Originally Posted by wyrme
Why not take your chances and see what happens before cutting the tree? Is my suggestion irresponsible? I've had chooks for only 18 months, they are free range on a 4 acre field but roost in a roofless compound next to my dogs. There are foxes, pine martins sparrow hawks etc. all near by, but to date they have all kept a distance, except a cheeky magpie that has pinched a couple of eggs. Perhaps i've just been lucky but in any case, I would risk a bird or two before cutting a mature heritage apple tree.
We are not going to cut the tree, maybe a couple branches. All the wonderful people who have shared what they have done in similar situations have given us plenty of ideas on what to do and we think we will probably use a combination of ideas.
Mean time the heat and humidity made us rethink the coop a bit and it now has a 12' x 16' covered addition(chicken patio?LOL) to keep the afternoon sun from shining in one of the windows and heating it so badly. it is actually a tarp but we framed it up with 2 x 4's so it is sturdy. Now reviewing whether we want to continue with this and make this a permanent covered but open section on the coop. I will try to get a pic tomorrow if it will load on here.
Why would your suggestion be irresponsible? I envy those who can free range and don't consider it irresponsible....just another choice. Every situation is different....mine does not lend itself well for free ranging UNLESS my dogs prove themselves bullet proof around the chickens. If that happens I will allow the chicks to free range at times. ...with the dogs. (Great Pyrenees) But I definitely agree...destroying a heritage apple is just not gonna happen. I just get frustrated because we bought this coop used and other than the fact that we would never have been able to buy the wood in it for what we paid....it has been a mind numbing deal of trying to turn a really pretty bad design into something usable. And then there was the apple tree....