1 Now that the peahens are a year old, I thought it was time to expand their pen and give them more room to roam. Peafowl are territorial, flocking ground birds who will choose to stay where they are happy, but while they are still quite young, I keep them enclosed to protect them from predators.
2 Located in a paddock next to my allee of lindens and close to the stable, there is enough room on the other side of the peafowl coop to build a pen that is identical to this one.
3 The first step to building the pen was to get the proper materials. This is one of several hoops that will be used to construct the rounded enclosure.
4 These metal hoops will hold the net that will fully enclose the space. They are strong, and will withstand the elements well. These hoops are also used to make garden hoop houses.
5 This area was flagged to mark where the pen would be located.
6 Chhiring measures the outside perimeter of the space to be used. The new pen will add another 30-feet of length to the current set-up.
7 Chhiring measured the opposite side.
8 And finally, to ensure everything is measured correctly and that the enclosure will have 90-degree corners, the space was also measured diagonally.
9 These are the poles and inserts that will serve as the bases to the hoop frame. They are made of galvanized steel pipe.
10 Using a very large mallet, Pete pounds the metal supports until they are level and secure. A special cap called a post driver is inserted into the top of the steel post to protect it from flaring when it is pounded.
11 Every five feet, a ground post is pounded into the ground and leveled perfectly. String is used to keep them in line. Accurate ground post installation will minimize complications during the rest of the building process.
12 Chhiring measures the tops of all the hoop base posts, to make sure they are all the same height.
13 Now the hoop can be placed into its base posts.
14 The support base polls are screwed to the hoops using nuts and bolts. A special drill bit is used for drilling through the steel.
15 Everything is secure.
16 Chhiring measures from the ground to the top of the hoop.
17 A hoop for the other end is now installed.
18 And, string is tied from one end to the other to be sure the middle hoops are placed in line properly.
19 These 10-foot long wooden baseboards were painted Bedford gray and will be used to surround the pen and to support the netting, which will be draped and secured over the entire structure.
20 All the hoops are installed. All the boards are placed around the pen where they need to be attached.
21 A pole is installed in the top center of the pen. This is called a purlin, and runs the length of the enclosure to stabilize the upper portion of the structure.
22 This is the frame of the door being installed at the end wall.
23 The frame is matched to the style of the door in the original pen, but made a bit wider to accommodate a wheelbarrow.
24 Everything is positioned and checked for level.
26 The door is placed inside to ensure it fits.
27 The baseboards are attached. The corners form perfect 90-degree angles.
28 The boards are screwed into the hoop base posts with nuts and bolts. Metal tie plates are used to connect the boards together.
29 The net is put up. This netting is made of nylon. It is flexible enough to mold around the hoop structure, and strong enough to weather the elements and to keep the peafowl protected.
30 The net is pulled taut all the way around and stapled to keep it secure.
31 The peahens are not shy at all. Because they have grown up here at the farm, they are very accustomed to the crew and to the construction noise.
32 Plastic netting is affixed to the door. This netting is the same kind that is used to wrap some of American boxwood around the farm in winter.
33 Wooden slats cover the netting edge, where it was stapled to the wood.
34 Slats will be placed over the netting along the sides as well.
35 Doesn't that look much tidier?
36 Here is a view of the door from the inside. It looks great!
37 A proper latch and hinges were affixed to the door.
38 Both sides of the house were fitted with smaller hoop sized metal pieces and netting, so there were passage ways for the peafowl to go from one side to another. Eventually a back door will be installed in their coop. The peafowl walked through right away.
39 They all seem to love their new space.
40 The peacock is so beautiful with all his covert feathers fanned out. The male has about 150 of these long "eyed" tail feathers - so beautiful.
41 He was showing his tail and prancing around the peahens in the new pen.
42 I think they will enjoy their expanded space.