Some Chicken Yard Fun

So this week we have something totally new. In the fall I was contacted by DogFenceDIY. I have been contacted by many companies, largely fertilizer companies (for some reason) asking me to review their products, and it's not that I'm fundamentally opposed to the idea, but just that I'm not going to use a product I wouldn't otherwise use. But this, this is actually pretty awesome.

The product they sent us (free, for the review, so keep that in mind) was the Clearview Fence Solution. This is priced at about $60, which feels a bit high for what it is. There's nothing really super special and no moving parts, and it's really just a bubble of plastic. The website says it has a rubber gasket, but there was none in the package. I don't think I would have bought it for that price unless it was for a non-profit that had a fundraising goal.

Anyway, the process took a while: I guess they sent me one package that disappeared in shipping, or maybe it never got sent, but anyway, a couple of weeks ago this package arrived and we started making plans.

IMG 5278 copy

Now, the idea is that this is something you install in your fence so your dog can look around rather than freak out behind a blank wall. Our fences in the front are see-through, and our dogs mostly live indoors on the couch, so this is not something our dogs need, but it IS something that would work really well in the chicken yard, where our delightful first-grade back yard neighbor likes to throw food over the fence and then watch the chickens eat it.

We discussed the bubble with the parents and made our plans, and then this afternoon we did the installation.

Installation site

First we chose a spot on the fence where there's no post (for obvious reasons)

Marking the hole

There are two basic pieces of the bubble, the bubble itself and a black plastic piece that acts as a template for cutting. (We then installed that as a finishing piece on the other side of the fence.)

Jigsawing the hole

Actually cutting the hole is super easy. We used a jigsaw. You could use a sufficiently narrow hand saw, if that's what you have.

Ready for intallation

The whole process is pretty fast, modulo your ability to cut the hole, of course. On the other side of the fence you can see the stepstool our neighbor uses to throw food over for the chickens.


And there it is in place. You have two choices with the relative placements of things, but we chose this method to maximize the depth of the bubble for looking through the fence. This way you can see quite a ways into the yard. The other way would be to have the flange on the other side of the fence, so all you see is bubble on our side. It doesn't make a difference in stability, but for the record the way we did it is not in the installation instructions.

Ready to observe

The chickens seemed largely unimpressed.

Neighbor dog looking in

And our neighbor's Shiba Inu had to be cajoled into looking through. The kid, though? She loves it.

(She also suggested some names for chickens to us: Daisy and Clucker. She's good at naming chickens, I think.)

Elsewhere in the chicken yard, Rosie has been a VERY BAD DOG lately and bit this hole in the fence:

Dog damage

She doesn't want to hurt the chickens, she just wants to eat their poop. In the process, she's destroying the fence around the chicken yard, though, and that is not OK.

Bridge to the yard

And to make it possible for the chickens to come out and have a run around the yard -- which is getting increasingly overgrown -- I opened their little gate and installed this bridge to the yard.

The only thing is that the chickens were super anxious about using it, and it took about two hours of my coercing them with scratch to get them to try it out. Once they did, they rapidly got the hang of it.

Using the bridge

You can see the remains of the multiple handfuls of scratch I had to coat the thing with to get them to use it. But I am sure that after a couple of days they will be using it like pros. And hopefully not hiding eggs all over the yard.

I'm considering fencing off the back part of the yard for them to eat down, to see if they can get rid of all the grass around the bee hives. Three chickens plus a large yard results in a draw, but I bet the three of them and a smaller area will be a chicken win in only a couple of weeks.

And lastly, I took my fancy IR camera attachment out to see if I could see anything interesting on the chicken shed. Nothing to see there, but the chickens themselves are hilarious in IR.

Chickens in IR

posted by ayse on 03/22/15