Who let the hens out?

French Property News - - Interiors -

We’ve been con­sid­er­ing buy­ing an au­to­matic door/pop-hole shut­ter for our chicken house. While it’s not so bad in the win­ter as they go to bed early, some­times in the sum­mer, when we’ve been en­ter­tain­ing guests from our gîte and B&B, we are flaked and want to go to bed be­fore our chick­ens do! Have you any ex­pe­ri­ence of them? Do they work? Emily Jenk­in­son

I’ve no per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence of them but I’ve read good re­ports of some. Un­for­tu­nately, as with all things avail­able both in the shops and on­line, some are bet­ter than oth­ers. Some are pow­ered by bat­tery or by so­lar pan­els and per­son­ally I’d al­ways be wor­ry­ing about a power failure leav­ing the door open overnight and my birds vul­ner­a­ble to a fox, stone marten or feral cat. Also, chick­ens are very much in­di­vid­u­als and even if ev­ery­thing was work­ing as it should, there’s al­ways the chance that one might be tempted into a late evening snack en route to her roost and, be­com­ing locked out, might then be­come a tempt­ing late night snack.

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