catching roosters

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by gkeesling, Nov 26, 2008.

  1. gkeesling

    gkeesling Songster

    Nov 24, 2008
    Hagerstown, IN
    I just started with chickens and am very inexperienced thus far. I was wondering - how do you catch roosters or hens that don't want to be caught? They will run/fly away and struggle something fierce if they are handled. I've heard of chicken nets (they look like big butter fly nets). I'm looking for some suggestions.

  2. arllcountrygirl

    arllcountrygirl lavender nutt

    If they are free range - the best time to catch them is at night after they have gone to roost.

  3. Yes you can use the nets but that freaks them ALL out.
    It's easiest to catch them when roosting. If they are within reach you reach right up and take them off the perce.
    If they are out of can take a stick and nail another piece to the end making it look like a long T....
    slide the T up under the foot and in most cases if the chicken has settled down they willl step right onto the "T" and you can lower them down to where you can get your hands on them!
    Happy Hunting!
  4. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Sounds like you are wanting to get to know your chickens?
    You have to start slow and easy. Sit quietly around them and offer treats. After a few days of that, keep the treats in your lap instead of offering it to them. Somebody's gonna get brave enough to jump up in your lap for a treat. Let them get used to being on your lap. The next step is to reach out slowly and gently stroke their breast while they eat the treats. Don't try to reach down and pet them from above, at least not at first. Chickens are naturally fearful of things grabbing them from above, ala predator. The other, less brave chickens will see the leaders getting used to you and will follow their cue. Soon they'll come running as soon as they see you; always hopeful that you're bringing treats. After that it's easy. It also helps to use the same bowl for treats every time; even better if it's a bright color.
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2008

  5. Ellie_NY_chick

    Ellie_NY_chick Songster

    Jul 1, 2008
    Finger Lakes, NY
    The DH has used a hook before. He took a hanger, untwisted it, and bent a small hook at the end. He could catch the birds really easy with it, and it didn't hurt them.

    I just corner them and get their wings under control. Then they just relax.
  6. April Fountain

    April Fountain In the Brooder

    Dec 17, 2008
    I too am having trouble catching one of my troublesome roosters. He is free range and sleeps high up in a cedar tree so unfortunatley I can't use any of the techniques mentioned above. We have also tried putting a noose made out of fishing line next to one of the feeding trays and waiting for the rooster to step into it. We heard that this worked for someone else. It didn't for us at all. The rooster would not step inside the circle of line at all! I think he may be smarter then we think. My husband has tried chasing it but all that did was scare the bigeerzers out of the rooster and after weeks he still hasn't forgotten and just runs in the opposite direction (quickly), whenever he sees my husband. Any other ideas out there?
    Thanks out there for any suggestions.
  7. Opa

    Opa Opa-wan Chickenobi

    May 11, 2008
    Howell Michigan
    Have used nets and agree that it freaks them out to much. I've found the hook is much easier to use. I made mine from a 3' piece of broom handle and a 3' pieace of 3/16 metal rod. Look in the various supply catalogs to get an idea of how to bend the rod.

  8. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    Some chickens are more wary than others, and may never be reconciled to handling. Some will tolerate it more than others, and a few will voluntarily come to you to be handled & petted.

    But most chickens can be trained to come at your signal for treats. Mine adore cracked corn, and will run from all corners of the yard to the sound of corn being shaken in a can. Often when I need to catch a particular bird during the daytime I can lure it near with corn and catch it while it's eating.

    Once I do have a chicken in hand I try to soothe it with gentle handling & soft words. Some will learn there is little to fear from being held and cease to struggle. Others will never like being held.

    I also have one rooster who insists on sleeping high in a tree and can not be caught. The only time I had him in hand was after he'd been in a fight and had his left eye injured. I was able to sneak up on his blind side and grab him. My plan was to keep him caged while I treated his bad eye. His plan was to bust out of the cage at sundown & return to his treetop perch, injured eye & everything. That eye never did heal right, but it hasn't kept him from roosting up in that tree every night and going about his rooster business every day. Why should I mess with his success?
  9. FarmGirl01

    FarmGirl01 Songster

    Feb 5, 2008
    I made a funnel in the corner of my lot. It was made out of chicken wire and was hard to see. I pushed him to the corner of the lot and he ran into the trap. He worked his way down the funnel of wire until he could go no further. He was caught. He was soon convinced I was a good person. Good ending.

  10. digitS'

    digitS' Songster

    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    We had a hook on the farm when I was growing up, like Ellie and Opa are talking about [​IMG]. Kind of a shepherd crook, chicken-sized. It was real easy to use.

    If you want to catch them on the roost do it in the evening not before dawn. After they first go to sleep, they are real drowsy. When they are waiting for daybreak, things can get pretty lively [​IMG]!


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