Once upon a time there were two Aussie Shepherd Chow's who lived in a little Texas shotgun shack. They were good dogs. They had good food and loving owners. They spent most of their day sleeping on a rug in the living room. It sounds good but in fact, they were a bit down. They were bored and life, though comfortable, was meaningless and stagnant.
Eventually the loving owners got crafty and built them a super trendy, uber cool, mid-century modern googie roofed dog house. It had all the style of Frank Llloyd Wright and the pizzaz of Herman Miller. It was nice. But they really didn't care. They appreciated the thought but fancy architecture just wasn't their thing. The owners meant well but frankly, they were clueless.
After quite a while of the beautiful 4'x8' dog house sitting vacant, the owners got the idea to get chickens. They were trying to get healthy and could never find organic food at the grocery store. An even better idea than buying expensive eggs is to make your own, even more expensive eggs! First the old dog kennel, a $60 Walmart deal, was used for two little chickens. The little cheeps seemed quite content though the owners did add some 1/2" mesh for the lower portion of the kennel. The cheeps were a bit adventurous and the kennel slats allowed sneaky escapes.
This was good for a while, and definitely made the owners feel safe in case the dogs felt like the cheeps were a snack, but the cheeps grew into big clucks and the poo was starting to build up too quickly. The owners wanted to free range but were being a bit, well, chicken, because of mountain lions, cougars, and other wildlife that may want to snack on the clucks.
A few false starts and unused dog house was moved to be the chicken house. The small framed and weak muscled lady of the clucks used 2x4s and fence slats to make a partial roof and a 14x18' run. The run walls were assembled in panels on the ground using the evil air compressor and staple gun. This is still not comfortable to use but is the best was to get the chicken wire to stay without sandwiching between two pieces of wood. It was cheaper to do it this way but sandwiching would look nicer. The panels could be moved around and installed like legos. It was essential that this be a one person project. The run was skirted to prevent digging. This was placed under a large tree with great shade coverage and an additional shade cloth was added across the entire thing. A double or triple layer of shade helps in extreme heat conditions and is used in desert architecture. These are Texas chickens after all.
A this point the dogs had made friends with the chickens who were growing into a little flock of six but the owners were, well, chicken, and didn't want to trust the dogs too much in the face of such delicious fresh organic food. The dogs eat a natural diet that is often raw chicken. The owners diligently went out every night and put the chickens to bed (closed the door).
Coming soon...the boys get a room of their own.