Mary Tries to Break Out of the Big House!

So now the chickens have this cool new coop and also a great chicken run so they can be outdoors.  I have not yet put any sort of roof on the outdoor run yet and that needs to happen so I can be sure I’m keeping predators out.  Another reason for fencing the top of the run was that I discovered Mary the Campine roosting on top of the six foot high fence on a couple different occasions. Unlike the chickens in the movie "Chicken Run" she fortunately didn't realize that once she was on top of the fence she could escape into the wild blue yonder.  Mary really can fly REALLY HIGH!

Last night I discovered the two foot gap between the eight foot high (8 FEET!) walls of the coop and the ten foot ceiling are also going to be a problem, again thanks to Mary.  When I built the walls I figured no chicken could fly eight feet in the air, right? Wrongo! As the chickens were starting to roost for the night, Mary decided it would be nice to roost on top of the walls of the coop. There she was, sitting eight feet in the air and pleased as punch.

To scare Mary back in the coop, I picked up a shovel and frantically waved it in front of her. That mostly confused her. Next plan: I prodded her with the shovel. That prompted her to hop ONTO the shovel. So then I was standing there holding a shovel in the air with a chicken perched on the top. I tried waving and turning the shovel to get her back on top of the wall, but amazingly she bravely hung on. Too bad there was no video of this because I'm sure it looked very much like a trained chicken act. Finally, I lowered the shovel and made a grab for her. That's when she flew off into the shadows of the greater part of the pole barn.  Keep in mind there are still piles of coop construction material, tools, & other rubble - so catching a chicken in that mess was definitely an athletic endeavor. Long story short, I finally nabbed her, and as she and all the other chickens swore loudly at me, I chucked her back into the coop. Next project: Fencing in the two foot gap between the coop walls and the ceiling.

Mary the Campine with her friend Mary the Campine (Yup - They're Both Mary!)