Hi everyone, today I’m going to share with you my temporary chicken run that I built using whatever was lying around and free. Right now building materials are at an all time high so I wanted a way to let the meat chickens outside during the day but I didn’t want to spend any money in making them an area so I did like I normally due. I scrounged through hubby’s stock pile to find something that would work.
This is the 4th year I’ve been raising meat chickens, Cornish Cross, and for those of you who don’t know much about them. They are a bird that is strictly raised to eat. They are rapid growing so from the time they are born to the time they are butchered it takes anywhere from 6-10 weeks depending on how big you want them. They gain on average one pound per week and I normally take them in around week 9 or 10. Yep that’s right we end up with a chicken that looks like a small turkey once it’s packaged.
I have a local Amish family that does the butchering for me. So I get back a chicken that’s packaged and ready for the freezer. Last year I started having the chickens cut in half and packaged in halves rather than a full chicken. It works out best for hubby and I, we end up with about 3 meals from one half and it’s just enough to make easy meals during the week from. I pop it into the instant pot and I normally do some kind of stir fry one day, a soup or casserole one day, and either chicken salad for sandwiches or a chicken quesadilla for the last day.
Every year I raise between 25-50 chickens. I do it in two batches of 25 and supply our family and a couple of others with meat chickens for their freezer. This is the first year I decided to raise them outside during the day. They grow so fast and have such a hard time getting around that they normally never leave the coop. I open the door every morning at 6:30 to let the fresh air and sunshine in but that also means at least once a week I have a big poop mess to contend with when they are strictly coop raised.
I factor everything into the cost of the bird when raising them and that even means the bedding, which is pine shavings, that I add to the coops floor. I decided if I could put them out during the day that would eliminated 50% of the mess inside the coop and it would reduce the cost I’m spending on bedding. As long as they are able to move and get outside I’m going to continue to let them out.
In hubby’s stash I ended up finding lumber, corner landscape blocks (btw the boards fit perfectly into them so no assembly needed all I had to do was push the board into the slot on each end of the block), a roll of chicken wire, tomato stakes, bird netting, and old screen doors from the French doors we replace last year. So that was my material gathering list and that’s what I planned on using to make a temporary chicken run. No tools required for it either.
I started by placing the corner landscape blocks in a square just outside the coop door (I knew those fat little birds wouldn’t be able to walk far once they started putting on weight), I then fitted the 10ft boards into the slot in the blocks. Used the tomato stakes to hold the chicken wire in place around the perimeter and stretched the bird netting over the top to keep the hawks from stealing the chickens.
I did’t have quite enough chicken wire so I used two old screens from our French doors as gates to keep the chickens in. It sure isn’t pretty but it works and it was free. I later added the two chair so the chickens had a shady spot to get under when the days get warmer (if that’s ever going to happen, it’s still cold here in Michigan). Luckily I don’t live where anyone sees this mess and it’s just temporary so I’ll live with it. I did tell hubby if it works out good I may put a little more effort into it and make it something I can use every year.