Caution: complacency

Xerocles

Songster
May 22, 2019
171
533
102
Clinton (piedmont) S.C.
My first time to post here. I have been following BYC for about 5 months, and a member for about three months.
At the request (bribery) of my GF, we bought six Easter Egger chicks the first week of April. I live on a small rural estate in South Carolina. And I have no experience with chickens. But I enjoy research, and new things. So I spent countless hours perusing all the information on BYC. I built a 16 ft by 16 ft run (1/2" hardware cloth) (covered) with a 4 ft wide wire apron and a 4ft by 6ft coop with three laying boxes. I have no knowledge of predators in the area, but short of wolves, bears, or mountain lions, I anticipate a full range of predation. I am suitably paranoid. The chickens stay inside the Run 24/7. Although last week I built a 4 ft by 10 ft tractor, (daytime use only) which I am gradually introducing the chickens to, so they get some grass time. The gate of the run is secured with a hasp and a screw-type carabiner, as is the door for the coop. Open at 7 a.m. and closed after the chickens go to roost, between 8 and 8:30 p.m.
Now for the complacency part. I looked out my kitchen window this morning to discover my 6 chickens wandering around the yard. Also, somewhere in the yard, was my 50 + pound dog who has been introduced to the chickens, but certainly not trusted. Immediately the dog was invited inside the house. She is an inside / outside dog. Then upon inspection of the run, I discovered the entry gate was ajar. I had gotten into the habit of closing the hasp without inserting the carabiner during the daytime. I presume that somehow the hasp had come loose and the wind blew the gate open. No harm, no foul. The dog didn't eat the chickens, no hawks swooped out of the sky, and Ricky raccoon was not standing by mid-morning to attack. But I did mention I'm paranoid? What if? Anyhow, a handful of food and the chickens headed right back into the Run. And the hasp is secured with a carabiner. And henceforth always will be. Complacency. It can be a killer.
BTW. Many thanks to all the people here on BYC for all the knowledge that I have gained from this forum. Invaluable. Side note. Even though I didn't especially want the chickens, they outlasted the GF. So now the chickens are my full responsibility. I understand the Forum is for questions and I haven't asked any. But this is been a long introduction, and I do have one question that I have not seen introduced on the Forum. As soon as I post this, I will then post myquestion.
 

Xerocles

Songster
May 22, 2019
171
533
102
Clinton (piedmont) S.C.
Hello and welcome! That sounds like a marvelous set-up to me. I just started my flock in May, though I had been wanting chickens for a long time. I enjoyed reading your intro and am looking forward to your future posts. I was kind of hoping for a picture of your coop and run. ;)
Not sure I can post pictures yet. Isn't there some rule about no pictures until you have posted some number of posts? I'd love to show off my chickens and their housing. I will do so when allowed. Thanks for asking.
 

HennyPenny44

Songster
Apr 3, 2019
195
248
131
Central New Jersey
My first time to post here. I have been following BYC for about 5 months, and a member for about three months.
At the request (bribery) of my GF, we bought six Easter Egger chicks the first week of April. I live on a small rural estate in South Carolina. And I have no experience with chickens. But I enjoy research, and new things. So I spent countless hours perusing all the information on BYC. I built a 16 ft by 16 ft run (1/2" hardware cloth) (covered) with a 4 ft wide wire apron and a 4ft by 6ft coop with three laying boxes. I have no knowledge of predators in the area, but short of wolves, bears, or mountain lions, I anticipate a full range of predation. I am suitably paranoid. The chickens stay inside the Run 24/7. Although last week I built a 4 ft by 10 ft tractor, (daytime use only) which I am gradually introducing the chickens to, so they get some grass time. The gate of the run is secured with a hasp and a screw-type carabiner, as is the door for the coop. Open at 7 a.m. and closed after the chickens go to roost, between 8 and 8:30 p.m.
Now for the complacency part. I looked out my kitchen window this morning to discover my 6 chickens wandering around the yard. Also, somewhere in the yard, was my 50 + pound dog who has been introduced to the chickens, but certainly not trusted. Immediately the dog was invited inside the house. She is an inside / outside dog. Then upon inspection of the run, I discovered the entry gate was ajar. I had gotten into the habit of closing the hasp without inserting the carabiner during the daytime. I presume that somehow the hasp had come loose and the wind blew the gate open. No harm, no foul. The dog didn't eat the chickens, no hawks swooped out of the sky, and Ricky raccoon was not standing by mid-morning to attack. But I did mention I'm paranoid? What if? Anyhow, a handful of food and the chickens headed right back into the Run. And the hasp is secured with a carabiner. And henceforth always will be. Complacency. It can be a killer.
BTW. Many thanks to all the people here on BYC for all the knowledge that I have gained from this forum. Invaluable. Side note. Even though I didn't especially want the chickens, they outlasted the GF. So now the chickens are my full responsibility. I understand the Forum is for questions and I haven't asked any. But this is been a long introduction, and I do have one question that I have not seen introduced on the Forum. As soon as I post this, I will then post myquestion.

Welcome! I’m a new chicken keeper too with 5 various teenage chickens. A 4 foot wide skirt is pretty intense! Mine is only 2 feet. I secure my hasps with lock and key but accidents can still happen. For instance, last night, I forgot to close their chicken door although their run is very secure. Three of my chickens have jumped out of the run as I was opening the run door though luckily, my 75 pound dog was inside the house. I’ve already instructed my husband and kids not to let the dog out when I’m in the run for fear of chicken escape artists...but they’ve still done it anyway in error. My dog no longer acts intensely interested in the chickens but like you, I don’t trust her. I’ve seen her chase down and kill animals. As for predation, we’ve had foxes and opposums in the past but was I surprised when Mr. Raccoon made a visit this past weekend. I guess he got the memo that I had chickens. You’re a good chicken keeper building them that chicken tractor. I’m working on a run extension made of welded wire with an open top for afternoon use and I’m paranoid as can be about something getting to them there though.
 

slordaz

hatchaholic
5 Years
Apr 15, 2015
3,456
6,394
602
Idaho
Not sure I can post pictures yet. Isn't there some rule about no pictures until you have posted some number of posts? I'd love to show off my chickens and their housing. I will do so when allowed. Thanks for asking.
Welcome to BYC if i remember right it is after 10 posts, but it's been awhile since I joined and am usually running on coffee, and if I run short becareful looks like the aliens from MIB are typing lol.
 

coach723

Free Ranging
6 Years
Feb 12, 2015
6,662
11,146
611
North Florida
Great story! All of my latches are like those below, held secure with the brass spring clip swivel snaps. When you go in the coop door (man sized door) you must latch and hook it open. Otherwise, if the wind blows the door shut just right, the latch can swing and move enough to lock you inside. Which is fine if you want to spend some time with the chickens and don't have anything else to do for awhile until someone finds you!! Or else try to squeeze out the pop door!! Both hubby and I spent time trapped in the coop, so now it's a well ingrained habit to latch the latch open when going inside! There is a small hook and eye on the inside of the door to hold it closed while inside if needed.
national-hardware-fence-gate-latches-slide-bolts-v1131-slide-bolt-latch-s-64_1000.jpg

Brass-Spring-Clip-Dog-Swivel-Snap-Hook.jpg
 

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