After finishing a fence and finding himself with extra wood, my father offered to build me a fence with the leftovers. He thought it would be nice for the chickens to stretch their wings a bit more.
The girls agreed.
You see, the ladies are cooped up when the garden is cooking. They are offered true free range only in early spring, before all the seeds go in, and in fall, before the cover crop is tucked in. Then, they are slug eating machines. Any other time of year, these innocent looking featherheads are nothing short of natural born killers - decimating pumpkin patches and tearing through peas in the click of a beak.
I happily took my father up in his offer. Along side the run, he built a chicken "corral" with both sun and shade. For now, I'm only letting out the tamer girls (Minerva Louise, you are out of luck, sister!) because I have to shuttle them back and forth until we make an opening in the run.
Can't they just fly over the fence, you ask? Theoretically. Most of my girls are too chubby to get off the ground though. Heck, one of them is too fat to flap up to the roost at night. Gotta love cochins. In any event, their girth coupled with the staggering of the top railings seems to mostly deter them - and, will hopefully let my garden grow in peace this spring.
* Linking to Homestead Barn Hop, Tuesday Garden Party, Garden Tuesdays and Farmgirl Fridays for this post.