Yes, I was running outside in my underwear. They were boxers and I’m sure the neighbors could not tell. It was an emergency. Wait, perhaps I should back up and start from the beginning.
So, as I was getting ready for bed when I heard an odd sound from the backyard. What is that? It was just before midnight January 8th. I paused for a moment. And then the sound came again. An animal shrieked!
They will definitely be getting their wings clipped this week. One trick I learned to get them out of the trees involves a broom handle. Chickens, similar to other birds, will perch on anything.
So if you take the broom handle and press is against the front of their legs, they will almost naturally step onto the broom handle as if it was a branch. By doing this, you can then easily lower them down from the tree. One of them I was able to carry from the tree almost to the door of the chicken coop by using the “broom handle perch” method.
My chickens were in the trees again. This time, two of them were REALLY high up. I tried to video them, but the result looks like Blair Witch meets the Chicken Wrangler. It took approximately 30 minutes for me to get all four chickens unstuck from the trees tonight. Two were fairly easy to catch because they were within arms reach.
The other two chickens were a different story. They were both nine feet off the ground, and I made the smart decision to poke them with a stick to get them down. Which, of course, was the wrong decision because they flew higher into the tree. Finally I came up with the idea of pulling the tree branch down and then they were six feet off the ground, and then I snagged them from the tree. Now all four are safely locked in their chicken coop.
Our chickens finally have a coop. They are approximately three months old. We have three Rhode Island Reds and one Ameraucana. The coop did not take long to assemble. The biggest problem was that I am a graduate student, so I had zero time to put it together during the school year.
But now all my classes are finally done, and I finished grading papers. So I started working on the chicken coop Friday, June 15th… and I worked on it Friday, Saturday, and finished it Monday (today). Apparently grad school sapped my strength… because the motorcycle shipping crate seemed much heavier than I expected. Sitting around and studying 6 to 12 hours a day is probably not great for my muscles. Anyway… the coop is finished.
The crate was a deal from craigslist. The cost for the wooden motorcycle shipping crate was $75 (U.S.), the paint (which was on discount) and other supplies were less than $20 (U.S.). The coop measures four feet by eight feet… and has an 8 foot wooden beam inside for the chickens to roost on. So, a very large coop for under $100.
The last couple weeks my wife and I have started finding our chickens in strange places. They have been roosting on top of the rabbit cages… or roosting in the trees above our heads. Hopefully we can get them accustomed to getting into the coop. Yes, I am still new at this… but it is still hard for me to reconcile the fact that I found my chickens in the trees. Really, in the trees? What strange places have you found your chickens?