Last summer was our first at our new rental. We built the chook run in a back corner, where the remnants of an old run was, using the parts of our previous run bought over when we moved. Inside the new chook run were two fruit trees – a beautiful big fig tree and a small, but rather healthy looking nectarine.
What we learnt from our first season here was that sparrows and blackbirds loved both the chook run and the fruit trees.
Now this isn’t rocket-science. We have always had fruit trees, we’ve always had chooks and we’ve always had issues with birds. But never like this! It wasn’t uncommon to see 30 or 40 birds eating the chook feed, polluting their water, getting stuck in the bird netting covering the trees and damaging the fruit.
We managed a good harvest of figs despite the birds, but the pollution of the chook run and general pest that they are meant I needed to do something.
After giving all the trees in the chook run a good haircut we set about enclosing the run with commercial grade fruit netting. It will keep the birds out but is gentle enough that the fruit trees can grow and not be damaged by wire.
The method of enclosing the run is simple – using some lengths of timber secrets across the yard, the commercial grade bird netting is simply screwed down and pulled tight forming a ceiling. There are a few gaps to plug and patch but in relatively quick time it is sealed up.
I have to give a massive shout out to my Father in Law Graeme who came over and finished off the job for me! Without his help it would have remained a half finished job for some time no doubt!
The fig tree is just budding now so time will tell if this method works to save both the chooks and the fruit!