Wednesday, April 28

random is h.a.r.d.!

Our Chicken Coop has aged wonderfully!!
I just can't love greying cedar shingles more, truly.
So finally we decided to tackle the fencing.
Normally chicken fencing is very tall to prevent chicks from 'flying the coop'.  But last spring we visited a farm in Athens and we noticed that the owner had a short fence around her chickens.  Her experience has been that if you have a good farm dog, that herds the chickens (aka,pesters the fool heck out of them), the chickens are quite content to stay in bounds of fencing.
Not to say that there are never escapees... sometimes resulting in casualties, but overall it is a great combo.

Cooper has been a great addition to the farm.  His puppy phase is wearing thin on my patience on many levels, but he is a border collie and has the true instincts of the breed and we are slowing but surely getting him trained and he has been quite the asset!  Meaning: chickens avoid him as much as possible, allowing us to build a fence much shorter than normal convention, yay!!

My farm stud, aka Shawn, got the bazillion poles dug in and the crossbars all in place...
then the next step went against everything he deals with in his career... precision and symmetry were NOT allowed, banished from this project... the boy lacks faith in my half wit, fly by the seat of my pants, hope this works in the end brilliance!

'Cause I wanted random pickets.
I love my sister-in-laws garden fence which she made from recycled pallets... each piece beautifully different.
Although we were using purchased lumber, I still attempted the varying heights.
Thankfully, once the first few panels were up... Shawn was a believer!

I am here to testify that random is tough.  We really had to NOT think too much, grab and nail, fast, fast, fast... no pondering, the more reckless the picket choice, the better it looked.
The eventual house fencing will be more prestine.  I wanted the absolute opposite for the coop fence.
This is the exact result I hoped for in my mind's eye!

Double gate was a necessity to carry various items in the coop area & to maintain coop interior, etc.
The resulting problem with that though is Christian usually has his hands full with feed or eggs when he enters and exits the coop yard.  I researched spring hinges that would automatically close the gates behind him.  Wasn't thrilled with durability and the look of the hinges.

In this case, 'old school' fix was the perfect solution.
Have you seen these ball and chain closers?  I first saw them in Savannah, Georgia.  They are on many of the gates there, so many beautiful gardens... so many balls and chains.  So functional!
In essence, the chain pulls taut when you open the gate, then when you walk through you simply allow the weight of the ball to close the gate swiftly behind you... meaning no frisky dog in the coop yard.
And the great thing is, it does not slam the gate because it simply pulls the gate and immediately stops once the ball lands on the ground... brilliant!

Happy chickens!

The Black Austalorpe is my favorite chicken thus far.

 So, I always pictured this fence, though random and haphazard... painted white.
That was the main reason for painting the door on the coop white, to then paint the fence white and have it pop.
But now... I wonder.  Torn between the thought of the white, and a second unexpected thought to just stain it (adding a hint of grey to the stain so it will catch up to the grey of the cedar shingles of the coop) and let it stay more natural like the coop.  Thoughts?!  
We recently got a nice power paint sprayer... so I am simply sitting here waiting for my mind to make up its mind so I can paint/stain the fence and be officially done, DONE.


karen said...

It looks beautiful. I vote stain it. Wish I had a reason why. I just think that would look nice.

Kelli said...

I love the fence! It turned out wonderfully! I think it's easier to paint over stain than to stain it once it's painted. So stain it and watch it and enjoy it for a few seasons and then if you don't still love it, paint it. Have fun!

danakat said...

Random is also f.a.b.u.l.o.u.s!
Everything looks amazing!!!
I'm excited to see what you decide on the fence, but my opinion is to NOT paint it white. I love having the door be only "pop"able visual. I mean, I LOVE it!!

Quincy Sorensen said...

You have such amazing vision, Dawn. This is beautiful, like everything else on your farm.

The Happy Haynie Family said...

gray stain is my vote...I love it by the way.

Debbie said...

I would have a hard time making the fence random, too! I think my brain is more like Shawn's. That's why I have such a hard time with artsy stuff... I just try to think too logical sometimes instead of being creative and random. I agree with Kelli... you can always stain it first to see how you like it and then paint later if you change your mind.

Lisa @ Fern Creek Cottage said...

I love these photos of the chickens hanging out in the clover. We had a few chickens when I was growing up, so it brings back really nice memories. The fence looks so great. The natural look of the wood looks wonderful with the nature surrounding it. Of course if I saw it white I would probably fall in love with that look too.

Anonymous said...


Dayna said...

Wow! Y'all have made tons of progress since we moved away. I finally found your link again, and I have a LOT of catching up to do! Your photos are beautiful.