Beginner needs help - chickens panic and Rooster gets protective

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by kprhok, May 5, 2009.

  1. kprhok

    kprhok Out Of The Brooder

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    As a beginner, I recently purchased 9 buff orphingtons and a huge dominique rooster from someone who was giving up their chickens to do other things. I've been very pleased at how calm and happy they all seem to be, and the rooster watches over them as if they were each very special.

    I just tried to check one of them for mites by isolating her in the coop but she started screeming and the rooster (outside) became very protective, trying to get into the coop.

    My question: How do others on this discussion board catch their chickens, and rooster if necessary, in order to inspect them for mites?

    I have tried to quietly move in and coax them into allowing me to handle them but it doesn't work.

    Should I simply go out there, throw a net over each one and inspect them as needed regardless of how much they scream or is there a less stressful way (for me and the chickens) to catch and manage a chicken when you need to check them for mites or other problems?

    Like many on this website, I want them to enjoy having me around, and not be in alarm mode every time I walk out to their pen. I really felt bad after getting them so upset, but I don't know of other options when it comes to catching a chicken.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2009
  2. aidenbaby

    aidenbaby Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'd try hand feeding them a bunch without trying to catch them so that they will get used to you. Then, work up to holding them. But that could take a while to teach them that you aren't going to kill them (at the moment anyway). If there was one you were particularly concerned about, that would be the only one I'd just grab to handle. That whole being sneaky business just tells them that you are a predator.

    I'm no pro but that is what I'd do.
     
  3. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    We always perform exams after they've gone to roost. The blood suckers are more active at that time of day, and the chooks are much more compliant.
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    That's a good rooster you have.

    I agree with Ivan3. Check them after they have gone to roost.

    One of the mites you are looking for, the red mite, is not on the chicken during the day. It hides in crevices on the roosts and in the coop during the day and attacks the chicken at night. A daytime inspection will not find this mite.

    I'll include an Ohio State site that tells some about mites and lice.

    http://ohioline.osu.edu/vme-fact/0018.html
     
  5. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

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    If it's routine just checking what appears to be a healthy chicken for possible problems I wait till they are roosting too. When they get ready to go to sleep they are quite inactive and you can often just lift them off the roost with minimal complaints. If it's something that needs checked now I just corner and catch the chicken and let everyone make all the noise they want. They'll calm back down within minutes after your done.
     
  6. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Quote:I also agree.
     
  7. kprhok

    kprhok Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks, everyone, for the great information..
     
  8. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    Agghh, shouldn't be posting and running and vice versa (forgetful me is...)

    If you suspect mites, make sure to give the roo's rear a good once over. Northern Fowl Mites prefer the feathers around the roo's vent to the fluffy hen butts. Also, if you look them over, don't see anything, and then feel some `volunteers' scurrying up your neck - get a lighted jeweler's loupe and check again!
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2009

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