Animals & Wildlife Magazine

Lesson 856 – Looking in from the Outside

By Wendythomas @wendyenthomas

You know how I preach that every backyard chicken owner should have a wire dog crate or two?

We’ve used them over the years as isolation cages for those who have needed a little bit of calm away from the flock, nurseries (put up a “bumper” of cardboard around the bottom) for older chicks, and we’ve even used them to form mini safe havens for chicks that are newly introduced to the flock.

This morning we found one of our little birds, Jodi (as in Jodi Picoult) outside the coop.  AGAIN. She’s a tiny little thing and the first time this happened, we just thought that maybe we overlooked her when we put everyone back in for the night. (I didn’t think it was likely but, hey, I suppose it could have happened.)

Then we found an area On the side of the coop where the chicken wire had rusted through. We fixed that and yet we still found Jodi loose in the morning.

Additional inspection revealed two more breeches down near the base of the coop. We plugged those up and this morning Jodi was out AGAIN!!

This time we found another breech in the back corner. I swear to you that it wasn’t there the other day, these things seem to be popping up overnight.

It’s a work day, we have lots of things to do, I grabbed a dog crate side and put it against the hole. Later this afternoon, we’ll pull out the chicken wire from our shed and will properly reinforce the area.


Our coop is almost 5 years old, between snow and accumulated bedding, the chicken wire is failing at the base all over the place. The time has come to replace it but I’m hoping that we can jury-rig something that will work enough to get us through the winter. Replacing coop wire sounds very much like a springtime job to me. Until then, I’m counting on our good ‘ol dog crate sides to detour Jodi and help us keep our little night wanderer in the coop where she’ll be safe.

Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at [email protected]

Also, join me on Facebook to find out more about the flock (children and chickens) and see some pretty funny chicken jokes, photos of tiny houses, and even a recipe or two.

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