March 2008


At last.

Chickens came first.

Any questions?

After fixing a few last-minute snags (reducing the air conditioning, draft-proofing the floor, adding locks and cutting more roof out of sheet-metal scraps – mastered the rivet gun by the way), the chicken house was ready for its final journey from the workshop to the orchard/chicken run:

I thought I’d fitted the house with skis:

Sounds easy, doesn’t it?

But when I looked at the book again last night, I saw that they are skids.

That extra “d”.

Think it stands for dunarftakealotofeffort.


You can only do your best.

Busy though. Daniel the Builder came round first thing with papers to sign and send to the Tribunal, to keep the permission ball rolling. He has a meeting with Planning next Thursday and it begins to feel like he’s very much the Right Man for the Job.

Clare spent all day working on costumes for the parade (more on this later), while I worked just as hard on the chicken house, although it’s hard to tell from this picture:

Or this one:

Some things – hinges, flooring, grills etc – take a bit of time. It doesn’t help matters when, just as you think the day’s over and you only have to feed the pigs before you can start enjoying a Good Evening, you find them here:

Where they’re not supposed to be.

I thought I’d be able to finish the chicken house today. But I only got this far:

I’m particularly pleased with the door (called a “Pop Hole” by Chicken People” but I don’t know why).

I only had half a working day today.

So I only built half a chicken house.

Suppose I should only write half a bl

A few months ago, we had to put up a solar electric fence for a horse, fast. (As opposed to a fast horse, unless you’re talking about eating speed.)

I went into an electric fence retailer and stared at the shelves of equipment, not knowing I would need:

The energiser, with compatible battery and solar panel, connected to an earth (about a metre long), with galvanised wire:

And connected to the (in this case) 25mm electrical fencing tape:

Wooden posts at each corner, with special corner tape-holders:

Enough plastic spacers to have one every 12 metres (yards) or so (these are a bit rubbish, as the tape-holding bits tend to break – but this is fixable with more wire) – they’re utterly unworkable as corner posts:

And a gate kit:

When you run out of tape, you can simply tie on some more, stripping back the plastic to expose the wires, which you can then twist together to keep the current flowing:

We also use the electric fence string and isolators screwed into wooden fence posts, in our Mark II veggie bed that the pigs have nearly finished clearing.

I hope this helps you as much as it would have helped me.

…Day Three. Because, to keep the foxes out and the chickens in, and on the offchance that I might have some useful offcuts for the temporary chicken house, I decided to make the gate for the orchard/chicken run first.

Here’s the before noon:

And the after:

Turned out this was only nearly a Very Good Idea. Her Outdoors tells me the chickens are the size of oranges and the holey fence wouldn’t be such an obstacle.

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