Monday, June 20, 2011

Pens, Coops, and such

About three months ago, when we were fully engulfed in learning and trying to teach my son many of the things he was working on for advancement or merit badges in Scouts...reading and explaining was just not getting the job done for my youngest child. He is a hands-on learner...So, I set out to do the things with him for better overall impression and retention of skills.

We determined to build a make-shift shed. He got to cut and measure and hammer and nail and drill and such. It took about a month to look like anything that would hold anything. A greenhouse roof was applied. I had a place to hold the new planting items for the small garden we made.

The new neighbor's dog had also learned in this time frame to scale the fence next door and escape. He likes my yard more than hers apparently. He dug up my new plants. He took off with pieces of my mulch. He takes my pots off the front porch. Lately he has ate my best pair of flip flops and ran off with one of my garden gloves. Oh, did I mention he also chewed up and completely destroyed my hose nozzle and I also have a new hole in the garden hose. Which, by the way, makes watering plants so much easier to accomplish...NOT!!

My child's dog, does not get along with other dogs. Humans and cats (our cats) are fine. Nothing else is. Our dog will fight other dogs. The neighbor dog thinks all other animals are playmates...not much of a clue that my dog will fight him if he comes in our yard. We quickly had to add a pen to the most available location, the new greenhouse shed, to place our puppy in when dumb dumb would escape from his yard and make his time in ours. We had to place our dog in protection to keep her away from the intruding dog. She does not like other animals on her turf. Most days this would mean quickly placing her in the pen, which was quicker than trying to get her into the house, and then walking the neighbor dog back to his property line and placing him back in his backyard quarters. He would promptly scale his fence again in 15 minutes or so, but it gave us time to let our dog go potty and put her back in the house.

It took about a month for the neighbor dog to stay on his side of the line. He also quickly learned where the underground fence of our yard was located. He will walk the perimeter of the fence where our dog can stay in the yard now and he is out of her proximal territory zone. And the fence around the shed remained.

We decided to buy chickens. Our boyscout learning adventure went from shed to greenhouse supply shed to dog pen/shed to chicken house. At least it turned into a productive and useful project overall. We had decided to get chickens before all this transpired, but we were originally opting for a transportation tractor for them. I had priced several and they weren't all that expensive. The shed seemed like the likely spot of use. The pen became the run. 

We are entering a new phase of learning now, particularly with homeschooling on the agenda now as well. I think any new projects will have to remain versatile as we progress...

By the way, as I write this, the dingy doggy from next door is romping in my front yard after a butterfly. A recent facebook post I made was about a deer in our backyard a day or so ago. A neighbor down the road commented this same doe has been in her yard and chased and bit another neighbor's puppy. I wonder if the deer would visit my yard more often, if it would chase the neighbor's dog back into her yard??

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