I've been reading through this forum for a couple weeks and signed up a few days ago. So much to try to learn and go through, and of course everyone has a different opinion on each topic.
After several years of talking about getting chickens, we finally are. We have 15 females and 2 males due to arrive this week. Australorps. I have a brooder "box" all set up for them in our fully enclosed back porch.
The goal of this madness is to get poop for the garden, eggs, and eventually, meat. I plan on a chicken run approx 20' X 20' and would like to have it somewhat easily relocated. How often depends on the birds. I'll be placing the pen on wood chips that have been on our garden spot for almost 2 years.
My goal is to closely mimick the Back to Eden garden that Paul Gautschi does/has. I've watched the original Back to Eden video, plus the 2014 tour and a 2015 tour. I really think Paul is on to something with this and the chickens are a key part. It don't hurt that he seems to be a Christian, as are we.
So many problems and challenges on this. For one, this is not for poor people! Good grief the cost of hardware cloth! I'm extremely cautious and scared of snakes. We live in the south where there is a vast variety of Venomous vipers. So far the only snakes I have encountered on the property have been a chicken snake, a pine snake, and a couple of king snakes. The kings are safe from me, unless they harass our birds.
We do have racoons lurking in the woods and have been seen in the yard a few times. We have coyotes in the area. Armadillos, skunks, Red tailed hawks, owls of some sort, and on and on.
So, keeping out all the bandits, plus keeping the run/pen semi mobile or at least able to relocate every 3 months or so if needed is proving to be a huge challenge. Not to mention a limited budget of course.
I like electric fence for the 4 legged critters, but that does nothing to prevent snakes or hawks.
I like the hardware cloth for snake prevention, but that is expensive. (4 rolls at $82 a roll, then another 100 foot roll of welded 2x4 wire fence for the top.) That's at least $458. Whew!
Thankfully we do have most of the T posts.
Also have an IBC tote tank am going to convert into the coop. 40"x48"x48". I should be able to do something with that....?
So there's my/our intro!
On to the wood chipper! Work awaits!