Chicken herding

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by shortstaque, Nov 9, 2010.

  1. shortstaque

    shortstaque Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 29, 2010
    Bucks County, PA
    Just wondering how you all herd your chickens if they get out.

    My chickens are in a chicken tractor that gets moved about the backacre (at our house we have the backacher and headacher [​IMG] ) and I let them out to roam free for an hour or two in the evening. After sunset, they put themselves to bed, and I just close the door. Today they pulled a Houdini and got out at 10am. [​IMG] I couldn't leave them out all day, because we live in town, and don't have a fence. With that much time on their hands they would have gone to visit the neighbors and it just would not have been good. We have 23 chickens, so I couldn't imaging catching them all. It would have been bedlam. So I hatched a plan. I asked my husband to grab the leafblower while I plied them with scratch. There are so many areas where they like to hunt bugs and worms that the scratch alone is not very tempting. He took up the back end with the leafblower and I led them to the tractor with the scratch. It only took them a few minutes to be herded back in, but I hope they were not too traumatized by the leafblower. Needless to say we fixed the spot where they got out [​IMG] .

    What would you have done?
  2. Backyard_Chicken_rancher

    Backyard_Chicken_rancher Chillin' With My Peeps

    I used a Leaf rake now all I have to do is pick it and they run for the coop..........And they say they don't remember anything.
  3. BeccaOH

    BeccaOH Morning Gem Farm

    Oct 3, 2008
    east central Ohio
    Mine don't herd too well. The ducks do better. I've tried holding a stick. They do usually run from the large fish-catching net. [​IMG]
    I generally resort to bribing them back in with scratch treats.
  4. annaraven

    annaraven Born this way

    Apr 15, 2010
    SillyCon Valley
    I pick up Buffy, the head chicken, and carry her in to the coop and give her some scratch. The rest follow quickly on their own.
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    I'm not sure which are harder to herd, chickens or cats! At first mine had NO concept of moving away in a specific direction. It's taken gentle persistance, I move along with my arm out "blocking" the way I don't want them to go, and repeat "shoo, shoo" My current flock is mostly three years old and I can now move them fairly well. I remember how much of a shocker it was to me at first, that they had no idea of being herded.

    In most cases, I think the luring them with food works better than trying to push them in a specific direction. Seems ya'all came up with a great plan!
  6. AllCoop'dUp

    AllCoop'dUp Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 12, 2010
    Creswell, Oregon
    I have a 6ft long 1/2"X1/2" piece of wood that works really well. The ducks respond very well to it, and I only have a few uneducated teenagers that don't quite understand what I mean when I move it slowly back and forth/side to side to get them to move in the direction I want.

    Not sure if the "clicker" training method would work!![​IMG]
  7. crawfordmama

    crawfordmama Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 29, 2010
    The Lakes Region, NH
    I find that if I can catch a few by hand, the rest will follow into the coop to see "what's up". I've also been known to bait with treats.
  8. Sooner

    Sooner My kids Mom!

    Mar 22, 2009
    I can generally just get the feed bucket (the know the red coffee can) & head to the pen/coop with it & they will all come running. I too have a couple of teens that get stuck on the wrong side of the fence but a long stick gets them moving in the right direction & then they will go in the pen.
  9. Teach97

    Teach97 Bantam Addict

    Nov 12, 2008
    Hooker, OK
    I sic my herding boys on them...they aren't real good but I get to laugh. My little brother who is not little uses a chihiahaua...them yappy little dogs...
  10. xenorph

    xenorph Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 27, 2010
    I've only got 3 hens, so between myself and the two dogs it's pretty easy

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