Tarp over the run - TERRIFIED chickens

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by wendyrun, Aug 24, 2010.

  1. wendyrun

    wendyrun In the Brooder

    May 25, 2010
    Gainesville, FL
    Our coop and run is very small, so we've improvised some additional space using our dog's play pen.

    We have used the pen to circle around the door of the tractor the last two days, and each morning I move the tractor to a new spot, where they will get some tree cover and shade.

    Yesterday hubby went home to find one of the girls walking around the doggie pen, desperate to go back in so she could lay her egg. She tried to get out once before but well, it seems she's easily able to scale a 24" high fence. I decided we will not be able to leave them out unless we're home to supervise.

    This morning we went out back, and there was a very large bird ripping apart a squirrel in our neighbor's tree. It was hard to see with binoculars, but I think it was an osprey. Hubby thinks they can't see down where I put the girls anyway, but I figured it's better to be safe than sorry.

    I staked a tarp over the pen, clipped on with some clothespins, and put a piece of bamboo in the middle to push it up like a tent. They acted like I was trying to kill them. They are squeezed over in a corner of the coop, hiding. I figured that eventually they will relax and explore under the area again. But hubby just called to report, they are in the exact same spot. For the last 3 hours.

    Killer cloth tarp!!
    I guess I should have just closed them back up in the tractor and be done with it.
  2. Oh gee, i know how you feel. i tried to put up a big red umbrella once and they near about killed themselves, trying to get away. So i waited until the next morning before anyone was out of the coop and put it up then. They ignored it.

    You're right, your chickens will eventually realize the tarp isn't going to kill them and start moving again. It just takes time.
  3. BWKatz

    BWKatz Songster

    May 22, 2010
    Tomorrow put the tarp up before u let them out. And use metal shower hooks to clip to fence. Clothes pins will flip right off. u could use bungee cords if u don't have shower hooks
  4. StupidBird

    StupidBird Songster

    Apr 8, 2009
    [​IMG] Yeah, my sillies think the big ol' blue monster is going to eat them every time the wind blows. It took them awhile just to stop huddling in the corner when I first put it over the area for shade. If I adjust it, they all shriek and run for cover, then scold me when I'm done.

    Note though: a thunderstorm wind caught the tarp, which I'd tied to the circle of fencing that's their day run, and pulled it over. The five idiots got lose; only four returned.
  5. We use zip ties. Strong and cheap. Mine freak out when we put it on, put once it's up they start ignoring it. The big blue monster . . . [​IMG]
  6. Gallo del Cielo

    Gallo del Cielo La Gallina Resort & Spa

    May 6, 2010
    My Coop
    [​IMG] It's funny how irrational their fears can seem. It's good they get over it quickly, it'd be tough if they didn't.
  7. wendyrun

    wendyrun In the Brooder

    May 25, 2010
    Gainesville, FL
    our tarp is a big scary striped one made from fabric. gasp!
    seriously, I'm afraid to call home and find out if they still have not moved.
    my one hen who's laying eggs is due for a midafternoon egg and I would hate to think she is just standing in the same place.....
    oh well [​IMG]

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