The grass in the run was gone within a couple of weeks.
The chicken bank was empty so we couldn’t build the extended run I wanted.
What will we try next to keep the chickens in grass?
Ta-da! With our leftover chicken wire, 1x2s, and landscape staples, we built a Chunnel. A tunnel that the chickens could run through, almost free-range, that would allow them luscious new grass to savor.
I’ve seen some excellent versions of the chicken tunnel, over the years, utilizing the natural needs and tendencies of the chicken to the benefit of another part of a property. I think one of my favorite examples was seeing them used around the perimeter, or in between the rows, of a garden. This way, the chickens control weeds and bugs, while adding fertilizer to the soil, but they don’t completely plunder the garden.
As usual we had to figure it out and make it up as we went along but by golly a Chunnel, no matter how basic, was the answer to our dilemma.
First, we built a 10-foot Chunnel off the run.
Watch them enjoying it for the first time here.
I thought the grass would last a week but no, seven chickens quickly obliterated it.
Back to Home Depot for more 1x2s to extend the Chunnel all the way to the dog yard. They were only a couple of dollars a piece so I was willing to spend a little grocery money. That’s the thing about chickens, you always need just one more thing; or maybe two.
The great thing about this extension was, I had Chicken TV right outside my kitchen and dining room windows. I could watch their antics without dealing with the mosquitos and other bugs. It really is entertaining watching a chicken take off running down the tunnel and everyone else following suit. “Hey, where are you going? Why are you running? Is it scary? Is it food? I’m coming, too!”
Once That grass was gone, I cut a gate between the dog yard and the Chunnel so they could go in there for a little while before bedtime to graze. That was challenging though because, as explained before, they could jump out of the dog yard with the greatest of ease. Most of them stayed put most of the time though; with occasional hilarious antics trying to gather a stray chicken or two when it was their bedtime.
This brings the tale within sight of current times when something terrible happened.