We have had chickens for
around 7 years. We’ve lost lots to foxes which is always horrid but with the
help of one special lady, (See Princess Layer, That Special Chick!) we’ve found
a fabulous solution!
Chickens are forest dwelling birds, trees are their favourite thing for protection, foraging and roosting – Chick this out! Keeping your birds this way means no more mucking out, red mite or poo covered eggs!
You will need around 5 days to a week to train your birds.
First select your tree, ideally this should be –
- An evergreen tree for year round protection
Not have branches below around 4 feet
Have a few sturdy, horizontal branches higher up
- We had ours in a beech tree for a few years and they were okay but we sometimes found them in the morning huddled in the stables looking a bit bedraggled from a windy and or rainy night.
- Wait for dusk (when they would normally go home to roost); once they are all in their coop wait for around another 10 minutes or so
- Lift out the bossiest of your chickens (this can be the rooster if you have one) and place them onto a relatively high (6 / 7 feet) branch
Then do the same for all the rest placing them as near as possible to each other
If it’s dark enough they shouldn’t move very much
In the morning, when they’re ready they will just jump down
Repeat every night until they get the idea and take themselves to bed
- Trouble hooting –
If they are big birds, they may need something to use to jump up to the first branch. In the past we have used a couple of boxes, a roll of chicken wire, an old hutch etc. Be careful not to use something a fox could also use!
I put them in the tree and they jump out! It’s not dark enough when you try this. Wait another 15 minutes and see if that works.
Where are my eggs! It can be annoying if you can’t find their eggs. You could set up a particular spot for them in an open shed or little tucked away space. Just make it super appealing with a ready made straw nest. They will find somewhere so you may just have to hunt around. To really finish this perfect scenario off you should have a hammock to watch your little happy flock. It just so happens we sell hammocks! Please have a look at our little online shop https://www.planet-craft.com/shop/ or go straight to the Hammocks! https://www.planet-craft.com/product-category/hammocks/