This morning when I went out to let the chickens out of the coop and into the run my dog was sniffing around the run furiously. The only reason I can think he would do that is because something was snooping around. That made installing the hardware cloth around the bottom of the pen more urgent.
I also needed to get the new waterer completed. I had started it the other day. The kids and I met my wife at Home Depot on her lunch break so I got some things I had been needing to get, including some chain and quick links to hang the waterer. A couple days ago I had cleaned out a food grade five gallon bucket I had. One thing I had been trying to figure out is how to hang the bucket without having the chain possibly slide around on the handle. This is what I came up with.
I took a scrap 2×4 and cut it down the middle giving me a 2×2-ish. I then cut that down the middle again.
I then scribed a line down the middle of each piece and carved it out a little using a flat head screw driver and a utility knife.
This channel was for the wire handle of the five gallon bucket. I figured that by making a new “handle” that would be too big for the chain to slide past I would be set. It ended up looking like this.
I simply drilled a couple pilot holes and screwed it together.
Last night I drilled four 5/16″ holes in the bottom of the bucket and threaded in the water nipples. I got 25 of them from amazon for under $8. After screwing them in, I took four scrap pieces of 2×4 and glued them to the bottom of the bucket. I did this so that I can set the bucket down without breaking the nipples.
Today after having purchased the chain and quick links I hung the bucket over the 2×4 I have added to the run for just this purpose.
I added a couple screws in the 2×4 to keep the chain from slipping or sliding.
After getting it hung I went to check and make sure it was working. I pushed on the nipples and hardly a drop of water would come out. It didn’t matter which one I tried. The only thing I could think of was that since added the top to the bucket a vacuum had been created. So I added a couple holes to the top side of the bucket. As I drilled the first one I could hear the pressure release.
So now the waterer works, I just need the chickens to figure it out. All of the reviews say that the chickens will figure it out themselves, no training is necessary. Until I see them using it, I will make sure they have plenty of fresh water.
This evening after dinner I got to work on adding the hardware cloth. I started with an electric stapler but quickly realized that it wasn’t going to be sinking substantial enough staples to hold the skirting securely so I brought out the air stapler.
One side done
Another side rolled out. Head of security is checking my work
Rather than cutting out squares on the corner I just cut a slit in the hardware cloth and overlapped it.
The door side involved the most cutting because I had to cut not only the corners to overlap it, but also around the door. I tried to be as careful as possible about leaving sharp ends anywhere because there will be plenty of kids around the chickens and I want to eliminate as many scrape and cut hazards as possible.
You can tell from the pictures that I finished by the last light of the day. I did take a minute to look at the sunset, it was pretty spectacular.
Hopefully the skirting adds just a little bit more security to the coop such that if I needed to leave the door from the run into the coop open for a few days, I wouldn’t have to worry too much about the chickens safety. Hopefully they figure out the waterer tomorrow, we will see.