There’s a big change at Coppertop! After struggling to keep our free-range hens out of flower beds for FOUR LONG YEARS, we finally decided to create a fenced area attached to their Chicken Mansion for them to free range in.
Readers who have visited for a while know of our struggles and many attempts to avert the hens from garden sites we didn’t want them messing with. When they recently pushed aside my black netting and scratched apart some delphiniums, aquilegias, and heucheras raised from seed in mere minutes as they looked for good worms and bugs, I admit it, I cried. Hubby has been equally perturbed by the damage they caused in our gravel paths and mulched areas, which he spent large chunks of time raking and fixing. Maybe he’s been crying, too, but he hides it well. These chickens are adorable and produce wonderful eggs, but they are destructive! No longer do the girls have complete freedom to frolic at Coppertop, and I’ll miss watching them run across expanses of lawn. What they now have is a generous 60×60 foot enclosure in part-sun part-shade, that is filled with all kinds of native plants and trees, good bugs, and an old compost pile (their favorite).
The girls have adjusted well to their new boundary, and we are relishing the peace of mind we now have.