Beasley's new redfoot pen at my new place (ongoing progress thread)

pawsplus

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I haven't been around much lately, but my redfoot Beasley (now almost 24) is doing well. We recently moved from my farm of 19 years, where she had an 8x50 pen, to a condo. I managed to find a place with a large yard for a condo, and I have sectioned off about half of it for Beasley. The pen will be about 16x20, and I'm excited about doing the whole pen-building-and-landscaping thing all over again after all these years!

This is it so far. I am going to put lattice, which I have left over from another project, along the top, so it will be around 3 feet tall. There will be a little gate in the lattice part only (I will step over the 2x12). Not necessary, perhaps, since the yard is privacy fenced, but a little extra insurance never hurt, and I want to do what I can to prevent anyone from seeing her. I plan to plant a rose mallow (native hibiscus) and hope there will be enough sun for it (they are fairly tolerant of a little shade I hear) and a lot of hostas and ferns.

There will be pavers around the inside edge of the privacy fence. Beasley has never been a digger at all, but I'm not a risk taker, so will be adding them for safety.

I also plan to build Beas a new house to replace the dog house. At the new place, Beasley's indoor pen is upstairs, and it makes me nervous to think about negotiating those stairs PLUS the 6 from the back door down to the patio, twice a day. It's just a risk--if I were to trip . . . well, it doesn't bear thinking about. So I plan to make a wooden house (or buy one) and add a door that latches securely. Something that will keep out raccoons and such. She will be perfectly happy to spend the night outside once it is warm--at the farm, she was clearly always annoyed when I showed up to and rousted her out of a sound sleep in her house to take her back inside at night.

I will keep this thread active and post my progress pix through the Spring. :) Suggestions welcome!
 

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pawsplus

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Looking good. What a big change, farm to condo. Lucky to have found one with your own large yard.
Yes, it really was. I loved my farm, but after 19 years I was done with 24/7 hard work! My horses are boarded now, and I have time at last for a lot of things I haven't before. I was the weirdest real estate client LOL--realtor would be all "Look at this great kitchen!" while I took one look out the back at the 8x8 "yard" that would have to work for both Beasley and my dog, and I walked right out. What won this place the award was the unusually large yard area and the 1st floor bedroom (my 16.5 year old dog would never have been able to do the stairs). Alas, after building her a great ramp down to the backyard, Rachel (dog) ended up only living here 2 weeks. :( She had been having seizures and they kept getting worse. I had to make the decision a week ago. I am repurposing the ramp lumber for Beasley's pen, which seems appropriate somehow.
 

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Sorry to hear about your loss, never easy.
I understand the real estate client. My stipulations when we moved in 2014 were nothing about the house, but the yard size and the way it was facing. Needed it to have lots of sun. My only request about the house was single level and a basement that I could build a ramp for my tortoises to go outside on their own. Well, a very big yard came up for sale. Perfect for tortoises and rare find in the city. The house is two story and the basement isn't ideal for a ramp. But that yard could not be passed up.
So we built a large garage/shed instead of using the basement.
 

ZEROPILOT

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That should be a perfectly adequate sized space.
I'd like to reccomend something though.....For the night house.
I reccomend cutting a hole in the side wall and physically locating the house OUTSIDE of the enclosure. This way the house won't take up any room in the actual enclosure.
You'll gain square footage of useful space. It also makes it easier for you to access the house.
You can put a small door in the side wall and the tort can come and go as long as it's open. And maybe have hinged lid on top.
 

pawsplus

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That should be a perfectly adequate sized space.
I'd like to reccomend something though.....For the night house.
I reccomend cutting a hole in the side wall and physically locating the house OUTSIDE of the enclosure. This way the house won't take up any room in the actual enclosure.
You'll gain square footage of useful space. It also makes it easier for you to access the house.
You can put a small door in the side wall and the tort can come and go as long as it's open. And maybe have hinged lid on top.
It's a condo, so I cannot do that. I mean, I cannot cut into the house, and if I were to locate it outside the fence, that wouldn't be allowed either, and it would be an increased risk for Beasley from curious passersby. I am having a house made to order. I COULD do it myself, but it would take me 5X as long and honestly, cost me nearly as much LOL. The guy who does it does nothing but make dog houses and he was cool with hinging the roof, making a locking door, and making it all longer and wider than it is tall. :) It will be 18x24 and won't take up too much space. It's one more thing for her to have to walk around, which is always good!
 

pawsplus

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Today's pen update. I am intentionally leaving off the lattice on the right side of the long side until the new locking house arrives. It would fit through the gate, but it will be easier getting it through a larger area. I need some 1X to frame the gate, hinges, and a latch. :)

I will be putting 1X6 around the inside of the fence, and also thick rubber under that. I was going to use pavers, but I had this thick rubber matting left over from Rachel's (dog) ramp (see sad story about that above). Might as well use it, and it is impervious to digging (even though Beasley has never dug, but not taking any chances!).

