Chicken Training

We decided a couple weeks ago to put a door in the chicken yard so we can let them come and go as they please, without risking dogs getting into their stuff. The door needed to be able to be closed, as well, so when we don't want them out we can lock them in. I do want to be able to plant small plants in the garden again without having to armor them.

A good location for a chicken door

I figured I'd put it on the side wall, which is pretty much the only place to put it that doesn't involve compromising one of the doors. We actually use both sets of doors regularly, so keeping those clear was important.

Making the door

The budget for this project was $0, so I ended up using some unusual lie-flat hinges we had gotten in a pile of hardware from somebody rather than buying a simpler set. I cut out a door shape with the jigsaw.

New door installed

And here it is installed, with an improvised chicken ladder in place. I put it up high so I would not have dogs shoving their heads in and damaging the fence on the eternal quest for chicken poop.

I decided to move it more to the front to hide it behind the raspberries.

The real challenge is (and probably will be for a couple of days) teaching the chickens how to use it. They are used to going out through the main door and when they want to come out they cluster there. I put them all through the door once, then they got confused and ran around to the main gate. I picked them all up and put them back through the door. They still didn't get it.

Training chickens about a new door

Then I used trails of scratch to try to show them how to go in and out. We'll see how long it takes them to get it down. They did like the treats, though.

Wine rack progress

While I was doing that, Noel knocked apart then widened the notches on the wine cellar. We have to cut to size and notch the pieces that are not full size, and then it can be lifted into place.

posted by ayse on 08/15/11