Chicken Defense

More often than not, necessity is the mother of cute craft projects.  Case in point: these adorable chicken wire cloches (or plant jails, as I call them) are an easy craft project that have been cropping up all over the interwebs lately.  I wanted to make a version of my own and was forced into it yesterday in order to protect the baby romaine plants my neighbor had bestowed upon me.

Late season tomatoes and romaine seedlings from my neighbor’s garden.

Needless to say, we’ve got a lot of chicken wire laying around this place, and I was able to find some miscellaneous scrap pieces that would do the job quite nicely.  For the larger of these two cloches which is approximately 8 inches in diameter and 12 inches tall, I cut a piece approximately 24 inches in length and about 14 inches tall (cut it two or so inches taller than you want the end result to be).  I cut it so that there is a finished chicken wire edge along the bottom length, with all three other edges left rough.  Then I curled it into a cylinder, as shown below.  Overlap the two rough edges and then begin to fold in the sharp edges so that they wrap around each other and effectively staple the seam together.

Bend your raw edges in and around each other to ‘staple’ the seam closed.

You will then have a wire cylinder with a finished bottom edge, and a raw top edge.

At this point, and again many times in the process, you will need to gently mold the wire into an aesthetically pleasing shape.  It ain’t gonna be perfect, so don’t try.  Just make some semblance of a cylinder.  Next, you will bend the top, raw edge into the center to create a dome.

Gently mold the raw wire edge into the form of a dome.

Your cloche, for all intents and purposes is done, unless you want to add a handle.  For these, I used a small length of jute rope, wrapped the ends in thin wire, and wired the rope to the top of the dome.

Oh, hey there, frog.

I am so in love with these, that I will be making some more elaborate versions that will be available in our soon-to-be-opening Etsy mercantile.  Will they be an adequate defense against the gobbling talents of my chickens?  They are pinned into the ground with landscape staples, but it will not shock me if my girls linebacker-tackle those things just for one beak-full of romaine.  Time will tell.  In the meantime, they look cute, right?

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11 thoughts on “Chicken Defense

  1. From a Montana Front Porch November 10, 2012 at 12:04 am Reply

    I made these a couple months ago to protect my herb pots from the cats! Love them!

    • farmhouseK8 November 10, 2012 at 2:14 pm Reply

      I feel like my yard is going to soon be filled with them. :-)

  2. Becky Neville November 11, 2012 at 12:50 am Reply

    ~A D O R A B L E ~

  3. Charlotte Zweigoronc November 12, 2012 at 6:39 pm Reply

    they ARE adorable… !!!

  4. K @ Shift Ctrl ART December 11, 2012 at 1:18 am Reply

    I love these completely! LOVE!!!

  5. Sunny Simple Life February 10, 2013 at 12:40 am Reply

    Fellow SoCal chicken mama here. I love this and will use it to keep the girls off some new plants I am waiting to put in. That way they can mulch all around them but hopefully not destroy.

    • farmhouseK8 February 10, 2013 at 4:46 pm Reply

      It has really worked well! Be sure to pin them down with landscape staples or something because, trust me, my girls figured out really quick that they could just chicken-kick them aside! But pinning them down solved that perfectly. :-)

  6. K April 26, 2013 at 7:15 am Reply

    When is your Etsy shop opening?

    • farmhouseK8 April 26, 2013 at 1:57 pm Reply

      Not sure!!! I’ve kind of had to put that on hold! :-(

  7. Casey C May 18, 2014 at 3:15 am Reply

    This is a great idea! I have a strawberry patch that I am looking to cover as well as some blueberry bushes. Did you end up making bigger ones?

    • farmhouseK8 May 19, 2014 at 9:24 pm Reply

      I did, Casey! I’m actually getting ready to do another post about them–stay tuned! :-D

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