At the Farmer's Market and with the CSA members, everyone loves Fresh Eggs from the Happy Hens. The girls were pretty happy with their two coops, large fenced in area, fresh veggies and lots of different grains. I wanted more......
More space--free range? Nope, not on my porch railings, in the gardens, on the vehicles, and I sure don't want to start hunting eggs every day.
Enter electric poultry netting with handy dandy step in posts. I settled on a 160' length and I already had a fence charger, so a couple of weeks ago I set up a new patch of ground for the girls, adjacent to their existing pen. They loved it so much I didn't have to mow. Now to get the fence in another position, further away, so they still have access to their nest boxes, water, and feed. Voila! The chicken tunnel was born......
I jokingly named it the "chunnel" but after looking that term up on line, other people besides myself think the English language is lacking in creative words here and there. The chunnel is made from concrete reinforcing "ladders" that are bent into a hoop shape and pushed into the ground. The chicken wire is then draped over top and attached at ground level with wire staples. It leads from a small opening in their pen to the electric fencing that you see in this picture.
I wondered how long it would take them to enter the tunnel, and I timed it--12 seconds exactly! Chickens are very curious creatures. The netting is 42" high which must have been researched because a few times one of the girls has attempted the flight out, but came in contact with the fence and decided against trying again.
The farm dog Hattie (aka Battie Hattie, the Kooky Catahoula) decided to sniff the fence. Evidently she had never felt electric shock before because she screamed and ran into the woods and up the hill behind the house, screaming the whole way. She doesn't go near the fence any more.
Once they wear out this patch of ground I'll move the entire compound to new territory.