Now that we've had the chickens for three or four months, we'd noticed that one of their favourite places to hang out was just outside our back door and they were making quite a mess of it. Something had to be done so we decided to build a chicken proof fence to keep them off the driveway area and away from under the washing line. The chickens can still access most of the yard but we now have a cleaner area near the back door. It also has become clear why the council regulation says they shouldn't be within six metres of the house.
We had a big roll of mesh in the shed that had
previously been part of a dog fence and it was big enough to do the job. There were also lots of star droppers around the yard. We'd given
up on the existing enclosed vege patch so we dismantled it to get a gate. This
meant that the fence could be built entirely out of recovered materials
apart from some wire and nails to hold it all together. There was even a piece of mesh left over that was just the right size for the gap at the back of the shed near the woodheap.
There were a few issues with the fence. The first is that Sofia would hold the gate open and tell the chickens to come through. That seems to have stopped. The second is that the wind would blow the gate open and the chickens could run through but this was easily fixed. The third issue is that every time we turned our backs, the black chicken (Barbara) would appear inside the fence. We never saw it happen and couldn't work out how she kept getting through the fence. The chickens can both fly a little bit so we thought she must be flying over so I went looking for anywhere she might be getting a helping hand. I noticed that there was a gap under the fence where it changes height between the garden bed and the lawn and this looked like it could have been big enough for a chicken. Of course, when I was watching she wouldn't go through and confirm this.
So I blocked the gap with a plank of wood...
...and since this plank was put in place the chickens haven't been inside the fence once!