!!! I love the chicken pen - awesome! I love the tress! And I love the use of something that was essentially cast aside - the tires! Kudos to you.
 
We got home with the hens. We used a dog pen (and tarps!) in the back seat of the pickup. The place we got them was really interesting. They raised dozens and dozens of chickens, peacocks, guineas. Mostly exotics, but heavy breeds also. They obviously enjoy the birds very much, and do show them also.

They are 3 months old, and have been eating chick starter mixed with lay pellets, so they were ready to go to hen food completely. We won't do the chick starter at all.

He caught them with a big fishing net. Very low key. Everyone was quiet. Minimal stress. They rode the 3 hours home quietly, sometimes sleeping. There was an occasional trill, which was very pretty, from them.

They seem to have made themselves at home just fine, now they are in their own pen. They are already chasing bugs. I will probably have to set them on the roost for a few nights, until they figure out the routine.

The horses are facinated.

They are Buff Orpingtons. We actually like Barred Rocks, but Buffs are good and these were available.

www.cassphoto.com/newhens.jpg

www.cassphoto.com/tipseyhens.jpg

I have read the posts here of chicken owners here on the Back Porch and was envious. We got some good ideas from folks' chicken houses and runs. Now, at last, we have our own chickens again. My husband is very slow but thorough. It took him over a year to build the chicken area in his spare time. And we won't talk about $$$.
 
They look great!!! They are going to be sooo happy!! What pretty chicks!

I have 4 Easter eggers(can't spell their real name
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lol),3 silver lace Wyandot, and 3 Jersey Giants that are all 3 months old also!! I raised them from a few days old. I also have 32 other assorted chicken. Alot of Barred Rock(16) they are good layers. But my favorite is my Turken!!! I love her
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Personally I will NEVER live with out chickens! They are great critters and they give you something you can eat!!! How cool it that!!

Your set up looks great!!! Enjoy your new girls!!!
 
What a NICE chicken coop! Those biddies are going to be very happy. Love the set up and how shaded it is for them.
 
Yes, I did have to put them on the roost last night, and actually had to take them off this morning! Silly girls! I guess they didn't know how to jump down?

While working in the garden next door to the pen this morning, I fed them some grasshoppers, tomatoes, and strawberries through the wire. Don't think it will take them long to figure out Treat Time is when I'm in the garden!

I do need to figure out a system of cleaning the house. I've always had a dirt floor before, but this is wood. Dirt is easier.
 
It is absolutely beautiful Marsha! Chickens are so fun and relaxing. Oh and entertaining. Love them!
 

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