Some days I dream about what it would be like to have one BIG barn. One space that all the critters could share. WITH their own rooms of course! 😉 Our back paddock works as our common space. And all the little barns encircle it. On a day like today I can just imagine the stand offs that would occur IF there was just one barn.
In the morning the ducks skedaddle out of their house and head for their ponds. There are two pools and a great shaded area (in the summer) to the left of the picture above. Now I know that this LOOKS LIKE it must be a chicken house. But noooooo … The chickens get let out after the ducks. And THEY skedaddle to the duck house! There is no need to climb a ramp to get in. There is always a full bowl of food. AND there is a straw covered floor with sunny windows.
The ducks are NOT AMUSED. So far I have been able to train the chickens to stay out of the duck run (where the ponds are) by spraying them with the hose whenever I find them in there. The message being THIS IS A WATER PLACE. Our chickens do NOT like getting wet. That gives the ducks the back door to their house. They still have to face off with the chickens if they want to get at the food – which sits smack between the back door and the front sunny porch. So far our chickens out rank our ducks.
Meanwhile… the chickens that do not get the sunny porch seats in the duck house elect instead to claim the back room of the donkey barn. Another straw floor, with shade, a bug fan, water and it is close to their coop where there is food all day long.
In this instance it is Rosie that does not look impressed. 😉 The donkeys don’t seem to be much fazed by the hens. Jill and Joker actually seem to enjoy watching them while they snooze the afternoons away.
There is one shelter that is NOT a shared zone. Yep! The good ole’ goats’ house. IF the hens could get a look at their space they’d never leave. AND I’d never find their eggs! So when the goats are out I make sure to close up this space. It is cozy in here. I will admit to finding it a great place to plop myself down to rest for a bit. I guess they’ll just have to share with me.