Avian Aqua Miser: Automatic, poop-free chicken waterers

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Lessons learned in temporary chicken fencing

Temporary chicken fence

Last year, I wrote about a new-to-us temporary chicken fencing system that doesn't need electricity.  Ten months later, we're still major fans of the system, with only slight modifications.

Temporary fenceAs first envisioned, we used light-weight metal fence posts to hold up the plastic fencing, but these posts can be tough to drive into compacted ground.  Rebar seems to slide in easily just about everywhere, and the plastic fencing is light enough that it doesn't bend the rebar over.  I do tend to use fence posts for corners, but I suspect a rebar-only system might work.

I've also gotten more lax about weighing down the bottom edge of the fence.  In uneven areas, I do throw a piece of punky firewood on the bottom, but mostly I've just learned to let about a foot of fence curl under on the inside.  Direction is key here --- chickens will tend to burrow out if you turn the fence inside out and bend the bottom down on the outside.

Despite the fact that the curled bottom makes the top of the fence only about three feet off the ground, the chickens mostly stay in.  I wouldn't leave them in a temporary fence like this if we were going out of town, though, because a hen does occasionally take it into her head to fly over, and once she gets in the habit, she tends to keep flying.  Usually, rotating the flock into a more solidly fenced pasture for about a week cures her of the habit, and it's pretty easy to toss her back inside in the meantime since she wants to be with her flockmates.

Rooster pasture

The best part about these temporary fences is that they give us more flexibility.  We can pasture chickens in fallow parts of the garden without tractors, then spend twenty minutes the next week to move the flock onto a fresh patch of ground.  One of these days, our permanent pastures will be so vibrant that we won't need to send the chickens out to graze in the driveway, but for now, temporary pastures provide a great spillover area when the permanently fenced areas are looking ragged.

Our chicken waterer solves the fresh water problem, ensuring copious, clean water for our pastured flock.

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Are you just weaving the rebar in and out of the holes in the fencing, or tying it on? Thanks!
Comment by Dave V Saturday evening, August 18th, 2012
Dave --- Just weaving the rebar in, not through every hole either, more like in and out about four times, then stuck about four inches into the ground.
Comment by anna Sunday evening, August 19th, 2012

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