No, this post isn’t about how to set up an exercise regime for your chooks.

Happy hens enjoying the shade under the trampoline

Happy hens enjoying the shade under the trampoline

It’s about looking at something many of us with kids will have in our yards, the family trampoline. It’s about finding a use for the space that lies underneath it, and keeping it kid friendly whilst making life a little happier for our chooks.

For many it’s the spot that is the biggest pain to mow – involving moving the trampoline, or somehow squeezing the mower underneath it – making it a drain rather than a resource.

We’ve got a whopper of a trampoline – 16 foot with lots of space underneath. I placed it next to the chook pen deliberately so I could make use of that space as a second chicken run. Setting it up was easy – I’ve used plastic mesh I bought by the roll, and simply cable-tied  it to the trampoline legs. I cut a 30 cm square (approx) hole in the chicken run fence (inch sq square wire mesh) which can be easily re-closed when I want to keep the hens out of the under-trampoline run. My intention is to only have the chickens in there for short periods of time to eat down the grass, during hot periods of time when they need shade etc, so that the ground under the trampoline stays fresh (the kids won’t be keen to bounce if it gets stinky!). The chickens aren’t too stressed when kids are playing on top of their run – they soon scoot out and into the other main chicken area away from the children.

View of the Trampoline Chook run, with the main chook run behind it.

View of the Trampoline Chook run, with the main chook run behind it.

I originally got the idea after seeing our new neighbours set-up – it seemed like such a clever idea, and it’s working brilliantly so far at our place. I’m now planning another run under a hedge which is wedged between the trampoline and the fence – again they’ll have some shade and shelter, and some fresh ground to explore when it’s time for the other area to have a rest.

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