Okay, that didn’t work…

Upon cleaning out the yard at the Fortress of Attitude I learned that the coop needed a new ramp.

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The old ramp was improvised from a piece of an old doorframe, wrapped with baling twine. It worked (better than expected) for five years, but under the accumulated straw it had rotted almost clean away.

Okay, so casting around I found an 8-foot 2X6 that developed a twist before I ever got it off the truck. Useless for construction lumber, it’s been holding down a tarp since before the siding job two years ago. I cut a notch in the end for the bracket and screwed it on the coop. It’ll work fine, except I had the same problem as always: What to use for traction on little scaly chicken feet?

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Hm. Well, there was a hundred feet of rope that went up the steep slope behind the cabin. I call it my back door, but it’s cheap rope that’s been out in the weather for two years or so and I don’t trust it anymore. That would work, I think…

So LB and I went up the long way during the morning walky and untied the rope from the tree at the top of the slope. I need to replace that pretty soon.

Then I commenced to wrap it around the ramp…where it quickly became clear that 100′ isn’t as long as I imagined it to be…

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That’s how far you get, wrapped tightly around a 2X6. Between a third and a fourth of what’s needed. Curses. I have more rope, but not nearly enough.

Hm. Maybe I can bug Neighbor D, see if he’s got some plywood scraps I can cut into traction slats. I believe that’s the traditional way to handle this.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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11 Responses to Okay, that didn’t work…

  1. harrysteele says:

    All they need is something every couple inches or so… cut 5-6 inch (approx width of board) pieces of the rope and staple/nail it to the board every few inches, and it will be just fine. Been raising selling and breeding chickens for nearly 10 years, mine have never complained, I have even been known to use sticks nailed every few inches….

  2. Joel says:

    Hey, Harry (Or anybody else with some chicken experience)…

    You think I might get less stress issues if I made the coop a couple of feet higher?

  3. Ben says:

    Couldn’t you have just spiral-wrapped that rope? Leave an inch or so between wraps. If it get’s lose, then fasten the rope with an occasional small nail

  4. Mine just roost in trees. Alas, that would appear to be an item in short supply out there.

  5. Richard Douglas says:

    I put the roost/nest box a little higher, so the roof was chin high, then built a landing platform in front of the opening and left off the ramp. They can fly up onto houses, 4 ft is no issue, and they feel more secure. I also put in a perching bar, which makes them feel even better. It can literally be a foot off the ground, but because they are perching, they feel safe.

  6. Kentucky says:

    OK, let’s see . . .

    Assuming the usual 1-1/2″ x 5-1/2″ plank, that would require about 14″ of rope per wrap and . . . uh . . . carry the 2 . . . that would produce something like 85 wraps on the board. Can’t quite count the wraps in the pic, but it looks like you got about the expected mileage from that rope.

    🙂

  7. Joel says:

    Yeah. I *could* spiral it out but there’s no way to get the rope really tight that way. Experience shows they can tear it up within a week if it’s loose. I’m going to see if I can find some old thin plywood I can cut up for slats, or possibly I’ll do what Richard said – ditch the ramp and build them a landing platform. That sounds kind of cool, and it would make more room in the yard.

    But I’m also thinking of taking the roof off the coop and building an insert that will make the building a couple of feet higher and putting the roof on that. I worry maybe I’m cramping them when they roost, which might explain why I get so many stress problems. Clearly I’m doing something wrong, and given that the main flock doesn’t seem to have these problems it’s got to be due to crowding in the yard and/or the coop.

  8. Robert says:

    Knit little non-skid slippers for their little scaly feet.

    De-smooth the ramp’s surface with some lateral scratches for scaly-chicken-toe purchase.

    Or, for maximal rope utility, measure the average incline-traversing stride of yer beasts for the inter-wrap interval.

    Why, no, the coffee hasn’t kicked in yet. Why do you ask? You should see me when I’m over-caffeinated.

  9. jabrwok says:

    Do you have a circular saw? I’d think lots of parallel grooves, cut about 1/8″, would provide all the traction the ladies need, without threatening the structural integrity of the board.

  10. jabrwok says:

    1/8″ *deep*. Left that word out. Spacing between grooves…I have no idea. 1/4″?

  11. anonymous says:

    Our chickens are confined to the chicken tractor, but an escapee learned to perch in a nearby mesquite tree, aided by a vehicle that was always parked nearby. I would have thought that owls would have caught it, but it perched deep enough in canopy for that not to happen.

    Alas, chicken was not smart enough to understand that staying out of next door neighbor with mean ass dog should be a rule, not an exception.

To the stake with the heretic!