Mornings are usually pretty hectic around here with all of the creatures demanding food and attention. The cats are up at 5:30, the dogs around 6:00. The chickens pretty much run dawn ’til dusk along with the wild birds. Chickens are noisy creatures, and this flock seems to be especially vocal. Any wild birds trying to steal their food will be squawked at relentlessly.
Recently the noise level was getting a bit out of hand for 7:00 AM. I went to investigate and found many house finches and a few scrub jays bombarding the run, stealing the hen scratch I had put out for the chooks. The girls despise this, and were protesting accordingly. I tried to shoo the wild birds away, a failed attempt. It didn’t phase them and they returned immediately.
Contemplating my options, I walked back inside to talk to my fiancée. She had the brilliant idea of removing the old plastic owl we’ve kept in a cage in the patio for years, and placing it in the chicken run. I snatched the owl from it’s cage and ran back behind the garage to scare those robbers away! The only thing I scared was the chickens. In fact, I scared them so bad, they ran around the other side of the garage and didn’t come out. I left the owl on the roof of the coop, thinking they’d get used to it. Nope, that was not the case. A half hour later the chickens were still behind the garage and the finches were having a garden party.
I removed the owl, and he now resides next to my seedlings to keep the birds away. 60% of the time, it works every time.