Sunday, June 26, 2016

Chickens!

They are Acclimating

Last post we had recover one of the three that escaped and we were working on making a fully enclosed aviary out of our coop and run. Well, as an update, we have recovered one more bird for a total of five, this one was the hen with the un-clipped wing that started the exodus. We wired up the pop door exits so we could finish securing the netting and also try to get the girls used to roosting in the coop rather than trying to get to the trees like they were used to. 

The trick to covering the pen was that to save drilling into the lava, I chose to use two side of the coop as one of the corners of the pen. When we poled the pen to raise the netting to 10 feet, it meant that we had a zone over the coop that was tough to secure. I ended up stapling the netting to the gable fascia and trimming it to neaten the look, I have yet to run a cover trim along the raw net edge, but that can be for another day. 

I extended the top of the gate, welded the catch to the T bar, and welded an EMT header between the gates adjacent T bar poles for the netting to be secured to. 450 or so zip ties later and the netting was secure- upper fence was zipped about every 4 inches, and we decided as a precaution to zip a row about a foot down at 14-16 inch intervals. For the safety of the chickens, we did not attach the netting any where except where it made contact with fascia or the initial 5 foot fencing so if they flew into it, it would have a lot more give.

With the last of the netting trimmed off and cleaned up, I called JoAnn out to the coop and removed the temporary wire over the pop doors. I backed out of the coop and shut the clean out doors and waited. The hens didn't seen to know they were free to roam outside the coop. What ever the reason, they just didn't head out so I suggested the meal worms. Even as skittish as they were around us, with meal worms, we almost had them eating out of our hands. JoAnn placed some on the outside landing and that's all it took.  One by one they headed out pushing their way to get the treats. Once on the landing, the birds inside pushed the outside girls off the ramp and they started exploring. None tried to fly, I guess they were too excited being out to do anything but scratch around for bugs.

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