Chickens are crafty birds, they just seem to be always looking for cheeky mischief. Perhaps just trying to add that little bit of spice to a life of pecking away at the ground for worms.
We keep the chickens in the lower orchard – for a few reasons, the busy road out front and to lessen the possibility of always having chicken poo in one’s shoe treads.
However, a few of them discovered the back ramp up to the back patio and along with that a whole new “worm land”. The first time we had to actually chase them back down the ramp but then after that they got the message and retreated willingly. However, on the fourth time a few of them just ducked behind the stone wall until we went back inside – cheeky birds!
So, the solution, some gates and fencing to keep them in their own yard. A simple design, a square lap-joint with the diagonal support to keep the sag at bay and some fencing to fill in the middle. I added a little twist to a simple diagonal by adding a “bird’s beak” notch – not sure if that is the technical term – I just made that up. Makes the diagonal more effective beyond the holding life of a few rusty nails (once shown to me by a local Frenchman when I was building a historically accurate door for a Keep).
The first gate I built out of salvaged oak I got with the help of my good friend Robert from one of his renovation sites – who knows how old these are. The other gates I built out of Douglas fir or just Douglas as it is know here (with the appropriate franglaise accent on the pronunciation). Of course we had to add a few branches or twigs to the top of the gates and fences as our chickens can fly – just a visual deterrent. Andrew has decided not to clip his chicken’s wings. Voila!