Train your chickens!

Darren7

Hatching
Jul 31, 2016
7
2
9
Central Oklahoma
Like myself my wife was originally excited about the idea of raising our own chickens. However, over time she has grown to resent them. We are free ranging eight Rhode Island Reds in our back yard of about ½ an acre. As a friend of mine said “you’re going to raise chickens in your back yard? You know they poop every time they take a step don’t you?” Well, no I didn’t. In their defense they don’t poop every step but they do poop a lot. In fact the back porch seemed to be their favorite spot to do their business. Being the city girl that my wife is she wasn’t happy and I was getting tired of cleaning the poop off every day. I was worried she was going to make me sleep in the coop she was so frustrated by it. She even wanted me to confine them to a small pin. I really wanted to keep them free range so I began trying to find alternatives.

After some research I found a motion activated sprinkler. I set one up on the corner of my porch and it works great. I haven’t had one drop of doo on the porch since installing it over a month ago. The wife is much happier but now she doesn’t want them leaving any meadow muffins in the rest of the back yard. I guess you can’t win them all.

If you do a google search for “motion activated sprinkler” you will see a lot of options. I bought what I think is a “scarecrow” for about $36 on ebay. It is made in china but it came with a rechargeable battery and built in solar panel. It shoots water about 30 feet away. The sensor doesn’t work very well if you come straight at it but any movement perpendicular of the sensor works well out to 30 feet.

 

Spartan22

Crowing
Sep 2, 2014
3,672
3,513
452
NE Ohio
Sort of cruel don't you think? Ha ha To be squirted with water? I rather confine my chickens to a certain area (run, pen, fenced area) instead of them getting stressed all the time and not laying the much coveted eggs.

My wife and I both came from big cities, so she was reluctant to have chickens, needless to say the tracking of poo in and out of the house was not an option. She opposed my having chickens that I took home in an impulsed. So I contained the chicken in a 10x12 coop/shed w/ 10' ceiling I designed and 10'x 40' x7' roofed run. When the hens started laying, wife said we need more chickens her office mates wants eggs.
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SueT

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
May 27, 2015
9,589
30,053
997
SW MO
I think it's a great idea. My daughter set up one to stop the cat from pooping in an area. Sprinklers are a great training device!
 

Mrs. K

Free Ranging
11 Years
Nov 12, 2009
8,900
11,176
636
western South Dakota
I don't think it is cruel to use the sprinkler l, but I do think having a run to keep chickens is a good thing for the safety of the birds. You can always let them out, but they don't have to be out all the time.
 

calmom2

In the Brooder
Mar 23, 2016
17
1
24
a sprinkler is cruel? come on lol...I LOVE the idea! especially in the hot wheather! Be kind to one another
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Darren7

Hatching
Jul 31, 2016
7
2
9
Central Oklahoma
I think it is working perfectly.

Stress:
I don't believe it stressed them out one bit. They have been laying regularly without any hiccups. I average seven eggs a day with my lowest being six and just as often I get eight (of eight hens). They learned real quick to stay away from the porch. We have left the sprinkler off for several days at a time and they still don't come around it. I look at it like establishing a pecking order. They don't act any different from being chased by a more dominant hen or being startled from any sudden movements of nature.

Predators:
I don’t have any problems with predators. I have seen a large hawk check them out but it didn’t seem to want the hassle of killing/carrying off a full size Rhode Island Red. I’m sure if there were chicks running freely they would have been dinner. I live in a residential area with a lot of fenced yards so coyotes aren’t a concern. The only loss I have had was when two hens flew over the fence into the neighbor’s yard where their Labrador was anxiously waiting. After that I clipped their wings and haven’t had any issues since. This happened at the same time they were starting to lay which makes me think they were looking for somewhere private to nest. I expected that they would never venture into their yard because the dog would bark at them when they got close to the fence.

Benefits:
This way I don’t have to dedicate a large portion of the yard and build a huge run that adds more to the budget. I can move their smaller roost house and nesting boxes easily which keeps the poop down and fertilize the whole yard. They are able to eat all the bugs in the entire back yard and have access to fresh green grass without killing all the grass in a run.
 

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