Thursday, May 06, 2010

Smarter than the average Chicken?

I like to think of myself as being reasonably intelligent. I'm not a genius but I can usually figure myself out of most situations. However, it is beginning to look like I am not as smart as the average chicken.

As I mentioned in a previous post, the chickens destroyed my herb garden. I put up a decorative fence, since the garden can be seen from the road. Turned out 10 inch wide chickens can squeeze through openings 5 inches wide. Fine, I added strands of wire to create 3 x 4 inch sections. Turned out chickens can squeeze through those as well. It takes a little more effort on their part but seem to not mind it at all.

So, I added more wire to create smaller holes. This flummoxed the chickens for maybe 20 minutes. They figured out that if they push their heads through the small openings and push really hard, maybe two or three of them pushing from behind, they can do one of two things. They can either spread the wires far enough apart to squeeze through or they can actually pull apart the wire where it is twisted together. Either way they can get into the garden and wreck havoc.

I spent the afternoon adding left over 1/2 inch welded wire hardware cloth the the majority of the decorative fencing. Unfortunately, there wasn't enough to go the full length of the herb garden but it covered 80% of the distance. So far so good. Of course it has been raining and hailing on and off since I added the extra fencing, so the chickens may not have seen the recent addition and thus have not figured out a work around yet.

I think my next attempt will involve a fully enclosed cage that fits over the top of the herb bed and allows room for the plants to grow. Let me see the chickens break into that.

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