NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: chicken ladder  (Read 4806 times)

bigchicken

  • Joined Nov 2008
  • Fife Scotland
chicken ladder
« on: November 06, 2013, 06:36:03 pm »
While working at an old friends property I noticed she had a ladder contraption for the chicken hut she said it worked well and helpless prevent fox attacks if you were a bit late shutting then in at night. I remember river cottage making a similar thing. Seems like a good idea, does anyone have experience of this method.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2013, 07:10:14 pm by bigchicken »
Shetland sheep, Castlemilk Moorits sheep, Hebridean sheep, Scots Grey Bantams, Scots Dumpy Bantams. Shetland Ducks.
Voss Electric Fence

Bionic

  • Joined Dec 2010
  • Talley, Carmarthenshire
Re: chicken ladder
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2013, 06:39:36 pm »
I'm not sure what you mean but mine have a ladder to go up into their roost. They are very good and put themselves to bed, up the ladder, each evening. I just go out later and shut the door.
Life is like a bowl of cherries, mostly yummy but some dodgy bits

bigchicken

  • Joined Nov 2008
  • Fife Scotland
Re: chicken ladder
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2013, 06:47:17 pm »
What I mean is a ladder to the pop hold which is about five feet of the ground and the ladder is the chickens main access to the chicken shed.
Shetland sheep, Castlemilk Moorits sheep, Hebridean sheep, Scots Grey Bantams, Scots Dumpy Bantams. Shetland Ducks.

Bionic

  • Joined Dec 2010
  • Talley, Carmarthenshire
Re: chicken ladder
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2013, 06:48:52 pm »
My ladder is to the pop hole and its about 3 foot off the ground but my sister has one that is much higher and hers use that ok.
Life is like a bowl of cherries, mostly yummy but some dodgy bits

HesterF

  • Joined Jul 2012
  • Kent
  • HesterF
Re: chicken ladder
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2013, 10:03:39 pm »
Can't imagine most of my fatties making it 5ft up a ladder. Certainly can't imagine it keeping Mr.Foxy out either. Unless out of sight is out of mind.....

H

chrismahon

  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: chicken ladder
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2013, 02:01:59 am »
I remember the river cottage ladder and coop -I think I have it in a book here somewhere. It was a small coop about 6 feet or more high, set on a single post. The ladder at the front was a simple single spar with the steps nailed on. Very flimsy deliberately so that the weight of a fox would tip it over. I remember thinking a mink wouldn't tip it. To clean out the coop and collect eggs there was a ladder to the back. The chickens had to be trained to use it and heavy breeds would struggle -no chance with our Orpingtons. Lot of fuss to avoid shutting the pop-hole at night I think.


Seen another variation with a see-saw ladder. The ladder is long and the pivot is offset so that the weight of a chicken won't upset it, but a fox would get past the pivot and the ladder would tip up, sending the fox to the ground. Again mink, cats or rats wouldn't be affected.


We had one fox strike in the UK at dusk, just before we went down to shut the pop-hole. The hen was attacked on the way back to the coop, so any sort of ladder would have made no difference.  The other two strikes were during the day.




Stereo

  • Joined Aug 2012
Re: chicken ladder
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2013, 11:45:49 am »
I have been thinking on this concept as well but for a bigger, mobile 50 bird house. Pophole high up with a ladder down inside as well. I thought about electrifying the first 2 rungs with a cheap fencer and wire wrapped around. It wouldn't affect the hens as they would hop on it but a fox / cat would probably put a paw on the first rung and get a whack.

bigchicken

  • Joined Nov 2008
  • Fife Scotland
Re: chicken ladder
« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2013, 09:22:12 pm »
Thanks for all the replies all in all not a method used by many and rubbished by a few no enough information for me to make any decision one way or the other.
Shetland sheep, Castlemilk Moorits sheep, Hebridean sheep, Scots Grey Bantams, Scots Dumpy Bantams. Shetland Ducks.

Stereo

  • Joined Aug 2012
Re: chicken ladder
« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2013, 07:51:06 pm »
I guess it's all a question of risk / time. I shut my hens in at dusk most nights but sometimes we go out and they are in their houses, inside an electric net until we get home and shut them in then. Risk over convenience. We think long and hard on devising a system for larger style hen keeping where we can build a bigger house the hens can get into but is fox proof. How will you ever be sure though that a fox can't get in until you are proved wrong.

Second thing is that I think most people don't have their poultry netting working properly if they use electric. It's either under-powered, poorly earthed or the grass has grown up and it's shorting out. Plus it may also be sagging in the wind. Getting a good straight poultry net with a good whack through it is a joy but actually very hard to achieve and then maintain. I am guilty of all these issues and from time to time I leave the battery too long or the grass gets a bit long so my birds are more vulnerable. I have heard people saying that a fox will jump over a poultry net but I don't believe a fox would even try if it was standing up straight and had a good charge. The first thing they would do is have a sniff and then probably decide rabbits are tastier.

To me it's a double issue. First making sure the perimeter is secure with a good straight net giving out a good strong whack. I think this is 95% of the battle. Second, if that fails, how can you make a house that birds (with wings) can get into but a fox can't?

Lastly you have issues with leaving feeders out all night and vermin getting at them. Maybe treddle feeders can solve this problem but at the mo we have standard hat ones so if we don't go and put them in the aluminium dustbins we have in each pen we risk losing feed or contamination etc.

Interesting topic I think. But then, I'm a bit sad like that.

 

Buff Orpingtons not going up the ladder!

Started by skianne

Replies: 12
Views: 3553
Last post December 19, 2012, 10:24:17 pm
by Maddie
Silkie bantams won't go up ladder

Started by wendyg

Replies: 3
Views: 386
Last post September 19, 2018, 08:00:19 pm
by wendyg
Chicken with a black combe/sad ginger chicken

Started by sallyw

Replies: 4
Views: 1785
Last post May 16, 2010, 05:45:14 pm
by plumseverywhere
community chicken scheme/own your own chicken

Started by sarahdean_66

Replies: 2
Views: 1379
Last post August 25, 2014, 12:32:34 pm
by Stereo
My new chicken run

Started by sellickbhoy

Replies: 7
Views: 4303
Last post February 24, 2009, 06:42:45 am
by Hilarysmum

Forum sponsors

FibreHut Energy Helpline Thomson & Morgan Time for Paws Scottish Smallholder & Grower Festival Little Peckers

© The Accidental Smallholder Ltd 2003-2019. All rights reserved.

Design by Furness Internet

Site developed by Champion IS