We are complete newbies at this. About 5 days ago, my girlfriend received 4 hens from her friend who owns a farm.
In anticipation of their arrival, we made a chicken coop with lots of tips from this website. However, the day we got the chickens, they hopped our fence and flew into our neighbors' trees! 2 of them have been hanging out in a tree on the street behind us. The other 2 have been in our next door neighbor's trees. 2 of them returned to our yard on the next day, but they haven't come back since.
We've been checking on our chickens every day since. But because they do not recognize us and they are new to our neighborhood, these chickens just flee whenever anyone tries to approach them. Yesterday, I tried cornering 2 of them, but they flew at least 20 feet over my head and into the trees. And when they're in the trees, they're far too high to reach.
We tried setting up some traps that are used to get cats and raccoons, but they haven't worked.
We feel like terrible chicken owners and we are worried that our neighbors are starting to see the hens as a nuisance. We live in a big city, so nobody is used to seeing chickens walking around during the day. The chickens have also been digging up our neighbors' yards.
Does anyone have any advice for us? How do we get them to come home so we can learn to be good chicken parents?