Friday, January 28, 2011

The Great Escape

At the beginning of my foray into domestic chicken farming, you may recall that my biggest worry was having to deal with the likelyhood of Raccoons breaking in to the coop. I was not anticipating having to deal with chickens breaking out of the coop. My two little fluffy bottomed sweeties are in Solitary Confinement at the moment, on account of a string of daring escapes. This all started a few weeks ago, when they would go walkabout down our road and into the neighbors garden. After the third time, I decided to take drastic action. I clipped the wing feathers so they couldn't fly over the fence. This worked for about 2 days, until they figured out that if they couldn't go over it, they were going to go under it. A little bit of digging and fence lifting provided enough space for them to squeeze through.  I found them half way down our road feasting on the worms that come out after a heavy rain, and ushered them back into the enclosure.
I saw the gap, but didn't think they could get through there, so I watched to see how they managed it. Sure enough, they houdinied their way through the fence, and casually strolled up to me with a look that said, "Was that your best shot?"
We have lots of spare lumber around on account of our roof still being constructed, so I reinforced the bottom of fence with 2x6" planks and sat back to admire my work. I made a cup of tea and a sandwich and sat out on the porch to read. After a few minutes, I noticed something looking over my shoulder. The smaller of the two was sitting on the planter box behind the porch seat.
This is war, I thought. I was not about to be outsmarted by a chicken, so I put her back behind the fence and stood by to watch.
I didn't have to wait long. She ran over to the Laurel hedge that was forming one side of the pen and started to hop up the inside, using the lower branches as a ladder, until she had enough height to jump over the fence. I couldn't believe what I was seeing.
So now, I have the bottom of the hedge sealed off, the bottom of the fence battened down, and when their solitary is over, I hope we don't have any further  break outs.
Occasionally, I can hear banging on the inside of the coop, so they are either bouncing base balls against the wall, or they are making a siege ladder for the ultimate escape.
Only time will tell


  1. How funny! I wish you'd filmed it! Have a lovely weekend xx

  2. I bet they are bouncing the eggs off the wall like Steve McQueen, so funny I love my hens as you know. Do you keep a Cockerel with them? They tend to keep them in check, although can be aggressive.
    Its funny how different breeds behave, our beloved black Barnvelders RIP were keen on wandering, I can recommend the Salmon Faverolles for staying close, they are also very pretty. xx

  3. Wally they don't call me satellite blonde for nothing..just noticed the illustration ...its early and I am five days sober ..that's my excuse LOL

  4. Ohh you are going to have some fun. I think they will keep testing you each time you do something

  5. Animals can be so inventive cant they,and not as unintelligent as we're led to believe.V funny!

  6. Can you hear the sound of a baseball being bounced endlessly against the inside of The Cooler. That's what I fondly imagine our hamster does every time I scoop him up back into his cage! Take pix if they escape again!


  7. Hubby keeps talking about getting some chickens, think I will show him this - it might put him off.

  8. so chicken run was also based on fact more than fiction....brilliant.....perhaps a few roast potatoes stuck a top the fence as a warning of where they may end up if they try to wing it again!!

  9. They are crafty little tikes and I admire them for their tenacity! If there is a way out they will find it! My girls have just had a host of new pens made to comply with DEFRA rules if there is an outbreak of brid flu etc. It looks just like a Stalag out there!

  10. One of our two keeps breaking out at the moment. Weather has been so rotten in England this winter that I allow her a little moment of freedom now and then. The ground in their pen has been frozen solid. Easy to get her back in with a handful of chicken corn! Husband hates it as she creates havoc in the garden and starts pecking at all the precious spring bulbs that are poking through the soil!

  11. Thank you for your beautiful visit :)
    Never a dull moment over here.
    Would love to keep chickens in a cute hand painted coop :)
    I think they would lay more eggs.

  12. Chicken 1 - "we're going to break free or die trying"

    Chicken 2 - "Are those the only options?"

    not sure the exact lines, but loved that part of Chicken Run.
    Had no idea that happy chickens enjoy the escape also!?!


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