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.