We're having a terrible time keeping the chickens out of my back yard flower beds. They're scratching up everything, throwing the mulch and soil all over the place, and tearing up my plants. I can't put any seeds in the ground because they'll be tossed out or eaten before having a chance to germinate. Also, I wanted the rest of the back yard fenced so Pearlie would have a safe place to be outside without me watching her every moment.
So, in hopes that a fence will deter the chickens just enough that they will just scratch elsewhere, Tom and I (mostly Tom) built this fence in two days. Our backyard was already fenced across the back and up one side with the same rail fencing that runs down the drive and can be seen in this blog's opening picture. We just had to fence from the corner of the house out to the existing fence on both sides of the house.
It was a surprisingly simple process...hard work, but simple. Tom had dug the holes for the poles a couple of weeks ago and then found out the creosote wood that we needed had to be ordered. But we finally did get it and got started on the building of the fence yesterday. The soil on this side of the house was deep sand, so the holes were fairly easy for him to dig with a post hole digger.
Then he set the poles, banged them in a little deeper with the bucket of his tractor, (I'm worthless at digging, so I didn't get involved until this step) leveled them, then just pushed the sandy soil back into the holes. No cement needed.
We made a jig with some pieces of wood to measure five inches from the ground and attached our first 14 foot horizontal rails at that height. Tom put one screw in each pole.
For each subsequent row, we used a piece of the rail to measure the width between the rails, just resting the length of board on the smaller pieces of board.
I wish I had thought to take a picture of each step, but I was busy holding rails and measuring, so it didn't cross my mind. After we measured for the top rail, Tom cut of the tops of the upright poles with a chainsaw to make them all even, then we put the last rail across. On top of that, we put a top rail that sits flat and makes sort of a shelf on top. That will keep the water from getting on the top of the poles and seeping into the uncreosoted centers. This fence should last about 50 years.
Today we did it all over again on the other side of the house, with one difference. The soil on this side was mostly red clay, which was much harder for Tom to dig, so it took a little longer. I'm going to line the fence with chicken wire so that chickens and smaller animals can't go through it. I'll also be shopping for an old gate for each side.
Note: Weekend Warriors is a show on the HGTV channel.