It doesn't really need to be 3 feet tall, but I had the lattice from the ramp, and I like the way it looks. :)
 

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pawsplus

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I reccomend cutting a hole in the side wall and physically locating the house OUTSIDE of the enclosure. This way the house won't take up any room in the actual enclosure.
You'll gain square footage of useful space. It also makes it easier for you to access the house.
You can put a small door in the side wall and the tort can come and go as long as it's open. And maybe have hinged lid on top.
Hey -- So I looked again and I CAN do this. The strip of dirt/mulch around the patio is plenty big enough for the house I am having made, and I can put it there, so it is outside the pen and doesn't take up room inside it. I am planning to put non-tort-friendly plants out there, but it won't take up TOO much of "my" space. Thanks for the suggestion!! Gotta figure out how to cut the 2x12now, b/c I can't remove it to cut it with the circular saw (or I COULD but it would be a big PITA at this point). I could do it with the chain saw but am a little afraid it will look like crap if I do (I am not really one for finesse with the chainsaw LOL). I will ask the handyman. :)
 

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Hey -- So I looked again and I CAN do this. The strip of dirt/mulch around the patio is plenty big enough for the house I am having made, and I can put it there, so it is outside the pen and doesn't take up room inside it. I am planning to put non-tort-friendly plants out there, but it won't take up TOO much of "my" space. Thanks for the suggestion!! Gotta figure out how to cut the 2x12now, b/c I can't remove it to cut it with the circular saw (or I COULD but it would be a big PITA at this point). I could do it with the chain saw but am a little afraid it will look like crap if I do (I am not really one for finesse with the chainsaw LOL). I will ask the handyman. :)
You can drill a pilot hole then use a reciprocating saw
 

pawsplus

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You can drill a pilot hole then use a reciprocating saw
Well, no need to drill a hole. But I don't have a reciprocating saw. I can get my handyman to do it, but I don't dare do it until the house is here to be sure I am cutting at the right place. I will just wait and see if I can get him to come once the house has been delivered.
 

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Well, no need to drill a hole. But I don't have a reciprocating saw. I can get my handyman to do it, but I don't dare do it until the house is here to be sure I am cutting at the right place. I will just wait and see if I can get him to come once the house has been delivered.
The walls of my enclosures are made with 1"x 6" lumber. It's very easy to cut and has held up well for a very long time.
I use DOLLAR STORE car floor mats as a door to keep out drafts. Cheap, effective and long lasting.
 

pawsplus

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The walls of my enclosures are made with 1"x 6" lumber. It's very easy to cut and has held up well for a very long time.
I use DOLLAR STORE car floor mats as a door to keep out drafts. Cheap, effective and long lasting.
I am not sure to what this refers. The night box? I am having it made. :)
 

pawsplus

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Your walls are 2x12".
And the doors to my night houses are flexible rubber mats. Not solid doors.
OK . . . I am saying I will need to cut the 2x12 so as to butt the night house up against that wall of the pen and still allow her to access the house. And it will have a locking wooden door, not a flexible rubber one, b/c the whole point of getting this (instead of just continuing to use her dog house) is to protect her at night. Don't you worry about raccoons, etc? I won't take that risk! If she is going to stay out at night, she's going to be securely locked up.
 

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OK . . . I am saying I will need to cut the 2x12 so as to butt the night house up against that wall of the pen and still allow her to access the house. And it will have a locking wooden door, not a flexible rubber one, b/c the whole point of getting this (instead of just continuing to use her dog house) is to protect her at night. Don't you worry about raccoons, etc? I won't take that risk! If she is going to stay out at night, she's going to be securely locked up.
I'm in the suburbs.
There are no Raccoons here.
Though there were still a few more than a decade ago.
 

pawsplus

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I'm in the suburbs.
There are no Raccoons here.
Though there were still a few more than a decade ago.
I am too, and really, closer in to town than real suburbs-- plenty of raccoons here! And possibly rats I guess. I am just really not a risk taker. I also worry about predators of the human variety.
 

pawsplus

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UPDATE: Got the 1x6 added around the inside edge. That holds down the heavy rubber matting that is under the mulch as a digging barrier. Beasley has never dug, but not taking any risks!

I also added a gate. Latch still to be added.

I am going to do some repairs on the privacy fence itself next. It's pretty solid, but you can see that area where there is a horizontal piece attached to the pickets--that whole section is going to be replaced and a board run along the outside bottom to prevent anything (stray dogs? Haven't seen any, but again, I am pretty risk averse) from burrowing under. :)
 

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pawsplus

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UPDATE: Have gotten a lot done on Beasley's pen at the new place. I am DYING to start planting things, but it's got to wait until there is a reasonable chance of our being past frost, and the nursery doesn't have the big hostas and ferns in yet anyway (she will plow down anything wimpy). So satisfying myself with hardscaping and one tree.

So far I have: replaced ALL the pickets on the privacy fence (that took a while and a LOT of 3" star-head deck screws!); completed the fencing and gate on the pen; installed the locking night box (had it made by a guy who makes dog houses, to my specifications); planted a BIG Rose of Sharon (pink! Beasley loves pink food); set up the pond (I use 2 XL plant saucers so that the bottom one holds the hole in place and I just remove the top one for cleaning) (I love these big pond rocks I found at Home Depot, which should keep the pond cleaner and provide another surface for Beasley); and found (thanks to our recent wind storm) a great "stump" by the side of the road that will serve as an obstacle for her to walk around and a seat for me when I am hanging out with Beas, and another limb I think I will partially bury perpendicular to the fence so she has to climb over it.

I can envision it all planted and am really antsy to get started, but it's just too early, even though it has been up to 80F here some days (it has also been 30F some nights!). Beas goes out on warmer days and I have added temporarily a large Vari-Kennel top as additional cover until we get the plants going. I have also been working on MY part of the garden, where there are some things that she cannot safely eat--hellebores are so pretty and love cold weather. :)
 

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