It’s been just over a year since Construction of the Cackleberry Inn began. Although some would consider it completed, I’ve learned it’s an ongoing process. Adding to or improving the original focus and plan. I’m so thrilled about the Patio Sun Room. Some might call it a Roof covered chicken run, but here at the Cackleberry Inn, we are more inclined to soak up some fresh air in our Patio Sun Room. Sandwiched between the “Inn” and the Goat Suite, it is the perfect place to enjoy a day of scratching and pecking.
Ok, here’s the deal, I love taking advantage of every square inch of something. Fact; Chickens are short. So, although “I” enjoy all the vertical space of the Patio Sun Room, there seems to be a bit of unused area all up in here.
Ok, next dilemma; So, I want to add lots of herbs around the Inn this spring due to all of the advantages of them to chicken care, from health to insecticides. Next question was where to plant all these nice sweet herbs? Then along came Pinterest. Ah, yes, the source of such a wealth of info and ideas!
A Vertical gutter garden was exactly what I unknowingly had in mind! I can make one of these and hang it on those handsomely strong roof rafters just on the outside of the wire fenced Patio Sun Room!!
Ok, This is really a great idea, but you know what would be just over the top? If the Chickens could nibble on the overgrowth of the herbs cascading from the gutter garden! No, they don’t need to have access to the actual root area of the herbs cause they will peck it to bare, but would it not be cool to offer such a salad bar to them?
Chickens are inquisitive little creatures. They are curious about things that they find in their surroundings. It’s been said a bored chicken is an unhappy chicken, and an unhappy chicken doesn’t lay many eggs. So… we got to keep them hens happy don’t we? Give them things to keep their curiosity peaked and their little brains churning.
Ok, so, now we are back to the dead air space high above my little flock’s heads. What to do… Oh! here’s where it gets really fun!!!
So, we’ve learned from past poultry adventures that using wire shelves as “ladders” works rather well. Their little feet love the “branch-like” prongs and once used to it, can race up and down the stairs rather quickly. Ok, so, what if I hung some of the wire shelves in an array of angles, where the chickens could climb from one to another? Then once the gutter garden is constructed, installed and herbs growing, the chickens could reach over… and snip a bite.
Well, there you have it, the Climb part of the “Climb & Dine”. Using chains mounted to the the roof rafters, the “stairs” are hung strategically where the chickens can venture from one set to another. Oh, they are already fascinated with their “new space”.
Stay tuned as we incorporate the second half of this project in the near future, the gutter garden.
Update #2; Check out the adventures of Little White Cloud who shows bravery when all others did not.
Update #3: Time to bring the Gutter Garden PVC pipes out for REAL Sunshine. My little herb seedlings are still small and tender but big enough to grow outside. It was exciting to actually hang the plant filled pipes from the sturdy rafter. Currently the plants are out of reach of the Cackleberry Flock, however, as the herbs grow and overflow, I will adjust the hanging chains for easier access from the “stairs” of the Climb & Dine. I truly had the attention of all the birds as I hung the Gutter Garden. They observed with fascination.