I am usually careful to close the gate to the run behind me, but invariably going in and out with my hands full - of treats, water or feed going in, or eggs coming out - the gate gets left ajar. And those darn chickens don't need but a second to jump on the opportunity to escape and get some free range time.
The gate has a deadbolt on the outside ...
and an eye hook on the inside, but somehow they don't always get latched when I'm busy going back and forth.
Of course the pasture is more fun - lots of bugs, weeds, grass, not to mention dropped horse feed. But it's also rife with dangers like hawks, foxes and neighbor's dogs on occasion.
Rounding up almost two dozen escapees is no fun, so I decided to put a stop to the jail breaks for once and for all. I paid a visit to our local hardware store and bought what I needed: a spring and a hook. That's it. Then I went to work.
First I screwed the hook into the inside support post on the hinge side of the gate.
Then I wound one end of the spring securely on to the hook.
The other end of the spring I wound into the chicken wire on the gate.
A self-closing run gate.... I should have done this a long time ago.
I now have a swinging gate that closes automatically behind me...so no more jail breaks ! Sorry girls.