Friday, 12 April 2013

A door problem

I mentioned last week that we've started to release our hens to free-range over the garden when we get home each evening. I also mentioned that they are brilliant at getting themselves back into the coop at the end of the day.

And then we confused them.

The old run, looking all crumpled.

We spent nearly all weekend building a new run for them. We wanted something sturdier and taller. We also wanted something with a door to make it easier for both us and them to get in and out - currently we climb over the fence, and they have a little door that we have to tie up with string and was rapidly showing signs of wear.

Phase one of the new run went really well. We set 5 fence posts into the ground, moved the coop sideways a little to allow them a larger space, and dug three quarters of a trench to allow us to bury the mesh six inches down. In order to get it back into a working run ready for the week we re-fitted the old mesh in the gap that we hadn't dug the trench for yet. The piece of mesh was too long, but instead of cutting it we just sat the excess to one side and used it to fill the hole that is currently the door during the day. The hole that is the door hasn't moved - but the big bundle of mesh sitting to one side does make it less clear.

The new run at the end of phase one

This, I think, is the problem. The girls can't find the door - particularly when trying to get to the coop. One night this week three hens managed to navigate to their way in, but I found Pepper wandering round and round the excess mesh trying to work it out. I gave her a helping hand.

Two nights this week our two bantams - Frog and Fizzy - have clearly just given up. They opted for the next best thing. They've decided to sleep on top of the coop instead!


  1. Thanks. It needs another sunny weekends work to finish it off, but really pleased with how it's gone so far.