Played Farmville on Facebook but got bored with playing. So decided to do the real thing.
I have been wanting a garden for several years but with 4 dogs I needed an area that was enclosed. I did the research on the Texas soil where I live and decided it would need fertilizer and mulch to make the clay manageable. I came up with the idea of chickens to help with the mulch and to also spread their natural fertilizer around the area during non-growing time.
I designed a 10 x 24 fenced off area with a fence in the center to keep the chickens out of the garden area while growing vegetables. Used 1/4 inch chicken wire on lower half and chicken wire scrap the upper half and 1 inch chicken wire to cover the top of the area.
Coop was built from old wooden crate, old pallet, and fence board cut offs. I then stained it (since i bought the cheapest lumber I could find for the frame and the dogs and I started construction. After a month of construction it is finally finished. I will tell you this much, a project like this is hard to make square with warped lumber and the only help is from the dogs. I put a center fence in to separate the chickens from the garden during growing time. I might have to modify it if they fly over the fence to the garden are to much. I raised the chicken coop high enough off the ground to provide for more ground foraging space and to allow for a covered area to store feed buckets and water buckets. The water bucket has nipples on the bottom and can be filled from the outside. I will be putting a funnel and screen on it to try to capture rain water to help fill the water bucket. During winter time I will be putting a heat trace on the bucket.
This will be my first time raising chickens and first attempt at a vegetable garden in the Texas clay. So far after having the chicks for 2 weeks they seem to love it, and the dogs are chasing them around less as I slowly socialize them all together. The Chicks are starting to come to me when I go into the area to check water and feed and to turn the mulch pile.