Ok nothing serious here in this post - really just for fun and hoping someone will give me a good idea!
We just got up and rolling again after a few months' break and have shored up resources. Our new "Ft Knox" has a completely wired-in run with door, attached to the main 'mini-coop' with nest box/ramp.
The girls are free range during the day. At night, hubby herds the girls back into the main run. Problem is, it's about 4 ft tall, so he would have to squat down and walk in to shut them into the nest box compartment. His job is just to get them in the 'big house'. Mind you, when my brother helped us finish this project, he warned me this would be a problem. I don't see it as a problem, but then, I'm under 5'4", so of course it's not a big deal for me to bend down, go in, and shut the door. I was going to whine to hubby that he needed to help more before I realized it will cripple him to do it. hehe
I don't know if we can rig one of those auto doors to shut them into the nest box at night or not. At this time I don't want to make another investment just yet.
No problem to remember to let them out in the morning of course (that's me). At night, especially now when it's dark, I find I am having to chant to myself as I'm driving not to forget to shut them in. They might be ok in the wired run without us shutting the door but after losing our first 2 girls, we're trying to be very very careful.
I'm thinking a cute little ornament in the garage on the door knob. Or a little sign "Put the girls in".
So give me your ideas folks! do you have a visual reminder in your house or is the night time routine so in-grained and easy that you don't need one?
Also I'm trying to think long-term - we used to go out of town for an overnight, and leave the girls 'loose' but we can't afford to ever do that again. I'd love an easy routine that I can explain to a pet sitter. I think long term, an auto door will be our best bet, but the coop I bought and tweaked has a door that slides to the side, rather than one that pops up and down. So 'someday' if I can figure out how to attach it, we'd consider. But for now, I need a visual that I can flip back and forth - or move from one room to another. Just not sure what!