Saturday, March 9, 2013

Chickens Are NOT Happy....

When I first built this chicken house, I had planned for a separate room for "brooder" chicks. I had also planned to make it so the birds couldn't roost in the rafters of the coop.

Things got behind, and I have just now gotten back to working on the inside of the house, so it will be finished by the time we got our chicks for the year (which will be in April). I still have a few things that need done, but they aren't TOO involved, so I should make my deadline.

Well, yesterday, in between getting the brooder ready, I decided to "foil" the bird's pesky roosting habits. The problem with them roosting in the rafters is they have no regard as to where they leave their land minds. Since they seem to like taking aim at the feeder, things had to change.

I figured I had two or three choices as to how to fix the problem - I could either:

(1) Put tin up on the ceiling - it would use up a lot of tin (and screws), would LOOK good, but kind of overkill. It would certainly do the job, but would also take the most time and effort to do.

(2) I could use "chicken wire" -  Instead of a tin "ceiling", a wire one. This wouldn't be as good looking as tin, but still overkill - and I don't think I have enough wire to do the trick. Besides, overhead work is not fun, and chicken wire is always a battle.

(3) Strips of boards running ALONG the rafters - This would be the easiest, since I have plenty of scrap wood, and it is MUCH easier to work with then chicken wire. It's not the PRETTIEST solution, but whatever works!

Since I'm cheap, my shoulders and back don't put up with much anymore, and  - like I said - I have plenty of scrap laying around - I decided to go with Number 3. Off I went to install my new Anti-Roost devices.

I used some old scrap plywood pieces on some of the spots, then I found some old "Bull Nose" trim left over from when we worked on windows. The trim has been hanging around for about 10 years - it lived in the rafters of the storage shed at the old farm for most of that time. I almost threw it away several times, but decided to keep it "just in case".

Either way, both worked fine. It might not look the best, but it does the job, and it's a CHICKEN house - it's not made to be fancy.

Anti-Roost

Rafters

I finished up about 4:30 in the afternoon, did chores, ate supper, then went over to Deb's parent's house for a couple hours. We got back home about 8:30. I had to go shut the door to the coop, and to check on the birds. The FIRST thing I noticed was one of the cats laying in a nest box, snoozing. After that, the grumbling started in. It was normal chicken grumbles, but it sounded a little different, and came from more of them.

They KNEW who to blame for the new sleeping arrangements they did NOT like! I figure that they'd be happier in the morning without droppings in their breakfast, but apparently not - they were STILL mad at me.

 Unhappy Birds

At least they HAD breakfast - that much was in doubt yesterday when I was working in the brooder room. Unbeknownst to me, I failed to close the door to the coop. I heard funny noises, and went to investigate. I found Clover, standing in the coop, happily munching away at the chicken feed.

I have a cat who sleeps in a nest box, a milk cow who would sleep (and EAT, apparently...), in the coop - if I'd let her, and a polar bear LGD who sleeps on the front porch - and lets three cats sleep on top of her.

Then there is the little Finch who hangs onto the window, and taps on the glass when the feeder is empty.....

Must be something in the water....







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