Tuesday, May 27, 2014

New Flock Consolidation and Run Cleanup

This weekend we moved the pullets into the big run/coop with the 1 year old. But first, we had to do some maintenance.

We’ve fenced off part of the yard and used it as an extension of the run that is built in with the coop. That way, during the day, we can open the pop door and the chickens can roam in the larger run. We used a light netting and bamboo poles to construct the pen and it worked flawlessly with the old barred rocks we had. Over time, the netting has been fiddled with countless times and lately we’ve been a bit lazy and the netting is only about 2 or 3 feet high in some places. Our current hen (Cinnamon) easily flies over this and roams the yard for about 5 minutes before returning to the door to the run where she squawks asking to be let back in to where her food, water, and nesting box are.

So we started by taking everything down, giving the run a good cleaning/sweeping/raking/etc., and then rebuilding from scratch. The new fence is 5 feet high all the way across.

UPDATE: Cinnamon easily cleared the 5 foot height, so we clipped a wing and now she’s grumpy but confined…

Also during this time I did some minor maintenance on the coop/run structure itself (pop door hinges got loose, etc., etc.) and then once the netting was back up we put all the birds in everyone got along perfectly. What a relief!

We went to a neighborhood block party and came home after dark. We went out to check on the birds and realized that we had forgotten to close the pop door so I was a bit anxious. We could only find two of the pullets and so a yard-wide search party began. Soon it evident that the leghorn was nowhere to be seen. We thought that maybe some predator had swooped down and grabbed her and we were feeling fairly sad.

Then I looked up in the top of the run and realized that she had managed to fly 6 feet up to roost on a crossbeam up where we didn’t bother to look! Phew. Of course, if she can fly 6 feet, we’ll have problems with her escaping as well. She did the same thing on Monday and managed to dislodge the ramp to the coop in the process. Both of the other two pullets were a mess, running around trying to find/get to their buddy the leghorn. Looks like we will have our hands full teaching them “the proper” place to roost at night!

1 comment:

  1. Escaping chickens is no fun! At least you didn't lose her. Always a scary thought.