Living with Chickens

Cluckingham Palace

My chickens don’t have a regular chicken coop they live in Cluckingham Palace! While I say they are my chickens, they are also ours! While I get help from time to time, they are my responsibility. Being a responsible chicken owner the first step is to provide a safe and warm home. Also, there should be enough space so they have room to move. Over crowding in a chicken coop can lead to all sorts of problems.

Earlier this year we installed an auto-door. My O&O did mostly of the practical tasks while I supervised and painted as well. The auto-door is the best thing and all chicken owners should have one. Then there is no need to get up at sunrise to let the girls out of their coop into the coop run.

The chicken coop before the auto-door was installed to the right of the walk-in gate.
Putting finishing touches on the auto-door. The artist at work!
After the auto-door was installed.

Two days ago in Toowoomba we had the coldest May morning in 23 years. Did I have to get out of bed early to attend to the needs of my chickens – No! These days I do not have to get up on a cold morning to let the girls out of the coop. Also, no need for me to manage bed-time, they do it themselves. All I must do is set the auto door timer and adjust the timer for sunrise and sunset changes throughout the year.

However, once they hear us up in the morning they start squawking to let us know they are up. What they want is their early morning treat of grain. It is a habit I started and now this is what they expect. Chickens are very intelligent and they do communicate.

The door timer mechanism is inside the coop and out of the weather.

If the timer is set correctly the chickens will always have their head tucked under their wing and asleep before the door closes. However, there was one occasion when I went outside late. The auto-door had closed and Lucy was locked out, unable to go to bed. Oh dear! After I opened the walk-in door she quickly went in and was tucked up safely in bed within seconds! The next day I made a time adjustment to the auto-door closing time.

Chickens are very reliable in their bed-time and waking time. It is like clockwork; the sun rises they wake up; the sun goes down they are in bed. I love the auto-door!

Lucy loves living in Cluckingham Palace. She also loves the auto-door. It has made the chickens more independent. They can come and go as they please in and out of the coop. It has also reduced their reliance on me and I am happy about that!

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