Everything about chicken ingress/egress has been a problem. The floor of the roof coop has a hole, through which they are designed to pass, according to my specs. (Don’t even get me started on my woes with the chicken door.)
The chicken door is four feet off the ground. I just assumed that whatever solution I set up with them would be fine. Since they are BIRDS and have WINGS and can FLY.
Boy was I wrong on that one.
If they are downstairs in the pen, they do not want to go up into the coop. If they are up in the coop, they do not want to go back down.
Every morning for the last three days I have coaxed them out the chicken door after I wake up. I herd them into reach with a broom, pick them up, place them on the ramp, then put my hand on the back of their head (cop-loading-suspect-into-car-style) to keep them from turning around and coming back up.
Every night for the last three days I have put them back into the coop at bedtime. I crawl into the pen, sit on a bucket, pick them up one by one, put them on the ramp, and use my hands to herd them upstairs.
This is getting old. Here is the current iteration, which I built on my lunch break today. Because who WOULDN’T want to spend their lunch break building a chicken ramp?
This is the fourth, and so far most successful ramp. Or I should say, least-unsuccessful. They weren’t happy about being ushered up and down it, but they also didn’t totally lose their shit like they did with the other three. With the squawking and the flapping and the frantic kicking and the “OH MY GOD YOU ARE TRYING TO KILL ME!!!”
In classic software engineer fashion, I have decided that the problem lies not with the device but with the users. Based on some stuff I read at my source forum for all things chicken, I’m going to try establishing a routine. I will sweep them out of the coop in the morning, and push them up into the coop at night, and see if they catch on. Because that is a PERFECTLY GOOD ramp, which would work JUST FINE even if you didn’t have WINGS and could FLY.
Martha says, “Pew pew pew!” (I’m sure they will start clucking soon. Every once in a while I hear a proper cluck. But for the most part, they still say “Pew pew pew!”)