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Chasing chickens

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by kimlwilson, Dec 1, 2010.

  1. kimlwilson

    kimlwilson Hatching

    Nov 12, 2010
    I've had my three girls for less than a month. I want to let them out in the garden when the weather is nice, but I'm not sure how to get them back in the run once they are outside. We live in the city and the fence is about four and a half foot high. I don't want to be chasing chickens down the block and out of my neighbors' yards.

  2. thebirdguy

    thebirdguy Songster

    Nov 22, 2010
    Idaho Falls
    If you feed them inside the coop they will learn to come in for feeding time...
  3. AinaWGSD

    AinaWGSD Songster

    Apr 2, 2010
    Sullivan, IL
    You should be ok. My backyard fence is only about 4 feet high and we haven't had a problem with our girls getting out of the yard since they've gotten large enough that they don't fit through the chain link or the small spaces where the fence meets buildings. If you are concerned about them flying over the fence, just clip their wings before you let them out. If they are used to their coop and run, they shouldn't go very far, especially when you first start letting them out. Now that it gets dark before we get home, I let my girls out to "free range" in the yard when I come home for lunch, then put them back in the run before I go back to work. The first day I herded them in by walking slowly around them and "funneling" them into the run (their run is about 2 feet away from the fence, so I put up a metal dog crate panel to block that access when they walked around that side). But since then, I find it much easier to get them into the run voluntarily by bringing them a bowl full of goodies when I go out to shut them up. If you choose a distinctive looking bowl you could easily train them to go to their run for treats from that bowl by using said bowl to bring them treats and feeding them in the run every day for a week or so. I don't really have a distinctive treat bowl, but I do have a treat call (I use a soft "chook, chook, chook" every time I bring them goodies) My girls don't beat me to the run yet, but they do follow me right in when I bring out their treats and aren't bothered when I shut the door to their run.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2010
  4. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Throw some BOSS down on the ground in the run and call them the same way each time.

  5. sharol

    sharol Songster

    Jun 13, 2010
    Admire, KS
    I was concerned about my 7, too. I wanted to let them out in the yard (out of their small run), but I was afraid they wouldn't go back in. It was amazing. As it began to get darker, they all "flocked" back into their run. I admit I bribed them with a plate of tomatoes - their favorites. They had been living in the hoop coop/run for a couple of weeks before I let them out in the yard.

    They even went into the coop from the run and put themselves to bed from the third night they were outside (at about 4 weeks old). I only had to put them in the coop twice and they started going in on their own.

    One thing that helps is to get a thin branch as an "arm extension" to guide them toward the door of the run. Mine are so used to it, that all I have to do is pick up a little stick, and they start heading in for the night. This isn't to ever hit or push them, just wave at them to keep them moving in the right direction.
  6. Chicken.Lytle

    Chicken.Lytle Songster

    Oct 19, 2010
    Montgomery County, TX
  7. curliet

    curliet Songster

    Apr 22, 2008
    west Michigan
    my chooks love bread. It's their favorite treat. After leaving them in the coop for several days so that they get the idea that this is "home" and will come back to it on their own, I use a bread bag with a few slices of bread, go out and holler "chick, chick chick" and wave the bag. They would follow me anywhere for the bread. I make sure they all get some once they are inside. After a while, if I want them to go in when it isn't the normal time, I can even use the bag (no bread) and wave it in the air and they will run in.

    (eta, ya can't really chase chickens. It's kinda like chasing a bouncing football. You never know which direction they will go. It's better to teach them to chase you.)
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2010

  8. bburn

    bburn Songster

    Jul 9, 2010
    Delaware, Arkansas
    Yep, it is amazing to watch. They will go in on their own. Only once have I had to herd a couple back in and only because I wanted them in before they were ready. But they have this amazing sense of knowing where the coop is and that it is starting to get dark and time to roost.

    It still worries me until they go back in.
  9. taprock

    taprock Songster

    Nov 1, 2010
    Northern L.P. Michigan
    We have 23 plus 5 guineas and they herd in nicely. When they were younger it was a real chore and my son and I got LOTS of exercise. We have learned all of their hiding places and they learned "Coop" means there is a treat waiting inside.
  10. elmo

    elmo Songster

    May 23, 2009
    Chickens are very trainable and will quickly learn a treat routine. All I have to do is appear with the dish they have come to associate with goodies (scratch, fresh corn, etc.) and they will come running to me.

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