Two things happened.
1. The neighbors complained about the chickens. Not in a mean way. I think they said, “So, this is a temporary location, right?” Fair enough. We were in blatant violation of the city regulations which require chicken coops to be 15-feet from the property line. We knew it. They knew it. Ted assured them we’d move them.
2. The chickens kept getting out. Not all of them, all at once. Just one here and there. For two nights in a row, the Black Australorp (“Ofeibea”) would come up and peck on the sliding glass door at 7:45pm as if to say, “We are ready for bed. Please come and shut the door now.” It was stressing me out. Bad enough that the neighbors didn’t like the coop next to the fence, worse to find a chicken sitting on their patio chair or something like that.
So, we moved them. You’ll recall they were located on the side of the house, pictured here:
Now they are on the back fence, next to the garden. Its turning into the “ag sector” of the yard.
A few adjustments are still needed for the current location–that sprinkler head needs to be adjusted so that it doesn’t spray them and we need to replace the lattice with a proper gate. The coop and nest boxes are all covered up because the day and night prior it had snowed 5 inches and was in the teens overnight. One warm and sunny day took care of the snow. This location is very sunny, which I think they will like. We may need to cover part of the run with a shade in the summer, but I’ll wait to see how things look once the trees have leafed out. This new run has taller fencing and more sturdy t-posts and welded wire fencing. This area also has a dirt/mulch substrate that the chickens love so much more than their hard-packed, mostly gravel substrate at the first site.
Best of all, I can watch them pecking and scratching (and escaping! The first night, I got up to lock them in the coop and saw Tina standing on the coop roof!) from several rooms in the house.