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3 hens flew the coop (Help)

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by bella123, Sep 26, 2008.

  1. bella123

    bella123 Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 19, 2008
    New Hampshire
    I have 9 hens (I think) they are 11 weeks old. A friend called me last night that she had 3 hens that needed a good home, they are any where from 1-2 years old. All my chicks are free range. When I put them in the outside coop yesterday, one of them flew right over the six foot fence. The other 2 went into coop and slept, this morning they all went out and now the other 2 are missing. I saw one in the woods, but could not get her. I have left the door open so they can come back in..........or do you think the 3 of them are lost for good.HELP
  2. kinnip

    kinnip Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 24, 2008
    Carrollton, GA
    Hopefully they'll return or you'll find them. If you get them back, you'll need to home them. That means keeping them locked in the coop for a couple of weeks. Some folks only do one week, or even a few days. At that age, however, I'd really want to drive the point home. They need to forget their old home and recognize their new coop as home.
    When I'm homing, I like to staple some chicken wire or hardware cloth over a door, so that they can see out during the day. At night I secure the door as normal.
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2008
  3. bella123

    bella123 Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 19, 2008
    New Hampshire
    Thank you so much yes I told DH that they should have been in coop for a week......I do hope they come back of course it's raining here (hard) and diffcult looking in the woods.........but I'll keep looking
  4. jjthink

    jjthink Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 17, 2007
    New Jersey
    Above recommendation is very important.
    They didn't know where to go the first time out. They may have headed off to try to find the home they knew. Search, search, search. Find out what your friend used as the sound of treats coming - was it shaking a bag of seed? Whatever it was, replicate it. If they respond to your friends's voice, get said friend there right away to call for them and help search before they get too far afield and lost for good, or eaten.
    Good luck.
  5. Titaniumcranium

    Titaniumcranium Out Of The Brooder

    May 4, 2008
    I had good luck catching my rooster in the rain,when he got out when I first got him.He wasn't able to fly away.Of course I was soaked by the time I caught him.Kept him locked in the coop for a couple days and now he just runs in there whenever I come around him,Works for me.[​IMG]
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2008
  6. bella123

    bella123 Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 19, 2008
    New Hampshire
    Well after a long night I did find 2 of them and have them in coop, I think the problem was I had rescue them from a woman who's black lab really beat them up. I just got another one today.......they all are doing well I hope the other one (that got away) will hear them.Thanks for all you advice,I'll keep you posted............
  7. bella123

    bella123 Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 19, 2008
    New Hampshire
    After almost 2 weeks, my black hen came back. She looked great for being out in the woods. I gave her food and water.she stayed with the flock. When I turned around she was gone back into the woods. I followed her but then she ran off. Do you think she will come back to the coop? I feel better knowing she looked good, but now I worry that she won't come back.....any advice

  8. cackle

    cackle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 8, 2008
    North Carolina
    I really do not know the answer but wanted to say I know it was a relief for her to show up today. Maybe she has a nest of eggs and just came up for food.

    I am new at this so maybe someone who knows more than I do can help you out.
  9. dixygirl

    dixygirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2008
    My ducks and chickens love exploring the woods around my house everyday. They have favorite places they like going. For the ducks it is a swampy area deep in the woods where they enjoy swimming. The chickens like scratching in the underbrush in another area deep in the woods. So I literally have to go and get them each day.

    Today I just stood within eye range of them and yelled at them to come on back and they all came together back to the house. If not i circle around behind them and just walk behind them in the direction i want them to go. Kind of leading from behind. I think they really love exploring and learning the limits of their world. So i let them to a degree but I also am mindful of predators. So I keep an eye on them.

    I have decided what i will do though is get the rolls of 7 foot tall by 100 foot wide rolls of plastic deer netting, tie it to the trees and staple it to the ground (with landscape staples) all around the property. That way they can't go beyond the area I want them to stay inside. It looks invisible from a distance. Maybe that will work for you

    Good luck
  10. carress

    carress Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 26, 2008
    Orange county NY
    I have one hen who was a real runner, but she always came back. I'd catch her and put her in the coop / crate. In a few days, the process would start all over again. She was once gone for about 3 weeks. - We'd spot her in the woods near the house, in the back yard, and even in our garage!

    Eventually, I stopped chasing her, and finished building my coop. After I built the coop, one morning I walked in there and guess who had come home.
    I suppose it's true that "If you build it, they will come." She is still skittish, and I think she hates me, but she comes home every night, and doesn't wander far from home.

    I don't know how she survived, but I did leave out extra food for her every day - don't know if she ate it. I'm thinking if your bird is the only one foraging, there's probably plenty of bugs and plants to sustain her.

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