Backyard Farming in The Empty Nest: Our New Poultry Pen & Tunnel

Our flock has expanded substantially since we began our backyard farming endeavor and now includes chickens, turkeys and ducks for both eggs and meat (yumm!).

Living in a mostly rural area means a lot of opportunities to pick up poultry for cheap or even free, especially this time of year when many people don’t want to deal with keeping critters through the harsh winter, which is how we acquired our latest trio of ducks:

We also picked up two more (free!) laying hens this week which brings our total chicken count up to 14. We have 5 turkeys now, and seven ducks, too.

This meant we needed to expand the areas where we keep them all so everyone is happy and healthy so the hubby set about doing just that a few days ago:

Using up nearly all of our scrap pile along with more free scrap lumber and cheap fencing we got from Craigslist (yay!), he was able to come up with a pretty big (30’x30′) pen in no time with very little out-of-pocket cost to us.

I had ordered a 50’x50′ net to cover it with from Amazon on sale for around $25 a few weeks back and that gave him plenty of room to work with. He used a taller pole in the center to create a sort of Big Top effect with the netting:

We can’t free range them since we have so many now (and Huskies who want to eat them) so we wanted to give them as much room as possible while keeping them contained.

At first we just moved the (incredibly happy) turkeys and ducks in and left the chickens in their own coop:

Then we realized that they’d probably enjoy hanging out in the bigger area with the turkeys and ducks, too, so the hubby added a tunnel from the chicken coop to the big pen and they ALL took to it right away, going back and forth (and back and forth and back and forth):

We scored some free pallets from Craigslist to use as roosts and shelters in the new pen and added tarps on the side facing the dog yard (so the pups don’t go nuts looking at the poultry):

At the end of the day everyone was happy with the new set up. We were all rewarded with a lovely sunset over our ever-expanding backyard farm as a nice bonus, too:

Share on FacebookPin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on TumblrShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on RedditEmail this to someonePrint this page