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Patch to Table Weekly – Edition 11

From the Vegetable Patch

Introducing Houdini

One of my chickens is an escape artist so I changed her name to Houdini. She recently started escaping over the 4 foot fence that protects the vegetable garden and has been having a grand old time digging up my freshly planted garden beds. So incredibly frustrating!

The strange thing is, I've had the fence for ages and this is the first time I've had a problem. I think I triggered the problem when I moved one of the garden beds to the other side of the fence. This was clearly the the extra motivation she needed. I clipped her wings, but that didn't help. I finally caught her in the act and found she was jumping off a table to get over the fence. This was an easy fix, I simply moved the table a little further away from the fence.

Here are some take away lessons I've learnt from this:

  • A 4 foot fence is a good barrier, but ideally should be higher.
  • Don't get complacent. If you think you have your chickens under control, remember they can surprise you at any time.
  • Chickens have good memories and are creatures of habit. Where possible, prevent behaviours you don't want rather than manage them once they're a problem. And any unwanted behaviour should be dealt with immediately before it becomes a habit.

Have you had any experience with escape artist chickens? Leave a comment at the bottom of this post.

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To the Kitchen Table

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  • I have recently installed a ” chicken salad bar “. It is outside their run, alongside and partially accessible so that the growing greens can be eaten on demand by my hens. I have lettuce, Silverberg, etc along the length of the side of their run…

  • 10 of my birds are in a large enclosed area of my property surrounded by a 2meter high chain link fence on 2 sides and on the other side sides a wall that is 1m50cm. Even though I rear large, heavy breeds so they can’t fly so high (theoretically) 7 of my girls plus my Cochin rooster regularly fly over to congregate at the kitchen door and to scratch up any newly transplanted plants that I might’ve forgotten to cage in or to eat any cat food that my cats might’ve left on their plates. My cats are scared of my chickens, as is my dog!

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