the weakest link

There’s been a little voice bopping around inside my head. Not intrusive, but subtle, every time I work on the chicken coop. I brushed it aside for more than a week.

The coop is meant to be a fortress against other creatures that want to enjoy the future chickens too much. I put myself at creature-level, looked at every inch of the coop. I believe it’s safe.

But the run…looking at the run activated the voice. “A chain breaks at the weakest link. Nature doesn’t care how strong you THINK a chicken run is. The weakest link.”

I was kind of smug about the idea of using up old bricks underneath the pen fence. But there was still a hint of wishful thinking there.

Then my friend Julie (who has a great blog and knows a lot about chickens and gardens) mentioned that she’d tried the brick thing too, but varmints worked their way under it. So that sat in the recesses of my brain until today.

It’s easy to say I don’t worry much about critters breaking into the pen, because the chickens will be safe in their coop at night. But what if some evening I’m preoccupied with an episode of ‘I Love Lucy’ and forget to close the coop door?

I quit raising chickens because a possum and her babies had chicken dinner on me 20-some years ago. If I’m doing this again, there’s no place for pretty secure. There’s only a place for secure. What are a couple more hours doing something that I like anyway?

So I rustled up some chicken wire that’s been rolled up in the barn waiting for its moment in the sun and dug a trench around the pen. Took off the top layer of bricks (yes they were just sitting there, hoping not to be moved by curious raccoon fingers), stapled the wire to the base of the pen, and buried it.

It’s a very good feeling. The second layer of bricks will probably go back on top of the wire too, just because I can and they’re there. And now if something breaks in, I’ll know we have Chupacabras in the woods.



12 thoughts on “the weakest link

  1. Hey Dan. When a friend told me about the wire and as it was for a small hutch they suggested I have it on the inside of the hutch, secured to the framework – so it would act as a floor, covering the entire area. That way those little suckers (rats) could dig as many holes on the outside as they liked but not be able to enter the hutch. We have never had problems with possums (thankfully as they are in pest proportions in NZ). Oh best of luck with your security – you have certainly added another layer.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah, thanks Sarhn. That’s something to consider. But I’ve read posts from an awful lot of chicken people who have had success with wire stapled to the bottom, buried and extended out away from the run like I’ve done.

      In the past I had a way less secure run that was never bothered. It was a piece of crap. The problem was always critters entering the coop, rather than the run. So for now I’ll probably just cross my fingers and trust my instincts. Wow, that’s a scary thought 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Dan you have done your due diligence – no crossing finger present at all in your strategy. Sounds like foxes are not an issue where you live. My friend lost 50 + chickens last month from one fox. None were eaten – it was just sport to the fox. Foxes here are a problem especially because they are so darn smart. Here’s to years of happy chicken raising for you and your girls Dan. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh no, that sounds horrible for your friend, Sarhn. I don’t know for sure whether foxes hang around here much. I saw one in back years ago. Here’s hoping for stupid, ugly possums! Thanks for your heads-up.


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