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Catching the rogue hen

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by bobeena, Oct 26, 2007.

  1. bobeena

    bobeena Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 23, 2007
    I am not sure if this is the right section for this question...I am new to the site and to chicken ownership.

    I have 2 hens that survived the summer (2 killed by a dog, 1 by a raccoon) and one is now laying. I clipped her flight feathers on one wing after having to wait until dark to snag her from the trees (they free range through the fenced backyard on most days).
    And she's a fine buff orpington who lets me and the kids catch her pretty easily.

    Her companion, however, is a small-sized leghorn pullet and clipping the feathers has done no good. She still roosts fairly high (requiring a ladder to fetch her) and I can't get near her to grab her when she's not roosting and sleepy.

    I thought I could never eat a chicken I'd named but when I am staggering around in the dark, with a ladder, in the neighbor's backyard, a flashlight jammed under my arm, I mutter all sorts of dark threats at this bird.

    So: Will she stop roosting so high once she gets heavier? Did I clip incorrectly? Should I just keep her mostly confined to the run? Do you want her? just kidding.

    thanks.
     
  2. jjthink

    jjthink Overrun With Chickens

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    Jan 17, 2007
    New Jersey
    Hi. I am a vegetarian but the hen I have had since July sometimes screams bloody murder relentlessly (p.s. she gets treated like royalty) and I too had dark thoughts!! (wouldn't act on them but geez louise, she is a piece of work!).

    Anyway, I wasn't sure from your post whether you have a coop? If you do, can you keep them inside for a few days with enticing treats at bedtime and see if they imprint on sleeping there at night? It will be a miserable few days for you and for them but if it works...maybe happier days are ahead!

    Good luck [​IMG]

    JJ
     
  3. bobeena

    bobeena Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 23, 2007
    thank you, that is a good idea. (cooping them.) I keep reminding myself, "this is an animal with a brain the size of a cashew. be patient."

    I tell her "What, you want to stay out all night, get picked off by an owl?" She does not seem grateful.
     
  4. Frozen Feathers

    Frozen Feathers Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 4, 2007
    Maine
    I don't think leghorns ever get heavy enough to not be able to fly like they do. Maybe if you lock in the coop for a few days, she'll get the idea that's where she needs to go at night.
     
  5. TxChiknRanchers

    TxChiknRanchers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 18, 2007
    Southeast Texas
    Anyway, I wasn't sure from your post whether you have a coop? If you do, can you keep them inside for a few days with enticing treats at bedtime and see if they imprint on sleeping there at night? It will be a miserable few days for you and for them but if it works...maybe happier days are ahead!

    Thats the ticket, good advice.

    They have to know where home is and they will go there. Our BO's and EE's do so on their own.​
     
  6. adoptedbyachicken

    adoptedbyachicken Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Put them in the coop and leave them there for a week till they are used to spending the night there is the first step. Also having a light in the coop that stays on after dark will get them in once you have them outside again. Set that up before you let them free range again so they are used to it. The light is a safety zone for them, they know they are vulnerable in the dark so they go towards the comfort place that is well lit. Then you show up and close the door and turn off the lights at the same time, no ladder needed.

    Clipping wings is not always sucessful. They can learn to fly again, it just takes them more effort.
     
  7. devora

    devora Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Why is 'roosting so high' an option? My girls go to bed every night in their coop. So whaaaas up?
     
  8. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    Leghorn=Lunatic
    They like to be up high..I've been there, done that.
    Cooping any and all birds is the best idea, for your mental health and for their safety.
    My Obelisk is a Leghorn and she can and will fly up. She once went over a 6 foot stockade fence, and 300 yards down the street without touching ground...I was like, "What's a crow doing this close to the house?" Then I realized that was my hen flying away...She was being chased by a dog.
     
  9. picklespickles

    picklespickles Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 27, 2007
    i am a freeranger, but if your mortality rate is that high, maybe you need to consider other options like the coop. also, if they are roosting in someone else's yard, if you are going to keep them freeranging and not do the coop, then could you feed them stuff they really like to keep them at home? the coop, though, sounds like what you need.
     

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