When we got our coop ready for the chickens, we installed this four foot tall fence inside the coop to keep them in their own area. We had originally planned to take the fencing all the way to the ceiling, but after the four foot fence was installed, we were happy with it and after all, these guys can’t even figure out perching on 2×4’s that are 14 inches off the ground. I noticed over the past few days, however, that they’d gotten much better at the perch thing and although they might be sitting on the floor when I leave the coop at night, in the morning there is evidence (POOP) that tells me that they are using the perches at night. So I thought things were going along swimmingly.
Every few days or so, Vinnie (who seems to thrive on shenanigans) , has made an appearance on the top rail of the fence inside the coop and I’ve just scooped him off the top and told him “yeah yeah, you’re cool” and deposited him back with the rest and then he’s good for another few days. I keep the barn doors closed during the day and there’s really no opportunity for him to go anywhere except for that top rail…and then he just stands there and waits for me to come in and tell him he’s rotten. Getting up there is his big impressive trick…getting down apparently requires mom. After this has happened sporadically, we had decided to extend the fencing all the way to ceiling this weekend.
This morning, I was groggier than usual when I stumbled out to the coop to let them out. I checked the run like I always do and then fumbled around with the lock for a couple of minutes because my motor skills were still apparently back in bed hitting the snooze alarm for the 147th time. When I finally got my brain to communicate with my hands, I swung open the door and…
All ten of them were standing on the top rail of the fence….make that nine, because Jessie was pacing back and forth on the bale of straw in the work area and clucking. Vinnie flapped his wings (which almost sent four them careening off the railing) like he was saying “LOOK WHAT I TAUGHT THEM!! WHEEEEE!”
I just stared…aghast…which I shouldn’t have been. I just figured they’d never figure it out!! It turns out I completely underestimated them. They all stood there clucking (it’s their new thing…they’ve just learned to cluck) except for Cluck Norris who looked at me rather frantically and said “Peep-peep?”
They didn’t even TRY to get down. In fact, they seemed to like it up there….except for Cluck who continued to look panicked.
I unlatched the door that they were all perched on the top of and swung it into the run and they all just rode it as it swung. I didn’t want to just push them off the rail because I’ve seen too many pictures of Bumble Foot and ain’t nobody got time for THAT. They had nowhere to go since they all seemed stuck up on the rail, because apparently flying UP is easier than flying DOWN. I picked each one off the railing and set them in the shavings and after a few frantic “CLUCK-CLUCK-CLUCK”s they each scuttled away to run outside. I finished up in the coop and then closed the doors and when I turned around to look at the run, they were all standing at the fence looking at me hopefully.
“I don’t think ANY of you deserve a treat. NOT ONE.”
They crowded the fence and cocked their heads and made chicken noises.
I threw them some scratch and which they attacked like chicken vacuum cleaners.
They are SO BUSTED. I’m putting up that fence this weekend ALL the way to ceiling and I might even wrap it around the top of the coop a few times and put razor wire on it, dig a mote, put up guard towers with armed scary men in them and put up signs that say “DO NOT PICK UP HITCH HIKING CHICKENS”.
We’re kicking that coop up a notch.
Prepare yourself inmates…next stop, CHICKEN ALCATRAZ.